Evolution, Creation, and the Glory of God

I’m at a creation conference that was supposed to present 3 different views of creation that are in vogue among committed Christians:

  • Young earth creationism: The earth was created 6 to 10 thousand years ago in 6 literal days, presented by Terry Mortenson of Answers in Genesis.
  • Old earth creationism: The Hugh Ross version includes both “the gap theory,” in which there’s a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and the “day-age theory,” wherein the days of Genesis one are actually epochs. He allows for no evolution, though, instead believing that God created millions of species miraculously over a long period of time.
  • Intelligent Design/Theistic Evolution: This view allows for evolution, but the speaker, Michael Behe, believes that there is evidence that evolution needed divine intervention to happen.

The conference actually presented four views, because John Lennox, the keynote speaker, said enough in his initial speech to essentially present his own rather wild and unique view. He’s a mathematician, published in peer-reviewed journals something like 79 times, so he applied his deeply logical, mathematical mind to Scripture in such a way as to find every possible loophole that any view could use to appear Scriptural.

His speech definitely made some Biblical room for evolution.

You’d think a guy like me, who believes in molecules to man evolution …


I had to throw that in there. When I mention evolution, Christians snap into a zombie-like trance and begin chanting somewhat incoherent statements about their firm conviction that there is a creator.

Yeah. That would be why I and my family picked up and moved into a Christian community, submitted ourselves to Christian leadership, opened our lives to the input of deeply committed brothers and sisters in Christ, and endeavor every day to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and prove worthy followers of our great and glorious God and Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Okay, try to hold that thought in mind, while I get back to mentioning that I believe in molecules to man evolution …

I’m a Christian. Jesus is the Word of God, Creator of all things. I wrote a really good book about that. You still with me? You may not like evolution, but we are agreed that there’s a Creator. All your arguments that our Father created everything are preaching to the choir here.

Okay, anyway, you’d think that a guy like me who believes in evolution would have been thrilled with the brilliant and insightful John Lennox loopholes.

Nope. I was a little astonished to realize that all the speakers disagree with me.

Then I looked around the room and I realized that probably every person in the place would be offended by me … not by my opinion about evolution, but by my opinion about the Bible.

But I’m ready to stand up for it.

The Bible’s not about science. The Bible is not always accurate history. It doesn’t matter a bit whether evolution fits the Bible or not. Genesis one isn’t about how God created the earth. Genesis one is a creation myth. Moses wasn’t there, and he when he added Genesis one to the Law–to the suzerain covenant he was writing–he had no way of knowing how accurate it was.

Nor did he care.

And I don’t care, either.

The inspiration of the Bible is a spiritual inspiration, and it must be spiritually discerned.

Thus, you must first be born again, possessed by the Spirit of God, and a follower of Christ before you have any good idea what the Bible is talking about.

Okay, this post is long enough. I’ll talk more about that over the next few days.

My main point is that Christians today need to beware. We are dangerously close to being primarily pharisees that can’t see or follow Christ … and worse, that don’t want to.

You search the Scriptures because you think that you’ll get Life from them. But these are they which speak of me, and you refuse to come to me so that you may have Life. ~ Jesus Christ, the Word of God

About paulfpavao

I am a church historian and pastor, but I do occasionally play APBA baseball for fun.
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8 Responses to Evolution, Creation, and the Glory of God

  1. Frederick Herrmann says:

    I disagree that Genesis is a Creation myth. I think we need to dissect it more carefully.
    Genesis 1:1 has often been taken as the Big Bang.
    The illumination of the sun before it’s appearance is coherent with Solar Nebular Theory.
    The earth beginning covered with water, after which internal pressures cause the rise of land masses, is coherent with geology.
    The volcanic exhausting of carbon dioxide followed by the flourishing of plant life is coherent with geology/biology.
    The line of creatures–fish, birds, mammals, man–is coherent with biology.
    I think with more particular analysis, you will see a coherence in Genesis 1.

    • Shammah says:

      I don’t think I could analyze any more particularly. It’s only been a week or two since I listened to Hugh Ross present his analysis of Genesis one. It’s hard to imagine a more thorough attempt to reconcile Genesis one to an old earth in a literal manner. Even more impressive though, is Glenn Morton (http://home.entouch.net/dmd/), who has reached so thoroughly into the attempt to reconcile Genesis and honest science that he has Adam being an australopithecine! I have read and considered their arguments, and the problems are more than I can live with. Worse, I think it’s a false, incorrect approach to Scripture that teaches doubt in a real God and trust in our own intellect.

  2. John Michael says:

    I looked up a name of God today that means God our Righteousness. I accidentally stumbled on “Jehovah-Shammah,” which was said to mean “God is Present.”

    I don’t know how that could be the same as your name, since it means, “ruined,” but it got me thinking about how God often “ruins” the things on which we depend, so we will depend on him, and not those things.

    Then we will need to seek and find his presence over our ideas, when they all fail.

    At least that’s how he has dealt with me.

    I’m thankful for the times he’s ruined me (and used you to do it, many of those).

    I’m much happier with his presence than with the ideas I had to lose.

    Keep ruining people’s props.

    The serious ones will be thankful after they get over their pain.

    • Shammah says:

      Hebrew has two vowels, one with an aw sound and the other with an ah sound, that are both rendered “a” in English. This allows for the possibility of Shammah being 4 words, though I think it’s only three. One means “hear” and is usually spelled shema, and the other two mean “here” and “desolation.” I’ve thought about writing a post on those 3 words. In fact, I have an outline in the notes on my phone for that post.

  3. Matt says:

    Thanks for writing. I always look forward to reading your stuff. One thing I’ve always liked about you is that you have never shied away from subjects of controversy. No, you charge in knowing God is in control and some how always manage to come out of the fray with answers that point to Christ, giving God glory. You don’t bury the facts to make your answers true, your answers back up the facts and say, Wow how awesome is our God!

  4. Shammah says:

    Wow. Sorry to hear about your finger.

    I can’t write all the books y’all want me to write. I’m still looking for someone to cull through all the short stuff I’ve written (like blogs and web pages) and turn that into a book.

    But first, I better keep spreading the one I’ve already written so there’s an audience for future books!

  5. Forgive the spelling I just got out of the emergency room.(After three hours) I tried to cut my pinky of with some Rose trimmers. Got six stitches.

  6. Maybe you should write a really good book about Christianity and Evolution. Or how its ok to be a Christian and believe in evelution. Or maybe just what is being described in Genesis1

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