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Are Christianity and Evolution Compatible?
By David A. DePra
There are many today in the Body of Christ who believe, indeed insist, that the theory of evolution is one which can be blended with the Bible. But this is error. And as we are going to see, it is not a minor error. Such compromises, if taken to their logical outcome, actually serve to deny outright the fundamental Truths of Christianity.
The scope here is not to discuss the history of evolution, or to go into any sort of scientific detail. In fact, our scope is not even to discuss much about the scientific aspects of evolution vs. creationism. Our scope is limited only to the question of whether Biblical Christianity is compatible with the basic theory of evolution.
The theory of evolution is premised on the notion that life was NOT created by God. Rather, what we see today EVOLVED from a lower state, and if we go back far enough, we reach what amounts to nothingness. And from that point back, we get into such theories as the "big bang" and others which offer alternatives for creation other than God.
Christians who try to blend evolution and creation do so at the expense of the clear claims of the Bible. They by-pass the nature of humankind, Godís plan, and the Redemption of Jesus Christ. Of course, all of this is justified due to their acceptance of what they consider to be the "scientific evidence." Thus, once they embrace that "evidence," and likewise embrace the Bible, they must find a way to marry the two. What emerges is "theistic evolution."
Evolution is NOT an observable process. (IF it were a process going on at all!) This not only makes it impossible to say it is a SCIENCE, but it throws all of the so-called evidence into the subjective realm. HOW evidence is interpreted is always involved in science. But with evolution, that is ALL that is involved.
To some people, even Christians, it seems impossible that so many scientists could be wrong about evolution. But they can be. History proves this. And unless we begin to open ourselves to the possibility that the theory of evolution, from start to finish, is nothing short of a LIE, we are never going to find the Truth.
The Biblical Claims
The Bible claims that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Gen. 1:1) The Hebrews word for "created" means "a one time act." It does not carry within it any hint of a PROCESS. This same word is used for the creation of Adam himself.
God goes out of His way to make sure that we do not misunderstand how He created the earth, and man himself. Throughout Genesis 1, we find the end of each day described as "evening and morning." The days are numbered through seven. Yet even THIS is twisted and denied by people who turn right around and say they believe the Bible is inspired. They say that Genesis is a myth, allegory, or fabrication. They do this without even realizing the ramifications of what they say.
The Bible goes on to say,
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name SethÖÖ(Gen. 5:1-3)
Not only does it say that God "created" man, the Bible says that He created Adam in HIS LIKENESS. This means there was NO prior evolutionary stage. There was no PROCESS. There was NO "primeval soup" from which all life sprang. God is not a monkey. He created man in HIS IMAGE Ė morally and spiritually.
Scripture adds that Godís creation of man was "male and female." And then, right from that point, it goes on to list the "generations" which came from those first two people. This leaves NO ROOM for a "process" and no room for anything other than what the Bible says: That God started with ONE MAN, who was formed of the dust of the ground.
Notice how clear God makes the creation of man:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earthÖ..And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Gen. 1:26-28, 2:7)
Despite the fact that some Christians have tried to take these words and turn them into an allegory, there is no authority for doing so. In fact, it is outright error to do so. Why? Because of how the New Testament treats this Genesis account. Letís see what Jesus, Jude, and the apostle Paul, have to say about how these passages ought to be interpreted.
And he (Jesus) answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (Matt. 19:4-5)
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (Rom. 5:12-14)
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (I Cor. 15:21-22)
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (I Cor. 15:45)
For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. (I Tim. 2:13-14)
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied. (Jude 1:14)
These passages, not to mention the two genealogies given in the gospels, leave no room for the theory of evolution. God created a MAN Ė fully in tact. He created him in HIS image, and breathed life into Him.
But there is more. Much more. The reality of the Redemption of Jesus Christ is predicated upon the fact that this man SINNED and ruined the human race. It is predicated on the fact that we are all born into that sin and need a Redeemer. Deny the creation and you, in effect, deny sin itself. You therefore deny the need for a Savior.
The term "redemption" means "to buy back." The terms points to the fact that Adam had a relationship with God with he LOST. It points to the fact that Jesus Christ came and paid the price of His life to buy us back into that relationship once again. But this is NOT POSSIBLE if man evolved. In that case, you have man IMPROVING throughout history through evolution. This denies the Truth that man lost what he had and has been getting worse ever since.
Christians who buy into evolution usually donít understand what they are really saying. Think about it. Once you say man evolved, you must decide when he got to the place Ė on the evolutionary scale -- where Adam emerged. Then you have to figure out how this "Adam" sinned by walking away from God. But not only that. This "Adam" sinned in a way that ruined man as a creature. We all inherit his loss. How do you account for this in an evolutionary process?
It gets worse from there. If you say man evolved, then there really isnít any time when there was only one man. No. Then there would have to be many men Ė or what men used to be on the evolutionary scale. That not only means that the entire story of the fall of man is myth, but it also means that there really isnít any such thing as sin. This, in turn, means that we have no need for a Savior.
Incidentally, one of the things today which has become popular is pointing to mythical stories in some of the ancient pagan cultures to "prove" that the Genesis account came from THEM, rather than from God. This is such nonsense that it is criminal. There has NEVER been any proof that this is where the Bible accounts originated. Furthermore, since when does the existence of one ancient story mean that any subsequent stories HAD to have come from it? We would never make that linkage except to try to disprove the Bible. We would know better.
The reality is, if the Genesis account is true, then it predates EVERYTHING. The fact that the record we have in scripture of it was not written until centuries later does not change that fact. But what it does is tell us that all the myths in other cultures had a common source Ė the true events themselves. Thus, rather than the Bible record emerging from those myths, those myths were simply distortions of the Truth which had been known from the beginning and preserved orally, until the time Moses wrote Genesis.
The fact is, the Bible itself leaves us no room for evolution. Not only does the Bible record the creation of man in clear terms, but Jesus, the apostles, and the Bible itself, testify to how we are to interpret these accounts. We are to take them exactly as stated.
Nothing New Under the Sun
The New Testament gives no quarter to any teaching which would deny the Biblical accounts of creation, the Truth about sin, and the need for the Redeemer. In fact, the Bible not only condemns such teaching, it predicts it will exist.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Rom. 1:18-25)
According to God, the REASON people donít believe the Truth has nothing to do with their intelligence. They donít believe it because they have no place for God in their lives. Thus, because they close themselves off from THE LIGHT, they have only darkness. What they develop from that point as to beliefs is a product of them groping in that darkness.
God says that there is ample evidence in creation itself to prove to us that there is a God. He says that this leaves us "without excuse." The only way this would be just and fair is if the proof is so conclusive from creation that anyone open to it would see it.
It is bad enough when people reject the Truth. But things only get worse from there. The Bible teaches that if you reject the Truth, what you will do is eventually believe fables and myth.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (II Timothy 4:3-4)
This is terribly ironic. The Bible says that if you reject the Truth, you will be turned to fables. People today have fulfilled this prophecy. And of course, once you are turned to fables such as evolution, you turn around and call the Truth a "fable." There is no other option if you want to validate your position.
Christians who try to marry the Bible to evolution need to come to terms with what they are really saying. Most justify their beliefs on the basis of what they believe to be verifiable scientific evidence. But there is NONE. Evolution is not observable. It is not provable. It is, in fact, disprovable. And most of all, what I believe about creation vs. evolution strikes at the heart and core of what I believe about God and His Word, indeed, about the Lord and Savior Himself.
Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. (Isaiah 45:11-12)
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