Note: This is a long post, but I believe it is a critical one. Between this topic, the other firestorm topic these days of whether or not hell is real, and the U.N. debating if Mother Earth should have the same rights as people, the attacks on our faith these days are huge and we must be equipped to strengthen the faith of one another and ourselves. (And, yes, I finally gave in to the fact Winter is gone, and changed my masthead to a Spring one . . . email subscribers, you'll have to go to the blog to see it.)
On April 10th, 2011, Karl W. Giberson wrote a post that appeared in the CNN religion blogs, about how Jesus would believe in evolution. By Tuesday morning, April 19th, it had generated over 3,400 comments and it had over 8,300 people recommending it via Facebook. Whether it is someone saying that hell might not be forever, or someone saying you can be a Christian and reject the Bible’s words, it is amazing to me how many people will jump at anything that will help them feel “right,” or “justified,” in rejecting a complete surrender to the Bible as the written word of God, and to Jesus as both our Savior and Lord. Needless to say, this article has created a firestorm of articles, comments, rebuttals, defenses, etc.
According to the editor of the CNN page, “Karl W. Giberson, Ph.D., is vice president of The BioLogos Foundation and is the author or coauthor of seven books, including The Language of Science and Faith.” It is my understanding that the BioLogos Foundation is a group of scientists, etc., promoting theistic evolution, or the belief in evolution married with the belief in the Christian God. (I have put a link below to the article by Karl Giberson.)
Giberson’s article begins, “Jesus once famously said, ‘I am the Truth.’ Christianity at its best embodies this provocative idea and has long been committed to preserving, expanding and sharing truth.” He then goes on to talk about how scientists, many Christian, have "proven" evolution and some different “evidences” of that. After that he says, “Anyone who values truth must take these ideas seriously, for they have been established as true beyond any reasonable doubt. . . . Christians must come to welcome - rather than fear - the ideas of evolution. Truths about Nature are sacred, for they speak of our Creator. Such truths constitute ‘God’s second book’ for Christians to read alongside the Bible.”
About Genesis he says, “While Genesis contains wonderful insights into the relationship between God and the creation, it simply does not contain scientific ideas about the origin of the universe, the age of the earth or the development of life.” Earlier in the article he referred to Genesis as, “. . . a story that began as an oral tradition for a wandering tribe of Jews thousands of years ago.”
Giberson does not address the multitude of scientists who don’t believe in evolution, nor does he address all of the evidence for Creation, nor the suppression of scientists and teachers who believe in Creation (as documented in the video Expelled). He doesn’t talk about how things like love and self-sacrifice, etc. “evolve,” nor the explanation for the clearly evident spirit-world. In all fairness to him, a blog is not a place to be able to cover very much, but, unless I missed it, these things were not even referenced or alluded to in any credible form. Additionally, there is no reference to how a Christian deals with the irreconcilable differences between the Gospel and theistic evolution (I’ve posted on this before, and I will do so again in the near future). He does make two other quotes worth noting, which I’ll post here, and then I’ll close with a couple of thoughts:
“To suppose, as the so-called young earth creationists do, that God dictated modern scientific ideas to ancient and uncomprehending scribes is to distort the biblical message beyond recognition. Modern science was not in the worldview of the biblical authors and it is not in the Bible.”
“We are often asked to think about what Jesus would do, if he lived among us today. Who would Jesus vote for? What car would he drive? To these questions we should add ‘What would Jesus believe about origins?’ And the answer? Jesus would believe evolution, of course. He cares for the Truth.”
It is amazing to me how Christians, who believe in a God who can create a universe, struggle so much to believe His word about how He did it, and how quickly we feel like we must find some explanation that preserves “evidence” some scientist claims to have found. These scientists reject, without apology or attempt to preserve, our foundation of truth (the Bible), and yet we find ourselves trying to find a “theory” that meshes us and them. Is it any wonder that Jesus asked, in Luke 18:8, “. . . Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Why do we seem, at times, to give those scientists so much more credence than all the scientists who believe in the Bible and its account?
To me, it is utter error for Giberson to say, “To suppose . . . that God dictated modern scientific ideas to ancient and uncomprehending scribes is to distort the biblical message beyond recognition.” To those who hold his view, the scribes of old were uncomprehending. Well, in most areas, aren’t we all? How many of us understand, first hand, how much of how anything really works? Rather, we learn it from someone, and the wisdom of that someone makes us either comprehending or uncomprehending—depending on whether our teacher is right or wrong. So, if God is right, and His written word is true, it would, in fact, make those who reject it uncomprehending . . . and those who they claim to be uncomprehending are, actually, the ones of true understanding because they believed God.
Did you ever notice how much the Bible foresaw the attacks on our faith? There is no way to attribute it to simply “uncomprehending” scribes who would have believed it if God only said it once. They could have never foreseen the type of attack our faith and Genesis would undergo thousands of years later. Yet, the Bible clearly did foresee it. Look carefully at its wording, with an eye to see how it addresses what only God could have know we would be challenged by today.
1) In Gen 1:5 it says, “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” Six times this is repeated, once for each day of work. A clear statement against the theory that a day is longer than a real day. Why, without foreseeing today’s attacks, would that statement and repetition be necessary?
2) Ten times in Genesis 1 it talks about plants and seeds created, “according to its kind.” Why this repetition? Why this detail? Might it not be to help equip believers like us with assurance against the theories that say one kind evolves into another?
3) In Genesis 1:26 it says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’” Later, the Jesus whom Giberson says would believe in evolution says, in Matthew 19:4, “. . . Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,” and, later, in Mark 10:6, Jesus says, “But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.'”
There is no way to reconcile God’s account of Creation with what some scientists are proposing happened. But, it is to me, as if God foresaw these “theories” that would attack our and our children’s faith today, and He worded His written word with such repetition that we could, in no way, convince ourselves He didn’t mean what He said. The repetition of things in Genesis and elsewhere is so strong, it is as if God saw words like Giberson’s who writes in the blog, “Evolution does not contradict the Bible unless you force an unreasonable interpretation on that ancient book,” and then wrote in His repetition to not give you any room to interpret His word any other way . . . to not be able to come up with a “more reasonable” interpretation and still believe the Bible. So, realizing God meant what He said, we are faced with a choice, and either one requires faith. The question is, who do you have your most faith in—scientists whose theories and ideas change year to year, or God who created a universe, gave you life, died on a cross for you, and is forever faithful?