Theistic evolution

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Marcia, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Since this topic has come up on 2 other threads (and is endangering one thread to turn into this topic), I think it deserves its own thread.

    What is theistic evolution exactly? Are there differing views on it? Is it belief that God created the world and then set it in motion through evolution? Or does it mean that God just set off the Big Bang and did nothing else?

    Do those who believe in TE (theistic evolution) believe that Gen. 1 and 2 are myths or are symbolic?

    Do theistic evolutionists accept all the theories of evolution, such as man evolving from animals? :confused:
     
  2. garpier

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    There are many views on theistic evolution. They have different names and different belifs. Some beleve Genesis 1 and 2 are literal, and some view them allegorically. Still others see them as myth or even a type of parable or fable. The views vary from person to person, some coming closer to evolution, and others coming closer to creation.

    Then there are Old earth creationists who believe that Gen 1 is literal , but they see a gap between Gen 1:1 and 1:2. This gap (so they say) is of undetermined length and then there is "recreation" as recorded in the rest of Genesis 1. This gap theory was made prominent by G.H. Pember in a book entitled "Earths Earliest Ages", written in the mid to late 19th century. It was promoted by C. I. Scofield in the Scofield Reference Bible which was generally considered the Bible of the Fundamentalist movement in the early 20t century. It was this view that William Jennings Bryan tried to defend at the Scopes trial.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. Bro. James

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    Departing from inerrancy--causes a myriad of "opinions".

    Anytime one tries to make the revelation of God agree with the feeble fumblings of man one gets into serious problems with verity. Man usually only verifies that which he thinks ought to be so. The Word of God is without error. God cannot lie nor is He the author of confusion.

    Selah,

    Bro. James [​IMG]
     
  4. Marcia

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    Thanks for your answers, but I don't really want to get into old earth and young earth creationism - just Theistic Evolution.

    How can Gen. 1 and Adam and Eve be literal in theistic evolution? Doesn't belief in evolution mean that Adam and Eve were not created directly by God but evolved from a lower life form?
     
  5. David Ekstrom

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    I'm not sure about labels. I do get a bit perturbed when young earthers pretend that they are the only creationists, that a hyper-literal reading of Gen. 1 is the only reading acceptable to biblical inerrantists.
    No one could hold a more conservative view on biblical inerrancy than I hold. That being said, I do not believe that Moses intended us to read Gen 1 as if God created the world in 144 hours. I can hear Moses say, "Oy vay!" when the Creation Science people get going. I heard Henry Morris give his explanation of Gen. 1 at TEDS. I was embarrassed for him. His great proof that the days of Gen 1 are 24 hour days is that everywhere else in OT where "day" is used with a number, it's referring to a literal day. Duh! That's like saying that when Robert Burns said his "love is like a red, red rose" must be referring to a plant because every other time "rose" occurs with red, it's referring to a plant.
     
  6. David Ekstrom

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    Here's how I understand Gen. 1. v.1 is a blanket statement that God created the universe. Perhaps a reference to the big bang. The Six Days are theological. I don't think they're "long days," because the order doesn't make sense. Sun created on 4th day, and yet light created on the first day? Birds created before land animals?
    v.2 begins the preparation of the land for God's people. The land is an uninhabitable wasteland, but the Spirit of God hovers over the deep. "God said," that is, "God decreed" marks each movement of creation. God's decrees are infallible and good. The first three days are days of preparation and of separation. These tell us that God provides for us. It also points to the Law, the distinction between clean and unclean. Each of the second three days corresponds to the first three. When all is ready, God creates man. It all culminates in the Sabbath rest.
    I do believe in a literal Adam and Eve. I do not believe that Adam and Eve evolved from animals but were the special act of God's creation. But it doesn't seem to me that Adam and Eve were created 120 hours after the universe was formed.
     
  7. David Ekstrom

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    By the way, I don't have a problem with the Creation Science people wanting to believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. I can respect people standing up for a view they believe the Bible teaches. My gripe is with their dogmatism. They don't prove that their interpretion of Gen 1 is the only correct one. They assume it is and then malign those who don't.
     
  8. Marcia

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    I don't want to debate -- not yet anyway ;) -- because I'm trying to understand theistic evolution and what it involves.

    However, I do want to comment on the statement about light existing before the sun being made on the 4th day. I think this shows several things:
    1. It was a rebuke to the sun gods because it shows God is the source of and is in charge of light, not the sun
    2. It shows light exists outside of the sun, as we see in Revelation 21.23 where it says there was no sun but the glory of God illumined everything
    3. It puts the focus on God and not the sun or moon or stars, which were such a big object of pagan worship in the lands where Moses was leading everyone

    So, David, you believe there was evolution of the earth and animals, and then at some point, God created Adam and Eve?
     
