Alt Creation Theory 4: Progressive Creationism :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

Genesis 1:1, Exodus 20:8-11, Job 26:7, Psalm 33:6, Isaiah 40:28, Isaiah 48:13, Acts 4:24, Acts 17:24

Summary: This is the last of four messages on the alternatives of creation often presented to skeptics and the scientific community apart from what is described in Genesis 1. This final message deals with “progressive creationism,” another example of the futility of man’s “wisdom.”

We have looked at four alternative theories that some Christians use to either defend or explain to a skeptical world how everything came into being instead of what is clearly presented in Genesis 1.

The world system took advantage of our withdrawal from the scientific community soon after the publishing of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859 and the drama associated with the Scopes Trial of 1925. Instead of standing firm and doing our own research and rebuttal of evolution, many believers decided to leave these issues to “the world.” As a result, we lost some of the greatest opportunities to advance the cause of the Gospel, such as the use of film, media, technology, and other areas where our witness could have shone brighter.

Now in 2023, when nearly 80% of young people who grow up in church walk away from the faith after they either leave home or attend a university, we see the unfortunate consequences of abandoning the world and not being the “salt” and “light” that Jesus expects of us. We are a generation of biblical illiterates and live lives of biblical apathy. Those few brave souls who are trying to help turn the tide are facing the harsh fact that because we did not hold the line generations ago, we may be seeing a case of “too little, too late.”

In what I observe as a desperate attempt to play “catch up” in the winning of minds and souls, some believers are presenting alternative theories of our origins that attempt to blend the Bible and the narrative of Darwinian evolution. These alternatives are “theistic evolution,” the “gap” theory, the “day/age” theory, and “progressive creationism.”

While these titles sound rational and appealing, they are, in reality, nothing more than a desperate means of “fitting in with the world” instead of standing firm on what the Bible teaches and that God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

We are not to be ashamed of the Word, nor have any excuse to capitulate before a world system that hates God. No Christian should ever feel that he has to bow to the altars of futile human wisdom in order to feel accepted in any realm. I truly believe that our days are numbered, and we must be bold, courageous, and unwilling to settle for anything less than being bold soldiers for the kingdom of heaven and rescuing the perishing, educated, skeptical, hostile, and the indifferent away from the wrath that is to come.

With that said, I now want to focus on the last of the alternative theories of creation. It is called “progressive creationism.” It is a fairly new theory that has gained a remarkable hearing in a relatively short period of time. The basic premise is that God created specific life forms in periodic stages during life’s evolutionary development. The similarities between atheists promoting “punctuated equilibrium” (“fast evolution,” according to the late evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould) and theists promoting the day/age theory, or the idea of progressive creationism, are striking because all of them realize that naturalistic evolution alone cannot give an account for the diversity of life forms.

In their view, allowing God to begin and end the evolutionary process still assumes that the evolutionary process works. Whether proposed by atheist or theist, the process simply does NOT work. Progressive creationists realize this and suggest that God created specific life forms (birds, fish, reptiles, mammals, and man) at various intervals of time, then allowed them to evolve. Really?

The Scriptural problem with progressive creationism is that the order of creation recorded in Genesis 1 does NOT agree with any aspect of the evolutionary theory. Advocates of this theory often suggest that the passages about the six days represent a poetic parallel, despite the fact that the account of creation is written in prose.

The other Scriptural problem is that a perfect God would NOT create imperfectly. Progressive creationism teaches that God used the “assistance” of natural selection to carry out His work of creation. A God powerful enough to raise the dead but unable or unwilling to speak the heavens and the earth into existence without the aid of natural selection is NOT the God of the Bible. Progressive creationists reject a plain, literal interpretation of Genesis. In the end, they deny both the content and sequence of creation as given in the Genesis account.

All four of the theistic positions ultimately ask Christians to either place more faith in the opinions of men than the Word of God or to compartmentalize their faith. Either option is a mistake. Christians who are willing to undermine the faith of others by raising doubts and uncertainties regarding the authenticity of the Bible create more problems than they resolve, even if their motivation is sincere. Christians would be wise to heed the clear teaching of God’s Word than attempting to accommodate it to human opinions.

God gave us a clear, powerful, and logical sequence of order when He made the heavens and the earth. He did not have to use alternative theories or ideas to put everything into place. He also knew that we would need His intervention to rescue us from our sins. God our Creator is also Our Redeemer and Savior. His name is the Lord Jesus Christ, and when you give your life to Him, He will make you a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

No idea from the mind of fallen men can ever dare to try and improve that which God has ordained. His ways are the best, and His love and compassion for us never fail. For those who genuinely follow Him, we look for His return and the fulfillment of His promise to make a new heaven and earth free from the corruption of sin. I ask you to place your faith and trust in Him today so that you may be part of the “new creation” that is to come.