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Theistic evolution is one of three major origin-of-life worldviews, the other two being atheistic evolution (also commonly known as Darwinian evolution and naturalistic evolution) and special creat...
I've noted that there is a tendency to believe that there is a great time that occurred between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, and/or the theory in which thousands or millions of years existed between the verses of scripture that describe the onset of creation. Theistic evolution, the gap theory, progressive evolution or other compromise positions are all ways that people and theologians have tried to fit millions of years into the Bible. There are major problems with these theistic views. One problem is that theistic evolutionists are attempting to use science to interpret the Bible. Essentially this is a loss of faith in God's Word not trusting the scripture for a literal interpretation where it is warranted. In my opinion, these people have responded with more faith to the evolutionary world view of science teachers and have sought a way to justify the scripture by trying to make it fit science theory. Another problem is that the Hebrew word for day (yom) used in conjunction with terms such as "morning", "evening", or a number indicates and is literally translated as a 24 hour day. After the first day of creation, Genesis 1:5 says, "And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day. So it is with verses 1:8, 1:13, 1:19, 1:23, and 1:31. These days are literal 24 hour days. Where this association is not present, the word yom can mean the sunlit part of a day (traveled by day), or just time in general (back in my day). Stick to a literal reading of Genesis and everything makes sense. If you try to make the Bible fit the millions of years opinions, you compromise the Word and open the door for further compromise. Every Word of God is pure and true. Don't waste your time trying to make the Bible fit man's theories. Rather, use the Bible as a commentary on the behavior of man, and to interpret the world's condition. Suddenly, everything makes sense.
What is theistic evolution? Like many Biblical subjects, there are many different views to almost every topic. Theistic evolution (TE) is no exception. One thing all the views seem to have in common is that God is creator and used various methods to facilitate all life with the ability to adapt to earth’s various environments. The extent of this adaptive power is the defining difference between most TE proponents. We are familiar with what we call micro-evolution as being changes in animal structure within very specific limits. Probably, the best example of this might be dogs because they are claimed to have the most adaptive gene-set of all living mammals. There are 340 recognized breeds with the potential for many more “designer dogs.” (labradoodle, cockapoo, puggle etc.) If you imagine extrapolating the dog’s adaptive features over every living creature, originally designed to naturally accomplish God’s purpose over time, you have theistic evolution. This was not a made-up viewpoint to discredit the Bible. It was the unavoidable conclusions based upon the accumulation of centuries of observations. It roots go back to the ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese and later medieval Islamic science. So theistic evolutionists, based upon ever increasing knowledge, are encouraged to see if their view can be harmonized with the Bible, the infallible word of God. To their full satisfaction, they have found this to be so. Where Theistic Evolutionists differ one with another is the mechanism for change. The most radical devout TE believe that God ingeniously preprogrammed the universe to accomplish all that we have observed. This included the chemistry of life. They believe in the common ancestry of all life forms. However, they do not believe that change is based upon chance mutations. Change comes when the environment signals the genome that change is needed. God started it with the Big Bang and has had to do nothing since which includes “creating” Adam and Eve. They believe that Genesis Chapters 1-3 are metaphorical and not historical. From my perspective, I believe that this is a fatal flaw to this radical TE view. I favor a TE view that God started the creation at the Big Bang with the seeds of the entire Universe already in place from the very beginning. The earth is the result of a very precise plan with nothing left to chance. That is the reason we appear to be the only location in the entire Universe where life as we know it could survive. However, time will tell if this opinion of mine is entirely true. During the process leading up to Adam and Eve, God through His heavenly agency, intervened countless times to insure a smooth path to the eventual creation of Adam and Eve. The intervention would require numerous “genetic modifications” to account for the millions or billions of species that have lived on the earth since the beginning. Clearly, such vast changes would involve the direct hand of God. The mechanics of such interventions by God the Holy Spirit is described in the Bible. Mary, the mother of Jesus, had to have her genes altered to give birth a male child because she was a virgin. Her genes had to be modified to include all the attributes of Jesus which the Scriptures ascribe to the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:34-35) This process explains how life developed on earth that includes the eventual creation of Adam and Eve as unique creatures just as Jesus was a unique creation. Criticisms of this form of Theistic Evolution are often based upon a misinterpretation of Scripture. Theistic Evolution gives us a good tool to successfully harmonize the Bible with the observed and experimental evidence. Young people just being exposed to said evidence as their education expands should be grateful to know that they can believe in most versions of Theistic Evolution without compromising their faith in God’s Word.
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