Believing in evolution runs counter to the Word of God
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Mr. Karl Oelke, in his Oct. 10 My Side column, attempted to answer the question, “Can a believer [in Jesus Christ] believe in evolution?”
After providing his credentials as an ordained elder of the Presbyterian Church (USA) who is “trying to live a Christ-centered life,” he proceeds to lay out arguments for his dualistic understanding of science and religion, where neither system can, nor does, speak to the other.
Once this self-made dividing wall is firmly erected, Mr. Oelke concludes that Darwin’s theory is compatible and complimentary to the Biblical narrative, declaring, “I’m very satisfied with the explanation that God uses evolution to help species adapt to a changing world.”
The paradox of a Christ-centered Christian who believes in theistic evolution is not lost upon Karl, as he asks, almost tongue-in-cheek, “How can that be?”
I will attempt an answer to Mr. Oelke’s question.
First, the Bible is not silent upon the matter of origins. It is well documented that the overwhelming historical position of the Christian church on the matter of creation has been affirmation of what Genesis plainly declares, namely that “It pleased God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost … to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein … in the space of six days; and all very good.”
Thus it can be argued that Mr. Oelke’s departure from the historical Christian position, as articulated in the above excerpt from the Westminster Confession of Faith (part of the Presbyterian Church’s Book of Confessions), is likely due to a low view of the accuracy and reliability of the Bible in part or in whole.
But Mr. Oelke, as a professing follower of Christ, must know that the Bible he simultaneously believes and doubts, declares Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. In other words, Jesus Christ is the “living Word” and the Bible is the “written Word” and both either fall or stand together.
Surely Mr. Oelke knows that Christ himself witnessed to the veracity of the scriptures in John 10:35 saying, “and the scripture cannot be broken.” Is Mr. Oelke’s disbelief of the Genesis creation account consistent with one who professes to “live a Christ-centered life”?
Additionally, Mr. Oelke’s inconsistency is magnified further by the fact that Christ himself affirms the Biblical account of creation no less than five times in the Gospels (Matthew 19:4, 19:5-6, Mark 10:6, Mark 10:7-9, and Mark 13:19). Further, Christ and the apostles all affirm the veracity of the book of Genesis by quoting or referencing it more than 65 times.
It would seem that if Genesis and its creation account were reliable enough for God incarnate, Jesus Christ, to quote and teach from some 2,000 years ago, then certainly it is reliable enough for us today and, despite modern philosophical and textual critics’ opinions, cannot be broken by the mere passing of time.
Compounding the problems of Mr. Oelke’s embrace of theistic evolution, is the fact that while Charles Darwin publicly promoted theistic evolution in his “Origin of Species,” privately Mr. Darwin preferred a materialistic explanation for the origin of life, completely independent of a God, as detailed in Aleksandr Oparin’s “Origin of Life.”
This fact underscores the foundation upon which Charles Darwin pursued his research and theories into the origins of life – not, as Mr. Oelke romantically describes as “curious people investigating the multitude of living creatures wonder[ing] at the diversity,” – but rather, in an attempt to provide an explanation for life without Jesus Christ, whom the Bible identifies as the Creator of all things.
I would suggest that Mr. Oelke take a moment and consider what his final authority is going to be in his life: the word of Jesus Christ, the creator, or the reasoning of man, the created.
It is my studied opinion that Mr. Oelke cannot honestly and consistently call himself a follower of Christ while denying Jesus Christ’s very word in favor of the theories of a man that denied him.
Gil Villarreal of New Castle, a resident of the Roaring Fork Valley since 2001, graduated from high school in Southern California, married a Colorado native, fathered three sons, works as an IT professional, and struggles to study his Bible every day and live what it teaches. He holds no degree to speak of.
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