googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Five Reasons Why I Reject Theistic Evolution: Part 3

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Five Reasons Why I Reject Theistic Evolution: Part 3

3) It diminishes the Person of Jesus

One reason so many Christians are ready to embrace evolution is that they don't see it as an important issue. It's the Old Testament, they will say, and we live in the New Testament era. It is the opinion of many that our belief on origins is not relevant to our salvation so let's not worry about that and just tell people about Jesus. What these same people don't realize is that our understanding of our origins has a direct effect on our understanding of Jesus.

Jesus came to fulfill the law. He said this overtly in Matthew 5:17, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. But what does it mean to “fulfill” the law? He accomplished this in several ways. A Savior was necessitated by Adam's sin in the garden. When Adam fell, he brought death into the world and death has passed on to all men because all have sinned (Romans 5:12). But even as God judged with the Curse, He also promised a Redeemer, the Seed of the woman who would crush the head of the Serpent (Genesis 3:15). Jesus fulfilled that promise.

When Adam and Eve sinned, the Bible says their eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked (Genesis 3:7). They tried to cover themselves with fig leaves but God killed an animal and made skins to cover their nakedness. This is the first recorded death in the Bible and ushered in an era of sacrifices where the followers of God would sacrifice animals as a covering for their sins. Hebrews 9:22 says that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. But the system of sacrifices proscribed in the Old Testament was only temporary; they were pictures of the ultimate sacrifice that would come: Jesus, the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The death of Jesus did away with the need for animal sacrifices. He fulfilled the Law by covering our sins permanently with His own blood.

But what if there was no Adam? No first sin? No Fall? According to theistic evolution, death is just the way it's always been and not the judgment for sin. Then what did Jesus fulfill? It would be like having the answer to a question that was never asked. 1 Corinthians 15:45 says, And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” If the first Adam never lived, what need is there for a second Adam to quicken us? The Incarnation of Jesus was only necessary because there was a literal Adam; if you remove a real Adam, you diminish the need for Jesus. One, outspoken atheist, Frank Zindler, described it this way (as quoted by William Debski):

The most devastating thing, though, that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people, the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve, there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin, there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation, there is no need of a savior. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution is absolutely the death knell of Christianity.

This atheist seems to understand the incompatibility of evolution and Christianity better than most Christians.

The other way theistic evolution diminishes the Person of Jesus regards how Jesus viewed Genesis. Jesus is Creator (John 1:3), therefore, we would expect anything He says about the creation to be accurate.

Jesus quoted from Genesis often. When asked about marriage, for example, Jesus said, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matthew 19:4-5). In this passage, Jesus is quoting from both Genesis chapters 1 & 2. He speaks of Adam and Eve as though they were real people. He also said they were created at the beginning of creation – not billions of years after the alleged Big Bang. On another occasion, Jesus mentioned Abel, saying that he'd been murdered (Luke 11:51). In still another passage, He compares the world at His return to the world just before the Flood (Matthew 24:38).

If Jesus spoke about all these things as though they were history, what does it say about His authority when people who claim to be Christians say none of it ever happened? According to theistic evolution, there was no Adam, no Abel, and no Flood. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12). Christian evolutionists say we don't have to believe what Jesus said about the creation or Flood, but we need to trust Him for salvation? It doesn't make any sense.

Finally, Jesus did not mince words when He condemned the Pharisees in John 5:46-47, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” Jesus says it plainly; the Pharisees, who claim to be disciples of Moses, did not believe in Him because they really didn't believe in Moses. It is a simple matter of cause and effect and I believe it applies even today. People who do not believe in the creation also tend to not believe in Jesus.

1 comment:

Steven J. said...

I find it interesting that you're more willing to take advice on theology from an atheist than advice on evolution. Frank Zindler, of course, takes this point of view precisely because it provides an argument that Christianity is false (since evidence from multiple fields of science shows that humans share ancestors with other species, if Christianity requires an original sinner, it cannot be true). You think he understands biblical theology better than theistic evolutionists, because he happens to agree with you rather than them; that's not quite the same thing.

I'm not sure why Jesus' work in overcoming sin would be diminished if a "sin nature" were the outcome of millions of generations of evolution rather than a single miraculous catastrophe.

To be sure, most of your post has little to do with evolution diminishing the person of Jesus; it has to do with the difficulty of reconciling evolution with repeated biblical statements strongly suggesting the historicity of a unique, individual Adam. If you can't trust what Paul says about the first Adam, how can you trust what he says about the second?

Gerardus Bouw makes the same point about multiple biblical passages declaring that the sun moves and that the Earth is fixed and immovable (e.g. Ecclesiastes 1:5; Psalm 104:5). If you can't trust what the Bible says about the rising of the sun, he asks rhetorically, how can you trust what it says about the rising of the Son? Are you sure you want to agree with Zindler that if evolution is a fact, Christianity must be a myth -- because there's quite a lot of evidence that evolution is a fact.