by Hank Hanegraaff –
Creation versus Evolution. As the debate rages, there remain those who contend that they can subscribe to modern evolutionary theory and, at the same time, believe in God’s Good News as revealed in the Bible. Is this belief in Theistic Evolution truly rational?
What Is Theistic Evolution?
Proponents of theistic evolution claim that God created man by evolutionary processes, that is man is said to have evolved from lower forms of life. If this were the case, then all life, including man and his presumed ancestors, would have been subject to death throughout history. This is because theistic evolution depends on death to weed out lesser fit organisms to make room for the development and refinement of surviving species.
However, the Bible tells us that death came about as a result of sin. If Adam had not eaten of the forbidden fruit, if he had not fallen into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what need is there for redemption? None! What all of this means is that we cannot give up the Genesis account of creation, but we could the doctrine of Geocentrism and get along.
Scriptural Difficulties with Theistic Evolution
Genesis 3 unmistakably asserts that death overcame man when he transgressed God’s command. Death, according to Scripture, had no hold on man until some later period following his creation. This flies directly in the face of theistic evolution theory. Still, proponents of theistic evolution may try to skirt these passages by regarding the opening portion of Genesis as non-historical. But such recourse can only lead them to even more disastrous avenues.
Theistic evolutionists can allegorize Genesis as much as they want, but to do so, they have to contend against Scripture itself. Paul, in such passages as Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15, clearly treats the Genesis account in historical terms and he speaks of human death as God’s judgment on sin. It was for this very reason—to answer for God’s punishment for our sin—that Christ died. This is the very heart of the Gospel. Quite frankly, Theistic Evolution, in my opinion, is a contradiction in terms, somewhat like talking about burning snowflakes.
Denying that Death is Result of Man’s Sin
But if human death were not God’s judgment on sin, as proponents of theistic evolution would have to maintain, what then did Christ die for? Those clinging to theistic evolution dogma would have to admit that Jesus lied when He claimed to die for our sins. Consequently, the atonement is robbed of all meaning, while the Gospel is hollowed to an empty shell. In their attempt to fuse evolutionary theory with Scripture, theistic evolutionists only wind up perverting God’s Good News into no news, as we remain dead in our sins.
Hendrik “Hank” Hanegraaff, also known as the “Bible Answer Man,” is a former American Evangelical Christian author and radio talk-show host who converted to Orthodox Christianity (along with his wife) in April 2017.
‘Bible Answer Man’ Converts to Orthodoxy
For an Orthodox Christian understanding of “atonement” please see Fr. John Whiteford’s article, Stump the Priest: The Atonement.