Theistic Evolution - Is it Biblical?
Theistic Evolution has snuck into the doctrine of some churches. As such, it is necessary to address this doctrine and to truly test its biblical basis. The doctrine of Theistic Evolution stems from scientists and scholars who have taken an in-depth look at evolution and all of the requirements of it. In their discoveries, they have found that there are so many variables and minute details and without a higher being, or power, evolution does not seem to be even plausible in their mind. While I am thankful that in their studies that they can find the need for God, the even bigger question is, “Does the Bible give evidence to suggest evolution?”
“I believe that matter is, and always has existed, and that through a series of random events we are who we are today.” ~The Evolutionist
I suppose that the first step in our quest must begin with a strict evolutionist. This way we can define what evolution truly is and how it is different from Theistic Evolution. Evolutionists believe that sometime, long, long ago, that something happened and thus the Earth and all of the other plants and solar systems came into existence. Some would claim through the “Big Bang Theory,” others would not, but the key point is that there was no God involved. Just at one point in time, something started things going, so that matter collided and caused the planets to be formed. In addition, this or some other event also caused the Earth to start its rotation around the Sun.
Then organic matter began to grow on the earth into single cell organisms. Those organisms then in-turn evolved into plants and fish. Then the fish evolved into birds, land animals, and more fish. In turn, plants also evolved into the different plants that we see today. All the while, different species died due to competition (i.e. natural selection) and mutations occurred at the genetic level (i.e. in DNA). In addition, this process took a very long time (millions and billions of years). So that now, after such a long time, we have evolved enough to study of fossils, dirt and genetic code to identify the similarities that shows this through the progression of time. In addition, we can identify that this took a long time to occur due to carbon dating, potassium dating and other dating systems based on the breakdown of atoms.
“I believe that God is, and always has existed, and that through His series of ordered events, which took place over seven lunar days, we exist today.” ~The Christian Creationist
Now that you understand evolution, the second step is to understand Christian Creationism. Christian Creationism, in the strictest sense, is the idea that originally there was absolutely nothing, but God. And then, one day, the first day, God decided to create the heavens and the earth, the light and the dark and then divided the light from the dark (Genesis 1:1-5). The second day God created the firmament or a difference between the waters below and the waters above (Genesis 1:6-8). The Third day, God created land and plants on the land (Genesis 1:9-13). The Fourth day, God created the stars, the sun and the moon and all the things that shine in the sky, to make a sign of the seasons and to further divide night and day (Genesis 1:14-19). The Fifth day God created the fish, sea creatures, birds and things that fly (Genesis 1:20-23). The Sixth day God created all manner of animals and creeping thing that live on the land (Genesis 1:24, 25). In addition, on the sixth day, God created Adam and Eve and gave all things under their dominion and all plants for food for both them and the birds, fish, animals and creeping things (Genesis 1:26-31). Then the Seventh day God rested from all the work he had done (Genesis 2:1-3). Therefore, God has created everything through the word, which is His Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:1-5).
“I believe that God is and always has existed, and that He used evolution to create us so that we exist today.” ~The Theistic Evolutionist
A Theistic Evolutionist then takes what the Christian Creationist believes and what the evolutionists says and mixes them together. To do this they interpret the word “day” in Genesis as vague and not necessarily indicative of a single lunar day. They claim to be able to do this because of 2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Then, once this is done, they interject the word “day” with, as much time is needed for evolution to take place.
They also reject the idea that there was no death prior to the fall (When Adam and Eve ate from the tree that God told them not to eat from and thus brought sin into the world [Genesis 3]). Rather they believe that this death is solely indicative of spiritual death. In other words, Adam and Eve were the first to be held accountable for their actions because they had reached the appropriate level in the evolutionary processes (much like the idea of the “age of accountability”).
In addition, their justification for doing this and their belief stems from science and what it proves, and point to scriptural vagueness in order to interject evolution into it. It also stems from their rejection of evolutions lack of a grand designer. They reject evolutionists claim that there is no God because of all of the very intricate and necessary components.
Part 1: The word “Day”
The idea that the word day is vague is one of the key factors in the Theistic Evolutionist’s argument. That is why it seems prudent to start there. First, let us look at the first verse with the word day in it, “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5NKJV). Now I could go into the Hebrew and cite multiple cases of where the word “day” is used to mean a single lunar day and how many that are used to mean something more, but why? If you look closely at the verse, it does not simply say “day” it says, “so the evening and the morning were the first day.” Those words are singular, meaning One morning and One evening or One lunar day. Therefore, no matter how vague a Theistic evolution claims the word day is, or how many times they cite 2 Peter 3:8, the word day is qualified. That means it can only mean one lunar day.
