Skip to comments.Mohler takes on 'theistic evolution'
Posted on 01/16/2011 4:09:10 PM PST by balch3
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) -- A Southern Baptist seminary president and evolution opponent has turned sights on "theistic evolution," the idea that evolutionary forces are somehow guided by God. Albert Mohler
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote an article in the Winter 2011 issue of the seminary magazine labeling attempts by Christians to accommodate Darwinism "a biblical and theological disaster."
Mohler said being able to find middle ground between a young-earth creationism that believes God created the world in six 24-hour days and naturalism that regards evolution the product of random chance "would resolve a great cultural and intellectual conflict."
The problem, however, is that it is not evolutionary theory that gives way, but rather the Bible and Christian theology.
Mohler said acceptance of evolutionary theory requires reading the first two chapters of Genesis as a literary rendering and not historical fact, but it doesn't end there. It also requires rethinking the claim that sin and death entered the human race through the Fall of Adam. That in turn, Mohler contended, raises questions about New Testament passages like First Corinthians 15:22, "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive."
"The New Testament clearly establishes the Gospel of Jesus Christ upon the foundation of the Bible's account of creation," Mohler wrote. "If there was no historical Adam and no historical Fall, the Gospel is no longer understood in biblical terms."
Mohler said that after trying to reconcile their reading of Genesis with science, proponents of theistic evolution are now publicly rejecting biblical inerrancy, the doctrine that the Bible is totally free from error.
"We now face the undeniable truth that the most basic and fundamental questions of biblical authority and Gospel integrity are at stake," Mohler concluded. "Are you ready for this debate?"
In a separate article in the same issue, Gregory Wills, professor of church history at Southern Seminary, said attempts to affirm both creation and evolution in the 19th and 20th century produced Christian liberalism, which attracted large numbers of Americans, including the clerical and academic leadership of most denominations.
After establishing the concept that Genesis is true from a religious but not a historical standpoint, Wills said, liberalism went on to apply naturalistic criteria to accounts of miracles and prophecy as well. The result, he says, was a Bible "with little functional authority."
"Liberalism in America began with the rejection of the Bible's creation account," Wills wrote. "It culminated with a broad rejection of the beliefs of historic Christianity. Yet many Christians today wish to repeat the experiment. We should not expect different results."
Mohler, who in the last year became involved in public debate about evolution with the BioLogos Foundation, a conservative evangelical group that promotes integrating faith and science, has long maintained the most natural reading of the Bible is that God created the world in six 24-hour days just a few thousand years ago.
Writing in Time magazine in 2005, Mohler rejected the idea of human "descent."
"Evangelicals must absolutely affirm the special creation of humans in God's image, with no physical evolution from any nonhuman species," he wrote. "Just as important, the Bible clearly teaches that God is involved in every aspect and moment in the life of His creation and the universe. That rules out the image of a kind of divine watchmaker."
Well, read the whole thing, Cynical Bear.
Genesis Chapter One
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.
4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And there was evening, and there was morningthe first day.
6 And God said, Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.
7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.
8 God called the vault sky. And there was evening, and there was morningthe second day.
9 And God said, Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear. And it was so.
10 God called the dry ground land, and the gathered waters he called seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so.
12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
13 And there was evening, and there was morningthe third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth. And it was so.
16 God made two great lightsthe greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.
17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth,
18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.
19 And there was evening, and there was morningthe fourth day.
20 And God said, Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.
21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
22 God blessed them and said, Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.
23 And there was evening, and there was morningthe fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind. And it was so.
25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
29 Then God said, I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the groundeverything that has the breath of life in itI give every green plant for food. And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morningthe sixth day.
All we really see is reproduction among interbreeding species or kinds. Walter ReMine's discontinuity systematics is a good start to understanding how the various species are organized as kinds
Wow, naturalists are honest brokers, eh? And SO intellectual! Just like the ones who have foisted global warming and ethanol debacles upon the citizenry. I do not believe in “young earth” creationism, but the idea that amoebas, through billions of positive random mutations, became men and women, is laughable. Bob
The fossil record PROVES evolution? All eveos are ultimately saying is thatwe know it all happened but we can’t replicate any of it! Cordially, Bob
I do believe that this specimen is a human ancestor! Grandpa once chased that hottie! Bob
Thats all fine and good. Oh, Ive read it many times. In fact studied it rather extensively. That still doesnt change the fact that the first thing He created ended up vohu a bohu, without form and void. Can you answer why the first thing you say He did was such a mess in verse 2? After all, everything He created after that was very good.
