Responding To Nazarenes Exploring Evolution

Dr. Michael Lodahl is​ one of ​ the latest member of Nazarenes Exploring Evolution to post an essay.  For the complete essay, you can read it here: http://exploringevolution.com/essays/2013/05/20/humanity-in-the-image-of-god/#.UaZUrOsXThb

Following are responses to his article from the biblical worldview.

Consider these responses applicable to all who promote theistic evolution.  ​

You can make your own judgment as to the validity of his arguments. In the end, it seems to me that Nathaniel’s question as to allowing a debate with creationist Christians will most likely be answered with a no, or ignored.  They will not debate with creationists.

First, a few quotes from Dr. Lodahl’s essay:

“I also assume that God’s mode or method of creating is through the painstakingly gradual processes that we call ‘evolution.’

“While I do not assume that the opening chapters of Genesis compose a scientific textbook presenting a play-by-play historical description of the beginning of the world…”

“Genesis narrates to us, through poetic language and metaphorical imagery…”

“Genesis 1 does not encourage us to think of our being created in God’s image in terms of hierarchical superiority or absolute difference from all of the rest of God’s creatures.”

“Again, the point is not that these biblical texts are presenting scientific information about the world (including us humans). They need not, and should not, be placed in a competitive relationship with the natural sciences.”

RESPONSES TO DR. LODAHL:

By Gerard R. Oppewal:

I am sorry to see that you are trying to fit evolution into our theology. I believe our God does not need evolution. He’s quite capable to do it right from the start. Evolution is a heresy in too many ways to describe here. I’ll list but a few: evolution puts death before man (as we originate from a rock 4.3 billion years ago). The Bible put man before death, as God intended it.

Evolution teaches that dinosaurs became extinct long before man appeared. In Job 40:17 God speaks of ‘behemoth’ often translated as a hippo or an elephant, but: “He moveth his tail like a cedar” hardly applies to either hippo or elephant. A large dino would fit the description perfectly. Fossils of dino’s feet with human feet within have been found as well.

Breaking that law was the first sin. If there has been a slow evolution from animal to human being, there hasn’t been a single couple Adam & Eve, who fell in sin. Evolution is not a private thing, but a process that occurs within populations. So how could Adam and Eve be the first and only man and woman on earth? If they were not, how could their sin affect all people, as Paul states in Romans? If they were people among many others, how do we see the Garden of Eden?

Why was their sin a global problem and not just a personal one? If they had evolved from other species, when was the moment that God considered them responsible enough for a moral choice and able to either sin or do right? I really don’t see how the biblical message of sin and salvation can be reconciled with Darwinism. And, I don’t see that if there has been no fall as described in Gen. 3 the Christian messages of salvation, as preached by Paul in Rom. 1-5 could make sense.

 

By Peter:
Contrary to the author, I don’t think the main problem Christians have with evolution is that they don’t want to be apes. The biggest issue is not with Genesis 1 and 2, but with Genesis 3. The theological problem is that Genesis 3 requires separate creation of humans. God created men and gave them a single simple law.

Breaking that law was the first sin. If there has been a slow evolution from animal to human being, there hasn’t been a single couple Adam & Eve, who fell in sin. Evolution is not a private thing, but a process that occurs within populations. So how could Adam and Eve be the first and only man and woman on earth? If they were not, how could their sin affect all people, as Paul states in Romans? If they were people among many others, how do we see the Garden of Eden?

Why was their sin a global problem and not just a personal one? If they had evolved from other species, when was the moment that God considered them responsible enough for a moral choice and able to either sin or do right? I really don’t see how the biblical message of sin and salvation can be reconciled with Darwinism. And, I don’t see that if there has been no fall as described in Gen. 3 the Christian messages of salvation, as preached by Paul in Rom. 1-5 could make sense.

By John Henderson:

I have several problems with this essay because it is built upon a basic pre-conception and followed through with a series of assumptions, and a conclusion based on the pre-conception—a sort of circular form of reasoning. Obviously, it is not a research paper but an opinion piece. So be it.

With that in mind, I still struggle to find support for the opinion beyond more opinions. Since we are talking about the Bible’s account of creation and some sort of attempt is being made here and by others on this site to tie it into a theological concept of evolutionism, that should be the challenge—to verify by Scripture. That is hard to do because atheistic evolutionism itself is far from an exact science, being built on preconceptions and assumptions about data that are far from conclusive. It is more accurately a form of religion of its own. It never answers the essential question that asks, “What else can be understood from this data?” Therefore, one cannot lean on the broken reed of atheistic evolutionism (that is where it comes from) as a superior or even equal source of authority. The purest of “pure science” is inundated with doubts at its best—thus they use “margins of error.” The Scriptures suggest no doubts about anything. God’s Word has no margin of error.

