This long quote is by Albert Mohler, the president of Southern Seminary. In a delicious twist of irony, I disagreed with this position when I was a believer; now that I am an atheist, I find myself agreeing with Dr. Mohler:
“From the beginning of this conflict, there have been those who have attempted some form of accommodation with Darwinism. In its most common form, this amounts to some version of “theistic evolution” — the idea that the evolutionary process is guided by God in order to accomplish his divine purposes.
Given the stakes in this public controversy, the attractiveness of theistic evolution becomes clear. The creation of a middle ground between Christianity and evolution would resolve a great cultural and intellectual conflict. Yet, in the process of attempting to negotiate this new middle ground, it is the Bible and the entirety of Christian theology that gives way, not evolutionary theory. Theistic evolution is a biblical and theological disaster.
Thus, the vise of evolutionary theory is now revealing the fault lines of the current debate. There can be no question but that the authority of the Bible and the truthfulness of the Gospel are now clearly at stake. The New Testament clearly establishes the Gospel of Jesus Christ upon the foundation of the Bible’s account of creation. If there was no historical Adam and no historical Fall, the Gospel is no longer understood in biblical terms.”
(Emphasis mine, entire text here.)
When I was a believer, I chose not to take a position on the evolution/creation debate. It created internal conflict for me, it wasn’t relevant in my life, I didn’t know what to do with it, so I simply didn’t address it. (I know, right?) I do not believe I was the only Christian who felt this way. Which is what Dr. Mohler’s first two paragraphs are referring to. “Theistic evolution” is such a comfort for moderate, modern, science-minded, reasonable, rational Christians. However, come along on a little virtual field trip with me and see how very very far from that position a portion of the believing population is.
Gayle’s trip to the Creation Museum, Hebron, KY, October 17, 2011
I attended the Free Inquiry Group’s 20th anniversary meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. I posted about the events of the first day, and I’ll throw in a bit more about the second day in this post. It was delightful and stimulating and inspiring; exactly what I’ve come to expect from a secular gathering!
In particular, on the second day, we listened to Rabbi Robert Barr, who gave a presentation on the Creation Museum. I’ve been interested in this since it opened, enjoyed the coverage given to it in the movie Religulous, and was riveted to Rabbi Barr’s description of it. In addition to that, it was 10 minutes outside of Cincinnati; of course I had to go.
The structure is beautiful – expensive stone, spacious and open lobby, friendly staff. The first thing you notice is all the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs at the entrance, dinosaurs in the foyer, hanging from the ceiling, on the program, on the ticket. These people want you to know that they believe in dinosaurs! Why, here’s one right here…
…beside this child. This human child. This homo sapiens, Paleolithic Era child. But They Believe In Dinosaurs! They only missed it by a few million years. About 230 million. And how do they explain that? How to explain the fossil record? Just listen in to these two scientists discussing their discovery:
“Different conclusions based on where you begin. If you begin with the bible, you end up with a different conclusion.” Boy, howdy.
Rabbi Barr said that his impression of the museum is that it is a sermon. And not just any sermon. A children’s sermon, with a children’s premise: The Book Says So. There is very little science in this “museum”; just a lot of pictures of good, happy images labelled God’s Word versus negative, bad images labelled Human Reason.
The story of the flood is as important to the story as creation itself. There are a lot of panels about how the flood fits in to modern science – both Pangaea and the Ice Age occurred after the flood. There are thousands of pieces of evidence from thousands of scientists and researchers that disprove this, but remember, all of the panels refer you back to The Bible Said So.
Do I still think there is room for Theistic Evolution? I think it’s better than embracing no evolution at all; I even think it’s where most believers would land if asked. Do I think you can have the idea of Jesus and salvation and redemption without the fall of man in a literal sense? It’s not an argument I would like to spend one more moment of my life thinking about and trying to make sense of. Establish the veracity of the book; then we can discuss the contents.
Thanks for reading.