  9. Mercury

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    It's a view on origins that accepts what science has discovered while asserting that God is behind it and in charge.

    God's relationship to evolution is viewed the same way most Christians view God's relationship to the weather: he made it, he sustains it, and he can use it to bring about his purposes both naturally and supernaturally. The randomness of the process in no way limits God, but it may (some TEs disagree on this) give a freedom to creation so it is more than the panentheistic idea of God in everything.

    Most definitely.

    Both of those sound more like deistic evolution. Theistic evolution sees God presently working through the natural processes he made, whether in forming a baby, causing a lightning storm, or allowing mutation and natural selection to occur. Science describes some of what God does, rather than science describing what "Mother Earth" does apart from God.

    Yes, many do. Some do this because it is the only way they can see to reconcile what God has said in the Bible with what God is saying in creation. Others do so because of the way the text is written, just as many take Revelation as highly symbolic because of the way it is written. For most it is a bit of both.

    Yes. Those who reject parts of evolution but accept the age of the universe are generally called Old Earth Creationists. Even today's Young Earth Creationists accept most of evolution (including mutation and natural selection), although they deny what it can accomplish over long periods of time. Many TEs think Adam and Eve were formed supernaturally, but in a way that maintains ancestry with other organisms.

    Accepting evolution means that Adam has ancestry with other animals. Some believe that Adam and Eve were isolated from a population of primates by God and given a soul/spirit, and that this is what gives humans the image of God. Another theory is that a chromosome fusion caused by a mutation caused a stillborn primate child, and God took this child, breathed life into him, and placed him in a protected garden. At some point, God formed a mate for this child from part of his flesh and bone.

    There's many more ideas that also maintain a literal Adam and Eve. Basically, TEs try to put together all the revelation they have, both in Scripture and in creation, and come up with something that doesn't contradict what they know to be true.
     
  10. Artimaeus

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    I looked it up in the dictionary and it said, "See Oxymoron". OK, so I didn't look it up in the dictionary but, it still is an oxymoron. You know, like...

    Government organization
    Jumbo shrimp
    Microsoft Works
    Marital bliss
    Army intelligence
    Tight slacks

    HEY!!! I just went to a website that lists oxymorons and it actually listed "Christian evolutionists" - CLICK HERE
     
  11. Paul of Eugene

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    This theistic evolutionist accepts the days of Genesis One as being a focus on an aspect of creation, not necessarily in chronological order, and certainly not representing a literal day, but expressed symbollically as a day.

    I also accept the companion narrative in Genesis 2 and following as also symbolic; the forming of man from the dust of the earth, for example, I take to be symbolic of the evolutionary process.

    I understand that before the rise of modern science the symbols were taken literally and that we lacked the means, at that time in our development, to understand the literal truth, and we live now in a transition time. Times of transition can be difficult for us all.

    I believe that God worked a miracle in preparing His word in such a way that it could be accepted by people both before and after the rise of modern knowledge, which was of course also foretold in the Bible.

    I also understand that people of various beliefs are often utterly condescending of people with differing beliefs, and we see that across the variety of beliefs within Christianity, including many examples right here in our own Baptist Board.

    But I believe that God is more tolerant than we are about whether or not we got all our doctrines "right" and in the end, He's going to ask us how we treated His son, and that's going to make the difference. And His Son reminded us that inasmuch as we have done it to the least of these, we have done it unto Him.
     
  12. icthus

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    David, you make my laugh when you claim to hold to Biblical Inerrancy, and claim to be conservitive, and yet question the Creation Account as being literal. On what authority do you suppose that the "days" mentioned in Genesis chapter one, are anything but literal?

    Answer me this one thing. After God Created the heavens and the earth in six days, the Bible says that God rested from His works on the seventh day. Right? He then instructs that we do the same in our week, work six days, and then rest the seventh. Show me one example in the Bible where the "seventh day" is anything but TWENTY-FOUR HOURS. Did God mean, 48 hours, 200 hours, one month, or one year? NO. It means exactly what it says, TWENTY-FOUR HOURS. So, for you and the likes of you, who think that they have the answers to the days of Creation, first deal with the "Sabbath Day", and then you may understand the other six days. There is NO Biblical justification to assume that the first six days were "periods of time" longer than 24 hours, and the seventh day is only 24 hours. Only if you intend to twist the meaning of Scripture, would you wish to show otherwise.