There is no hint of an evolutionary process in the biblical record—and it is a record. The Bible is so self-evident that it can be trusted completely without reservation. Any evolutionary assumption is just that—an assumption that is typically drawn from corrupted data that is further corrupted by inaccurate interpretations. Nothing can be proved or even safely supported by assumptions.

Since this is in the context of theology, may I suggest that we rely on the source of Christian theology, the Scriptures, and measure all else by that?

By Lige Jeter:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The first verse in the Bible to me is without doubt one of the most prolific verses found in Scripture. The Torah, in the original Hebrew, never divided its self into chapters and verses as we have today. Therefore, the first account of creation found in chapter 1 and the second account in chapter 2 are the same account expressed differently for different purposes. In Genesis [2: 1-3] actually belongs in chapter 1. Chapter 2 would begin with verse 4.

In Jewish discernment certain passages portray parallel truths about God that otherwise cannot, be understood. In Genesis [1: 3] “Then God said,” carries the same concept as “God willed.” Meaning all creation was intentional as planned and could not have happened by chance. In Genesis [1: 4] “That it was good” acknowledges the will of God was “fulfilled” in His creation. This phrase repeated five additional times in the creation story. In Genesis [1: 3] God said; “it was very good” means that He was pleased with His creation and that nothing was lacking or missing. This is important in understanding His absolute perfection.

Man created as a separate creation, over animals, as an intellectual being, knowing right from wrong. Those who believe in evolution will have a difficult time explaining this. In the Hebrew, the word formed “vayyitzer” is written with two “yods;” therefore, man was created with a “Yetzer Tob and a Yetzer Ra” interpreted means capable of doing both good and evil having to do with one’s choice they make. What is interesting and worthy of note, unlike humankind, animals and creatures created, and their offspring have no moral discrimination or moral conflict. They have only one “yod.” This is why animals can prey on each other, or humankind without remorse or any guilt of conscience. Being undisputable true about animals makes the human race different, and for this reason, man is responsible for his actions and his accountability to God.

It would humble those who think themselves wise to read Job chapters Thirty-Eight through Forty-One. Here God asks Job a series of questions that only a person who was present at the time of creation could answer. Job [38:2-6] “Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who Laid its cornerstone?” Only a creator God knows.

 

By Manny Silva:

To believe in evolution, you must accept that:

-Adam and Eve were not real historical figures as described in Genesis;

-Jesus was not truthful when he talked about Adam and Eve in a historical context;

-You reject God’s account in Genesis that He created everything in six days;

-You reject the ​truthfulness of the​ genealogical account of the Lord in Matthew, which includes Adam;

-The account of the first 11 chapters of Genesis is only allegory;

-You accept that death came into the world many years before Adam and Eve, contradicting Romans 5:12 and its explanation of how sin and death came into the world;

-You pick and choose what you want to believe, instead of accepting God’s historical account at face value;

-You choose to use your own intellect and human reasoning and philosophy to validate the Bible, instead of letting the Bible validate itself;

-You reject the inerrancy and reliability of Scripture as the sole and final written authority for our faith and practice, and instead accept that the Bible has errors.

What do you believe: God’s word, or man’s word?

By Nathaniel Spatz:

I’ve heard you speak dozens of times. At a time when a seminary down the street from you is having their annual Your Origins Matter conference, PLNU will have their Exploring Evolution conference. As a student who graduated from both schools, I’ve seen such as stark contrast between the conservative Bible believing school and the one that is merely known for its “nice campus.” Much like the white-washed description used in Matthew 23, PLNU is filled with professors who claim to live their lives based on a Book they continually claim as false.

It was Stalin who said, “There are three things that we do to disabuse the minds of our seminary students. We had to teach them the age of the earth, the geologic origin, and Darwin’s teachings.” It is interesting to wonder why, in an attempt to purge God from society, that the age of the earth would need to be questioned and Darwin’s teachings would need to be embraced. It was Karl Marx who said on Darwinism and Marxism, “Darwin’s work is most important and suits my purpose that is provides a basis in natural science for the historical class struggle…this is the book that contains that natural-history foundation of our view point.”

