Genesis 2:17, Romans 5:12-21, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, Genesis 1:1-3, John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:16-18
Summary: The first theory of creation apart from Scripture teaches that God used evolution as part of the creative process. Is this a viable explanation for our origins? What do science and the Bible have to say about this idea?
Our look at the first of the four alternative theories to the biblical account of creation begins with what I would refer to as a philosophical mix of oil and water. On the surface, this theory might sound feasible for those who worship at the altar of reason and compromise, but it falls short in both the scientific realm and the certainty of Scripture.
The first alternative theory to biblical creation is a hodge-podge of contradictions known as “theistic evolution,” which teaches that God initiated the original creation process, then used the “life-and-death” struggle of natural selection’s proverbial “survival of the fittest” to complete the job. The term “theistic evolution” is nothing more than an oxymoron, attempting to combine the power of God (Theos) and the faulty theory of evolution that emphasizes gradualism and materialistic naturalism.
You cannot have the absolute perfection of God and the idea of chaotic randomness at the same time. One of these ideas has got to go, and the tragedy is that we would rather take God out of the picture and replace it with a question on how nothing came from something. We do this at our eternal peril.
What are the scientific problems with theistic evolution?
Plenty. Theistic evolution avoids the position of the naturalist mindset that nothing is the ultimate source for everything. It embraces and promotes the belief that molecules eventually “evolved” into people through a mindless process that involved chance, matter, time, and mutation. The theistic evolutionist believes that God started the process and then left it alone.
This is nothing more than warmed-over “deism” and is a blatant attack on the creative and sustaining power of the Sovereign LORD God and His rule over the universe, keeping everything together at His command and Who will remake the present sinful world into Eden reborn in His good time (Genesis 1:1, 2:3; Exodus 20:11; Job 26:7,13; Psalm 33:6, 102:25, 104:5; Isaiah 40:12, 28, 45:12, 48:13; Acts 4:24, 17:24; Hebrews 1:10, 11:3; 2 Peter 3:1-13; Revelation 21:1-7).
I cannot fathom the idea of such an impersonal deity than one fabricated by those who want to combine the spiritual equivalent of fire and gasoline and then hope that nothing happens.
Evolution, whether believed to be a gradual process (the position taken by Richard Dawkins) or rapid series of development (championed by the late Stephen Jay Gould), is atheistic at its core. Both proposed variations of evolutionary theory were conceived as a justification for the rejection of supernatural revelation and the idea of being accountable to a Supreme Creator. If the process of evolution fails to accurately work anywhere except in the theories of men, then it does not matter who or what initiated the process. Nothing from nothing still leaves nothing.
The Scriptural problems with theistic evolution are just as profound. The Bible states that sin and death entered the world not by random means but through Adam at the beginning of human history (Genesis 1-3). Genesis 2:17, Romans 5:12-21, and 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 all testify that death came as the result of one man’s sin. That man is identified as Adam, the first man. According to the Bible, before Adam’s sin, death did not exist. Genesis 1:31 says that when God completed His act of creation, He declared it to be “very good.” Theistic evolution teaches that the struggle of the survival of the fittest was a necessary component of man’s evolutionary progression and that, as such, death occurred millions and billions of times before man ever arrived on the scene.
If the life-and-death fight for survival as proposed by evolution was present on this world before man had ever “evolved,” then death did not come as the result of Adam’s sin. If the Bible’s account of creation is incorrect concerning how and when sin and death entered the world, why should anyone believe what it says about how sin and death can be remedied by the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ?
The Lord Jesus taught that man was present at the beginning of creation. In Mark 10:6, He said, “At the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.” If theistic evolution is true, then man arrived on the scene after some period of millions of years engaged in progressive life-and-death struggles. John 1:1-4 clearly states that Jesus is God and the Creator of everything that exists, including us. Because Jesus did not accommodate His language in speaking of creation, then neither should we! A perfect God would NOT create imperfectly.
Here is a question that we need to consider if we want to ponder the idea that theistic evolution might be a reasonable alternative to what we read in the Bible: Why would a God who is perfect and who does everything perfectly use millions of years of evolutionary death, disease, and destruction as the means by which to accomplish His work?
Christians who tend to promote the idea of theistic evolution reject the plain literal meaning of the first eleven chapters of Genesis. If the book of Genesis is to be interpreted as an allegory or myth, then how are the other books of the Bible to be understood? If Genesis does NOT mean what it says, how do we explain the fact that Jesus quoted from Genesis repeatedly, presuming both its authenticity and reliability? Was Jesus using allegory or myth when He predicted His own death and resurrection? If the theistic evolutionist chooses to reject Genesis 1-11 as allegory or myth, what can be said to someone else who chooses to reject John 1-11 or Romans 1-11 in the same way?
To reject the plain explanation of our origins as recorded in Genesis is to go down a slippery slope of doubt, skepticism, and rank infidelity. Let us be satisfied with what God has shown us in His Word.
The next alternative theory apart from biblical creation we’ll look at is called the “Gap Theory.” This one has been around for two hundred years or so and, on the surface, might seem feasible, but just like theistic evolution, it too ignores the plain truth of Scripture.