Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Devolution of Theology, Part 2

I recently posted links to Dr. James Anderson's article, I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution, which is a partial-refutation/review of a book by the same title. The book was written by Denis Lamoreaux as an attempt to harmonize belief in Scripture with faith in biological evolution.

The following excerpt comes from Anderson's conclusion:

"I have to conclude that despite its irenic approach and the
undoubted expertise of its author, this book fails in its goal of reconciling biblical Christianity with modern evolutionary science. Nevertheless, it is very useful in this respect: it makes clear what price has to be paid in order to make peace with evolution, even if one takes a relatively conservative approach.

The first casualties are the doctrines of biblical authority, clarity, and inerrancy, closely followed by the doctrine of original sin; and once those are sacrificed it’s inevitable that more will follow, for no doctrine is an island. The doctrines of salvation by grace alone and justification by faith alone, to cite two examples, are intimately connected to the nature of the fall and its consequences.

The stakes are high. These are gospel issues. Lamoureux may well be correct about what it takes to accept evolution, as he defines it; but if he is, then precisely because I love Jesus, I cannot accept evolution. Fortunately, his scientific arguments put me under little pressure to do so."

I am convinced that no true Christian who embraces evolution and denies the complete inerrancy of the Bible has any idea how high the stakes are. A true believer cannot blatantly dismantle the Gospel in this way because he knows his (eternal) life depends on the Truth of the Gospel and the efficacy of the cross of Christ. Once such a person has been informed of the real issues involved, he can only be expected to repent. Any other response is unconscionable, and warrants a hearty rebuke from one's spiritual shepherd.

God alone knows whom He saves, and He alone knows the motives of the heart, so if someone claims to be a believer in Christ we ought to give him the benefit of the doubt (at least until he proves otherwise). But as a fruit, saying the Bible contains errors and stubbornly persisting in Gospel-denying doctrine gives a rotten appearance.

Personally, I would not sit under a pastor who denies inerrancy (or in more postmodern language, "questions" it), no matter how good his preaching or how dynamic his leadership abilities. I would not want my wife and children to be taught that the Word of God, which is able to make us wise unto salvation, contains error. Would you sit under such a man?

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness."


  1. People have so often said that evolution is a FACT (not substantiating it of course). I think equally strong language as in this post needs to be used to counter it.

  2. I realize that I'm commenting on a very old post. I'm curious whether you've read any Hugh Ross such as A Matter of Days. I think he makes a pretty good scriptural argument for an old Earth. (He does not question scriptural infallability but does examine intepretation of Genesis in light of other scripture.) He specifically separates old Earth belief from a belief in evolution since even by current secular geological theory the Earth is not nearly old enough for evolution to be tenable. Most evangelicals would rather put their fingers in their ears and run from the room than have an open discussion about such things but I think that the fact that Charles Spurgeon was an old Earth creationist shows that we can consider an old Earth without necessarily sliding into atheism.

  3. Scott,

    Thank you for visiting, and thank you for your thoughtful comment. I am aware of Hugh Ross, though I have not read any of his books. Last week I listened to a presentation that included his associate, Fuz Rana, who capably represented the Framework Hypothesis perspective. If memory serves me (and it is entirely possible that it doesn't), this view involves millions (or billions?) of years of death occurring prior to the fall. Although I am open to the possibility of an old earth (in terms of the planet's mere age), on Biblical grounds I would object to any view that proposes death occurring before the fall. It would mean that God created a perfect world in which death was the norm, even before sin entered the picture. That would seem to get us into a compromising theological position.

    This is why I'm still a young earth creationist at the end of the day (that is, the literal 24 hour day!). But I am much more concerned about the order in which the events occurred than the length of time involved.

    I agree that old earth belief does not necessarily entail evolution, and also agree that some Evangelicals should be more open to discussing this point.



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