What About Intelligent Design? – Part 7 – Is Theistic Evolution a Valid Compromise?

One question that arises when discussing Intelligent Design vs. the Theory of Evolution, specifically the Creationist variety of I.D. (see discussion on the difference here ) is, “Could God have used evolution?” I think the answer is No, and do not think this is a valid position.

First of all, I do not believe the facts support the Theory of Evolution. Some may say that God is the one who fills in the gaps, so to speak, in the Theory of Evolution. But I don’t think this is valid either. If evolution is true, there is no need for God. And if God exists, then there is no need for evolution. God invading the evolutionary process goes against what the theory itself is postulating, namely that life came into existence by naturalistic and not supernatural means.

Also, I have discussed here why a deistic God is not theologically satisfactory. I discussed here that the Bible explains exactly what God must be like in order to create the universe.

Besides the scientific and philosophical reasons against Theistic Evolution, from a Creationist standpoint there are also theological reasons why it cannot be true. As Ken Ham from Answers In Genesis points out, if theistic evolution is true the entire biblical doctrine of sin falls apart. And if the doctrine of sin is dismantled, there is no reason for salvation either, and the gospel falls apart. Darwinism says that death exists as a mode that eliminates organisms and entire species while allows others to adapt and evolve into stronger and fitter creatures. But the Bible says that death didn’t exist until the Fall, and is a direct consequence of that fall into sin. Death exists because sin exists. And because sin and death exist, we need a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to redeem mankind and bring salvation to all who would believe. This has two implications. First, if death existed before sin, the entire gospel can be dismissed. And secondly, if you cannot trust the first chapters of the Bible when it says death is a product of sin, you also cannot trust the Bible when it says you are in need of a Savior. On this count the gospel would also be discredited. But if you can trust Genesis 1:1, you can also trust John 3:16.

For these reasons it is completely unacceptable for someone who claims they believe in the Bible to also put their trust in the Theory of Evolution. I think the Theistic Evolution stance is a cop-out that has been created to try to conform to the world where no compromise is possible.

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4 Responses to What About Intelligent Design? – Part 7 – Is Theistic Evolution a Valid Compromise?

  1. […] 18 December, 2007 What About Intelligent Design? – Part 7 – Is Theistic Evolution a Valid Compromise? « Minds 2 Mentes Posted by tneal under Religion | Tags: creationism, evolution, Minds 2 Mentes |   What About Intelligent Design? – Part 7 – Is Theistic Evolution a Valid Compromise? « Minds 2 M… […]

  2. The above blog made a couple comments on this post, one of which I would like to respond to here as I did there, to clarify the point. The person brought up the subject of death being a product of sin, and questioned whether death could have existed previously and only human death was introduced by the Fall. I had the following to say in response:

    When it comes to the death topic, I am convinced that death did not exist at all in Eden. First of all, Adam and Eve as well as all the animals were only given the fruit and plants to eat (Gen. 2:29-30). God didn’t permit meat to be eaten until after the flood (Gen. 9:2-3). After the fall we see at least two instances of animal sacrifice in the first couple chapters of Genesis: when God made clothes of skin for Adam and Eve to cover their shame (3:21), and when Abel brought fat portions before the Lord (Gen. 4:4). We are also told that the earth became corrupt and violent after the fall (Gen. 6:11). Before the fall there is no indication of any kind of death or decay. Before the Fall, God declared that all his creation was very good (Gen. 1:31). Death and decay are viewed as consequences of the Fall not only in Genesis but throughout the Scriptures. Psalm 16:10, which is quoted several times in the New Testament, shows that one sign of the Messiah is that his body will not see decay. This was fulfilled by the resurrection (Acts 2:27, 31; 13:34-37). One of our eschatological (end times) hopes is that decay will be overcome (Romans 8:21) and death will be finally destroyed (Revelation 20:14). For these reasons I am convinced that the death in question is death as a whole, not only human death.

  3. jeffsdeepthoughts says:

    Thanks for an even-handed approach to the topic. I’m a firm supporter of the position of theistic evolution. I didn’t, in honesty, agree with a whole lot of your specific points.
    However, your tone was reasonable and your arguments were fair. I often feel frustrated by neodarwinians on one side of me and creationists on the other side of me, because it doesn’t actually seem like anybody is interested in having a discussion. I’d be hard pressed to decide which side I find more consistently unfair and argumentative. Your post was a breath of fresh air.
    It seems a little silly to claim I disagree and then not specify why. So I’ll throw out a few questions/counter claims:
    #1) It looks like maybe your playing both sides of the fence in paragraph 2. On the one hand, you claim Neodarwinism has flaws. On the other hand, you claim “if evolution is true, there is no need for God” I’m unclear why the defects in the Dawkins brand of materialistic evoltuion couldn’t be fixed by a theistic interpretation of neodarwinian evolution.

    #2) I agree that Deism is untenable. Theistic Evolution is not inherently deistic, however. I see God as ever-present within the evolutionary process. I believe he used it with the intent to create mankind.

    #3) It is also true that accepting neodarwinism requires reinterpreting the scriptures. But reinterpretation is only an issue if we hold the position that our interpretations are divinely inspired. I believe scripture is divinely inspired. But I believe I am a fallen sinner, in the company of fallen sinners. I believe our history is a history of poor interpretations of God’s word.

  4. Thank you for your thoughtful comments and encouragement. Let me see if I can address your points:

    1. I was merely trying to state (and perhaps should have done so more clearly) that the purpose of evolution is to give an alternate explanation for life, leaving God completely out of the equation. Darwinism, especially advocated these days by the likes of Richard Dawkins, stresses this point. I attempted to expand upon why theistic evolution isn’t a satisfactory synthesis between this neodarwinsim and I.D. further down in the post.

    2. I understand that theistic evolution is not necessarily deistic, I was merely covering my bases in saying that such an explanation is unsatisfactory. I understand the notion of “God as everpresent within the evolutionary process.”

    3. Sinner or not, we are still capable of reading and understanding the Scriptures by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why I encourage prayer before reading the Word, to ask God to show us what he is trying to say to us, and to not read our own interpretation into the text when these ideas are completely unfounded. It is true that there has been much poor interpretation throughout history. Still, as a Christian you have a responsibility to read the Word and allow God to guide you through it. As such you still need to deal with the above passages in your own understanding of creation.

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