    I suggest that you guys who cannot accept the literal, Biblical account of the "days" in Genesis chapter one, to quit questioning the authority of the Bible, and humble yourselves and accept what Scripture teaches. There is NO warrant for anyone to take the "days" here to mean anything other than 24 hours.
     
  13. icthus

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    Here again you question the authority of Scripture, when you assume that the order of events as Created in Genesis one, do not fit your logic. And, how do you think that you are to question the Word of God here? If God has daid that He Created as described in this account, then on what authority do you question this?

    I see all those who cannot accept the plain teachings of Scripture, always think that they know better than what the Bible says. They are more content in believing their ignorant opinions, than the facts that are contained in the Word of God.

    Unless you guys think that you know better and more than Almighty God Himself, accept what Scripture teaches as it does, without trying to be clever and use your faulty understanding to try to explain things that you don't know the first thing about.
     
  14. Deacon

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    The doctrine of inerrancy can not be used to defend a literal interpretation over an non-literal interpretation.

    ”Inerrancy means that when all facts are known, the Scriptures in their original autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be wholly true in everything that they affirm whether that has to do with doctrine or morality or with the social, physical or life sciences.”

    “No doctrine of inerrancy can determine in advance, the solution to individual or specific problem passages. There still will be debate as to which interpretation is best.”

    I urge you to study the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy”; The quoted sentences above come from the book, “Inerrancy” (edited by Norman Geisler, Zondervan, 1980) that was sponsored by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy.

    The authors of this document were of various persuasions concerning how the creation passages could be interpreted.

    Don’t be fooled into thinking YEC holds the “high ground” just because of it’s literal hermeneutic on this matter.

    I agree that we should not attempt to mold Scripture into our own perceptions; I do believe that Scripture is "real world" and can be verified by the created world around us. We should not ignore reason or distain understanding.

    Rob
     
  15. Jim1999

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    One of the best explanations of Theistic evolution is found in Systematic Theology by A.H. Strong. It is one of the best Baptist texts on theology.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. Mercury

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    Hebrews 4:1-6 seems to equate the seventh day with the rest spoken of in psalm 95. Further, this is a rest that we can enter today, if we don't fall short of it.
     
  17. Bro. James

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    Gen. 1:5,"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." AV-1611. Cf. vss. 8,13,19,23,31. See also 2:1-3.

    What part of this needs allegorization? I recall an evening and a morning yesterday and there was a morning so far today. If the Lord gives us enough heartbeats, we will see an evening.

    Other than the way the Jews and the Romans start the clock, it is still a 24-hour day folks--always has been.

    One has to ignore a lot of real plain revelation to contend that God used evolution to get us where we are today.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  18. just-want-peace

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    Amen, Bro. James, amen!

    The bottom line is who do you trust, God or man?

    If an archeologist found the remains of SETH (Gen 5:8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.) how old would science determine him to be at death?

    Obviously no scientist would admit that he determined SETH to be 900+/- YO, as he would be laughed out of every research facility in the country.

    I submit that the age at death would be estimated at somewhere between 80-100 YO, as that would fit very nicely into todays paradigm, and the typical lifespan of modern folk.

    I also conntend that todays science interprets the evidence the same way; IE what's "normal" today! This is fine as far as it goes, but by doing so there could very possibly be a total MIS-INTERPRETATION of the TRUE facts just as in the hypothetical "SETH" scenario.

    One of the prominent complaints against the Young Earthers is their rigid adherence to the literalness of scripture.

    Well my biggest beef with the Old Earthers/Evolutionists is that they refuse to accept that they are simply interpreting the evidence differently, and their's is a belief-by-faith same as the YEs.

    So, it boils down to my first statement, "The bottom line is who do you trust, God or man?"
     
  19. icthus

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    Hebrews 4:1-6 seems to equate the seventh day with the rest spoken of in psalm 95. Further, this is a rest that we can enter today, if we don't fall short of it. </font>[/QUOTE]This does not say that the sabbath day, the day of rest was ever more than 24 hours. Is this the best that you can do?

    Tell me, is there a example in Scripture, where the phrase "evening and morning", ever refers to a "long period of time", and not twenty-four hours?

    If the days of Genesis chapter one are not literal 24 hour days, then why was the Hebrew "yom" used, and not "olam", which does mean "a long period of time"?
     
  20. Magnetic Poles

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    False dichotomy error. There are other possibilities:

    Trust God
    Trust Man
    Trust Man's interpretation of God
    Trust a denomination's interpretation of God
    etc
    etc
    etc
     

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