Theistic Evolution & Creationism

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The view that evolution is a science has been challenged. So too, the God-denying philosophy that tends to shadow evolution. What then, is the Christian position regarding the theory of evolution?

Some Christians are ‘creationists’. They hold to a literal understanding of the Genesis account. These Christians take the Biblical story of God’s creative work to mean that God created the universe in "six literal days". That universe was diverse, fully formed and adaptable. This would have been a mighty work indeed. The Christian God is, after all, a miracle worker. Christians believe in other strange things too: talking donkeys (Num 22:30), parting seas and the raising of the dead, for example. There are arguments for and against such a literal and historical understanding of Genesis. However, Genesis is quite unlike the prophetic book of Revelation, for example, which is clearly figurative.

There are other Christians who believe that the theory of evolution has credibility. Tertiary education certainly does not allow for thinking otherwise. Such Christians, however, see evolution as the means by which God achieves his creative work. These Christians are therefore known as theistic evolutionists. This position naturally requires a non-literal understanding of Genesis.

God’s scriptural revelation of his creative work is quite brief. Mystery enshrouds every aspect of it. As a result, Christians of both schools of thought have questions that need answering. Just as atheistic evolutionists face many anomalies in their theorising, creationists and theistic evolutionists are also required to give answers to incongruent aspects of their beliefs.

The creationist, for example, believes in a relatively young earth. There is data which seems to support this view. There is also data which implicates a much older earth, and creationists need credible theories to suit the evidence.

Apart from the anomalies within the theory of evolution itself, theistic evolutionists have to reconcile scripture with evolution. This requires some answer to questions such as, "At what point did man receive his soul? If the wages of sin are death (Rom 6:23) and death came through the first sinner (Adam in 1 Co 15:21), what of all the billions of years of death required for Adam to evolve? Even if Genesis is figurative, can we so easily write off the chronology of the creative process found in inspired scripture?"

There are Christian teachers of great integrity in both camps. They have their own answers to these questions. It goes without saying that both creationism and theistic evolution is unpopular in the secular setting. However, this by no means undermines either position. Democracy is not synonymous with morality. Neither is the popularity of atheistic evolution a reflection of its credibility.

Whatever position you may hold as a Christian will in no way affect your salvation. The battle here is with atheistic evolution and its grip on the minds and wills of a perishing multitude.

Becky Conolly

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa info@christianaction.org.za - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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