Q&A: Thank You!…And A Question

Q&A: Thank You!…And A Question

Hi Evan,

I’ve recently stumbled across your online resources from a Cross-Examined post you wrote. Your content has been extremely helpful in my “acceptance” of theistic evolution since I am both a scientist and a Christian. Also, I have a passion for apologetics and wonder how many more people would accept the Gospel message if they could get away from a literal Gen. 1 interpretation or a YEC viewpoint! Or, if they didn’t treat it like essential doctrine…

I really enjoy listening to Greg Koukl’s podcast in addition to Frank Turek. It’s clear they are both OEC, but they are surprisingly firm with discounting macro-evolution (which they admit presents too much of a conflict with Adam). I think they should read some of your posts to help reconcile that, which have shaped my personal convictions.

Finally, here is my question…How can we convince Bible-believing Christians that theistic evolution is not “Progressive Christianity” that seems to be on the rise?

It’s fantastic that Frank Turek respected your (our) viewpoints enough to post them in his blog section! I hope that other apologists will follow suit and realize what a big stumbling block this is for Christians (including myself at one point!).

I don’t believe God is trying to deceive us by forcing us to accept a literal viewpoint when He gave us the ability to discover His creation using natural laws that He created! I think this will be especially important in the future, especially to gap-theorists, which undermine God’s development of creation in my mind.

Lastly, do you have any recommendations for podcasts or content from apologists you know of that are at least open to theistic evolution?

Thank You!

I’m thrilled that my articles helped you sort this out! But of course, I need to give credit to Professor John Walton of Wheaton and College and The BioLogos Foundation, as they helped me sort all this out which I then wrote about. Walton’s “The Lost World Of Genesis One” and “The Lost World Of Adam and Eve” were pivotal, especially the latter since I’m firmly committed to a historical Adam and I used to see no way to reconcile that with evolution. Ultimately though, I give all glory to God for leading me to this helpful material. 

As for \\“recommendations for podcasts or content from apologists you know of that are at least open to theistic evolution?“\\ — There aren’t, unfortunately, that many Christian Apologists who are Theistic Evolutionists. But I can think of a handful that are; At the scholarly level – Allister McGrath, N.T Wright, Greg Boyd, D’nesh Disouza, and Kirk MacGregor. At the popular level – Myself, Michael Jones (Inspiring Philosophy), and my friend Zachary Lawson who works for Ratio Christi. Those who don’t fully embrace it but are open to it would include names like William Lane Craig, Timothy Keller, and Nick Peters (Mike Licona’s Son in Law and host of The Deeper Waters Podcast). Historically, C.S Lewis was also open to the idea, and B.B Warfield embraced it. 
 

If we include Christians of all academia and not simply those who actively defend the truth of Christianity against skeptics, (Old and New Testament scholars, theologians, etc.) the list would be expanded to include John Walton, Michael Heiser, Brian Godawa, Tremper Longman III, J.B Stump, Peter Enns, and Francis Collins. I’d recommend checking these guys out. 

If I had to pick just three people whose content you ought to check out, it would be William Lane Craig, Michael Heiser, and Brian Godawa. You can get their content at ReasonableFaith.orgwww.drmsh.org, and www.briangodawa.com respectively. 
 
I think Evolutionary Creationism is on the rise, especially among my generation (the millennials). Many of my friends in my age group are either Evolutionary Creationists or are Old Earth Creationists who are open to evolution being true but just haven’t studied the science enough to be confident in taking a stance. In any case, I believe the young earth view is in decline. My prediction is that in a couple of hundred years, Christians will no longer be debating the age of the Earth. That it’s old will just be granted as a given. They’ll instead be debating whether common ancestry is true. My prediction is that just as it took time for geocentrists and flat Earthers to shrink to a tiny minority of minorities, the same will be true of young earth creationists. They won’t completely vanish, but I believe in time, they’ll come to be seen as the fringe group they really are. And who knows? Maybe in time, evolutionary creation will spread throughout the church. Of course, this is purely anecdotal; on the basis of a trend I’ve been observing. Only the God with foreknowledge knows for sure (Psalm 139:1-4). 
 
Now, how can we convince people that we aren’t liberals? This is a tough one. For those with the same mindset as Kent Hovind and Ken Ham, nothing you say will be good enough to convince them that we’re not compromising heretics. For those of a more charitable demenor, I assure them that that The Bible is my ultimate authority on all matters of faith and practice. The Bible is the king of my beliefs. If any idea is incompatible with the teachings of scripture, so much the worse for that idea! Indeed, although I may never convince my young earth friends of this, I had to be fully convinced that evolution was compatible with Genesis 1-3, Romans 5, and so on before I would even consider the scientific evidence. In a way, I value John Walton’s “The Lost World Of Genesis One”, “The Lost World Of Adam and Eve”, and “The Lost World Of The Flood” more than books that laid out a scientific case like Aaron Yilmaz’ book “Deliver Us From Evolution?” which was heavy on the science, but ultimately was lacking in the theology and exegesis department. Though what Yilmaz does say regarding theology’s relationship to evolution is worth reading. 
 
Relationships also help wane any suspicion of theological liberalism. Those who have known me for a long time, have followed my work, have discussed theology and apologetics with me, and just spent time with me, know that my ultimate concern is to follow the evidence wherever it leads. I want truth, whether I can handle it or not, whether it makes me popular with the church or with the world or not, whether it places me in a majority or a minority. My parents, those who have followed Cerebral Faith from the beginning, and long time friends of mine know “Hey, this guy really just wants to have as accurate of a worldview as possible.” Getting to know you and seeing you live out your faith in Christ before them will likely have a greater impact than anything you say. After all, it’s one thing to say The Bible is my ultimate authority, it’s quite another for them to witness you not bend to pressure (e.g the culture’s demand that we celebrate homosexuality) because of your conviction that The Bible is the ultimate authority. It can leave a big impact in a Christian brother’s mind when you say to an unbeliever “No, I’m not going to say something is okay when the word of God says it isn’t.”
 
By the way, for the readers interested in reading the blog posts that my questioner referred to; click the links below. 
 
 
This is just a small sampling of the blog posts that I have written on this subject. More can be found on this website. 

If you have any questions about Christian theology or apologetics, send Mr. Minton an E-mail at CerebralFaith@Gmail.com. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian or Non-Christian, whether your question is about doubts you’re having or about something you read in The Bible that confused you. Send your question in, whatever it may be, and Mr. Minton will respond in a blog post just like this one.

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