Therefore, if evolution is interjected into that one lunar day all of the millions and billions of years must occur in one single turn of the earth. If millions of years were to pass, let alone billions of years, one side of the earth would freeze as the other would burn to a crisp making the planet uninhabitable. In addition, it would mean that the Earth had to speed up its spin on its axis over the course of time. Thus this alone would disprove Theistic Evolution and this can be applied to all the days where God created anything (Day 1 Genesis 1:5, Day 2 Genesis 1:8, Day 3 Genesis 1:13, Day 4 Genesis 1:19, Day 5 Genesis 1:23, and Day 6 Genesis 1:31).
Part 2: The Rain
This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the filed had grown. For the Lord God had not cause it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. 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 being.(Genesis 2:4-7)
One of the other critical elements in Theistic Evolution is the need for rain. Without it, life would not exist as it does and evolution would not be possible. However, as stated in Genesis 2:4-7, there was no rain on the earth until the sixth day when God created man. In addition, no plants had grown until the time when God brought up the mist to water the earth. Therefore, the evolution of all the animals, birds and fish had to occur without rain or plants and plants had to evolve in a very short time before Adam.
Part 3: Food
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:29, 30)
One of the major components of evolution is the idea of “Survival of the fittest” or “Natural Selection.” However, before the fall, Adam, Eve and all of the animals, birds, fish and creeping things ate plants. Therefore, Neanderthals (cavemen) had to come after the fall because they killed animals and ate meat. This means that in order for the Theistic Evolutionist’s timeline to fit Adam and Eve could not finished their evolutionary cycle to be as we are today. However, that idea goes against evolution, which says Neanderthals existed more than 300,000 years ago, but according to the timelines in the Bible Adam and Eve lived nowhere near that long ago (see Old Testament Timeline).
Part 4: Reproduction
When God created all of the plants, fish, birds, animals and creeping things, he created them “after their own kind”. That means that God did not create everything by being dependent upon something living prior to it. Rather He created all things independently from each other and so that they would reproduce independently within their own kind. Therefore, fish did not become birds, animals or creeping thing and none of the other creations became any other creation. In addition, God is very clear about the plants not being able to reproduce anything but their own kind:
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:11, 12)
So then, if God is very clear about the plants reproducing according to their own kind and the animals were all created according to their own kind, than evolution is neither necessary, nor possible at all.
Part 5: Biblical Truths
Again, the basis for Theistic Evolution relies on two things, the first being that the Bible does not speak against evolution. However, as you have just read the Bible is not vague nor does it allow for evolution. To reiterate the Bible’s natural wording does not allow evolution to fit within its creation account. However, if what I have written here does not convince you than I would have to ask the same question God asked Moses (Numbers 11:23), “Has the Lord’s arm been shortened?” We cannot forget that God is an all-powerful and all-knowing God. Therefore, if he is all-powerful, why does he need evolution to create? For he has stopped the mouths of Lions (Daniel 6:18-23), made the earth swallow men whole (Numbers 16:1-40), called forth water out of rock (Exodus 17:1-7), healed the sick (Luke 13:10-13), raised the dead (John 11:1-44), saved the entire world from their sin (John 3:16) and much, much more. If he is all-knowing, why does he need evolution to design? Is not this is the same God who said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). The same God who also knew and chose those who would be saved before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-6)? Indeed, this is the same God who knew the cost and plan for our salvation before he made Adam and Eve. Therefore, why would he need anything more than the power of His own word to create us and more than the knowledge of his own mind to design us?
Finally, the second thing that Theistic Evolution relies on is the outside source of Science. This is both a dangerous and reckless endeavor. The reason being that when we do that, we end up replacing the rock that our faith should be based upon (Jesus and the Bible) with the ever changing sand of sinful human beings and their ideas. For God, after he instructed John regarding the prophecy of Revelation said:
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18, 19)
Likewise, Moses, having being instructed by the Lord also said, “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:32). Therefore, we also should not add to the commandments and doctrines that were written in the Bible because they were written by God himself (2 Timothy 3:16 & 2 Peter 1:21) and God never changes (Malachi 3:6).
Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matthew 16:6). Therefore, I also ask you to take heed and beware of this doctrine as well. For this doctrine, the doctrine of the Theistic Evolutionist, is not from God, nor is it within God’s design. Rather, it comes from the sinful human being in us that wages against God and it seeks to strip God of his Glory.
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but to Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:14-18)
Copyright © 2007 by Peter Kucenski. All Rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version.
Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.