Which is a significant problem because the scientific method says that in order for it to be proven correct, it has to be replicable.
Personally, I think Biology would be liberated without Darwinism. Pitch all that overboard, start from scratch. I’d bet you’d see some real developments when you stopped assuming Darwin was right.
Painters need paint, and an easel. Arguing that the creation process is messy, is just how it works.
As to the evidence of a common ancestor here you go.
Traces of our evolutionary past are also evident at the molecular level. If you think about it, the fact that organisms have evolved successively from relatively simple ancestors implies that a record of evolutionary change is present in the cells of each of us, in our DNA. When an ancestral species gives rise to two or more descendants, those descendants will initially exhibit fairly high overall similarity in their DNA. However, as the descendants evolve independently, they will accumulate more and more differences in their DNA. Consequently, organisms that are more distantly related would be expected to accumulate a greater number of evolutionary differences, whereas two species that are more closely related should share a greater portion of their DNA.
I’m aware of DNA charts that attempt to show systematically that A is like B.
They assume that the shortest path to A is through B which is Ockham’s Razor.
However, they assume that A gradually became B, and that’s not really what we see in the fossil record. We see discontinuities. It’s not a straight gradual process like erosion, where over time one species becomes another. We see dead ends, reversions, regressions, etc. We see spikes and peaks and valleys.
Right. The most rigid-thinking and strident people among us include those who believe fervently in Darwinism. None of them can explain to the lay person how this theory which defies all common sense is true. Bob
So the fact that all lifeforms are carbon means that they are descended from each other? If you ran into silicon lifeforms does that mean they developed independently of one another, or does that mean that silicon based life descended from carbon based life?
DNA are building blocks. Arguing that because Arrangment A resembles arrangement B is insufficient to prove that Arrangement A descended from Arrangement B.
If you could take a sequence of DNA and show exactly how it changed over time, then yes, you’d have proven descent, but that’s not how genetics work unfortunately. Changing A, changes everything else in the sequence, like a song. The entire song is not the same when one key is pressed out of order, not pressed, pressed with a different force, pressed with a different tone, etc.
This is a bad argument against evolution, Pastor Jim. (I'm not saying that there aren't good arguments against evolution, only that this isn't one of them.)
"Things move from order to disorder" is only true for a closed system, and refers specifically to the distribution of heat energy. (Put a cup of hot coffee in a cold room. The coffee will cool; the room will heat up slightly. The reverse, where the coffee boils away while the room continues to cool toward absolute zero, cannot happen unless you input energy to the system to make it happen, making the system not "closed" anymore. (This is also why your air conditioner doesn't run for free.)
The earth's surface is not a closed system. It's always receiving energy from the sun, and some areas also receive energy from the earth's interior. If there's a net input of energy, local order can appear out of disorder. (It's what happens in a factory, for example.) It's only local order -- the total disorder of the whole system increases. But local order is all evolution would require.
That is so lame. There is a reason for the earth being without form and void in verse 2.
This is differentiation. No different then arguing that cats and dogs all have different traits.
Darwin observed the exact thing in the origin of species and postulated that the same forces which provoke differentiation within a species would force transformation between species.
The former is proven, the latter is not.
“But local order is all evolution would require.”
In order to test whether evolution can occur in a closed system, it would have to be replicated. Since it has not been replicated, until it does, we cannot say that ‘evolution only requires local order’.
Which is why the 2nd Law is still applicable unless proven that evolution only requires local order, and somehow increases general disorder in a system.
And that reason being?
I am just too perplexed about the background radiation, etc. that only took 5000 years to get to us, which means it was in suspended animation at the beginning of the universe. Is it now a static universe again, or is it expanding?
[What order does the earths biosphere gain at what cost in order from the Sun? ]
Plant growth is a process that results in a net gain in order; and that process (photosynthesis) is powered by energy (sun light) made available via nuclear decay within the Sun.
The Sun decays, and plants grow - all obediently within the laws of Thermodynamics.
It did when I was in High School and college. But since every one of their hypothesis turned out to be bogus or impossible they decided to drop the "evolutionary origin of life" and pretend that they never taught it. Classic Liberalism. Deny the truth.
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