Mao also sees a link to Darwinism, “Chinese socialism is based on Darwin and his theory of evolution.” In Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress, historian Richard Weikart writes that Adolf Hitler believed he was carrying out “evolutionary ethics” by pushing his “survival of the fittest” agenda. It’s no surprise that the Atheists Coalition praises Point Loma’s Christian professors like you ( and Darrell Falk, former President of the BioLogos Foundation, current professor at PLNU) for their work and belief in evolution.

(http://www.atheistcoalition.org/archives.html) You certainly do them a favor; you certainly resemble their beliefs.

It’s unfortunate you won’t even allow for a debate on this subject. There are at least 20 evolutionists and no creationists. If you are actually willing, I have already contacted Bible-believing Christians who are willing to publically debate the first chapters of Genesis. Will you allow a debate on what you teach? Surely, you would base your beliefs on the Bible and would have no hesitancy defending a position rooted in God’s Truth.

“​Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”  2 Tim. 3:5​

Additional Resources: 

Answers in Genesis: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v6/n1/importance-of-historical-adam
http://apprising.org/2009/08/01/adam-and-eve-literally-first-humans-jesus-created/

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2 responses to “Responding To Nazarenes Exploring Evolution

  1. Manny, this was posted in response to John Dally’s essay on “Evolution: A Stumbling Block for Evangelicals.”

    From a layman point-of-view, I am not sure why so many professors such as the “Nazarenes Exploring Evolution,” funded by the Biologos organization, rely heavily upon science to be the litany test to validate Biblical authenticity and or authority. The Bible is the only book I know that possesses absolute truths that validates itself as being the inerrant word of God throughout its pages covering centuries of time without exception or changing its claim to truth being without error. It is a book accepted by faith, confirmed by the Holy Spirit, to every believer without exclusion. To those who claim the Bible has errors, to them, I say show me one.

    Science on the other hand cannot claim this; it is simply a systematic discipline in a particular area of study repeated over and again in order to obtain information as it relates to that particular subject. Science is, often manipulated, to confuse or overwhelm by giving improvable facts to employ something or to take advantage for personal gain. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, science is not a valid test as some hold it to be.

    Darwin’s theory of “Natural Evolution,” denies the existence of a creator God, no longer taught in our schools as a theory, but as a scientific fact for over a quarter century. According to a recent Gallup poll posted in 2009, the influence of evolution and its impact upon students has no doubt affected their belief about God as these statistics show.
    Those who believe in evolution are:
    • 74 percent of post graduate students
    • 53 percent of college graduate students
    • 41 percent of students with some college, and
    • 21 percent of high school students
    Those students who have no opinion:
    • 16 percent post grads
    • 26 percent college grads
    • 30 percent some college, and
    • 52 percent high school
    What is interesting, in the poll, is the correlation of percentages related to the level of education. At the high school, 52 percent had no opinion while 21 percent believed in evolution. At the post graduate 74 percent believed in evolution and only 16 percent had no opinion. It appears the more education one has the easier it becomes to believe in evolution. The reverse is true when compared to those with a lesser education. This is a clear warning of the power of intellectual manipulation. Those who seek a higher education should beware and not be caught off guard.

    I believe one of the biggest problems in the church today has to do concerning zeal, simply put, who is the smartest. The Apostle Paul, in Philippians chapter three, deals with this very subject. . Paul tells the church to rejoice in Jesus Christ and have no confidence in the flesh. He goes on to describe himself as one who had more reason to do so. Paul came to the realization that he must abandon his past treasured achievements in the law and focus on who he was. He counted his past as rubbish that he might gain Christ. I am not against education keeping it in the right perspective to life, and it is something to be proud of.

    Take the subject of whether Adam and Eve were real people. The Breathe of life: Genesis [2: 7]
    “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
    This describes man in his actual physical process complete with a heart, soul, and mind enabling him to be a rational living being capable of love and having a close relationship with his Creator. This spiritual union with God was to be a holy communion without sin. Neither Adam nor Eve is the process of evolution seen over a period-of-time, as some suppose. They could not have evolved, nor be an allegory as some believe, given the actual time of each one’s origin. One formed from the dust of the ground and the other made from a rib equal in all aspects.

    The First Family When both originated, they were complete suggesting they were alike mutually, physically and spiritually. They were also compatible meaning companionable to each other in their relationship, which was a monogamist relation. This could not occurred by evolution. Genesis [2: 24]
    “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
    I believe that the Bible supports Adam and Eve as real live human beings created by God or otherwise why would God have a mythical conversation with mythical people in the Garden-of-Eden. Genesis [3:8-10] “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” This conversation does not fit the mold of an allegory or symbolic expression.

    (Lige Jeter)

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