Nazarene Scholars Continue To Undermine Belief In God’s Word With Evolution’s Lie

“Theistic evolution is a concept being taught in many “evangelical” seminaries and colleges today. It is an idea that comes straight from the pit of hell. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that the Bible contains lies and myths, and that Adam and Eve were allegorical figures. If you teach and promote theistic evolution, you are calling God a liar. There is no middle ground here.”

This is my first article in almost two months, but I’m afraid things are just as bad as it was since my last post; the status quo in most of the evangelical denominations has not changed; and the Nazarene church is still in bad shape, notwithstanding any rosy reports from the General Superintendents or other leadership. Compromise seems to be the underlying principal for these religious leaders for quite some time now. Independent thought and true leadership is a thing of the past, as these General Superintendents continue to speak with one voice, or not speak at all, regardless of the truth.

In fact, the reluctance of the Generals to inform tithe-paying members about any details of the developing Nazarene Publishing House scandal, is a scandal and a moral and ethical failure in and of itself. I await further information before writing fully on this situation, but I can tell you that even those at NazNet (a Nazarene discussion site) who oppose us and disagree that there is a rebellion against God’s word within the church, are concerned and outraged at the continuing secrecy within the General Board regarding the financial debacle at the Publishing House. This link will take you to a discussion on NazNet that has broken all viewing records at that website, for any topic previously.

But let me alert you (again) to a further scandalous debacle that has been going on for a while now, and that is the promotion of theistic evolution in the church as an acceptable view of how we were created by God. The promotion of evolution by theology professors and other scholars, as well as by college and seminary presidents and district superintendents, goes to the heart of the problem in the Church of the Nazarene today. What is that problem? It is simply this: that men in the church are now standing on a foundation built on their wisdom and knowledge, rather than on the foundation of the teaching of God as written in His word. Selective belief in some scripture, while rejecting other parts, is the philosophy of these so-called “learned men and women”, even if they don’t state it overtly.

And now to show that it looks like the danger is worse than we thought. The group Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, lead by Tom Oord, professor of religion at Northwest Nazarene University, recently conducted an online survey. It involved the questioning of two demographics- a sampling of Nazarene laypeople, and a narrower sampling of Nazarene college scholars. Both results look pretty bad, and serves as a continued and even louder warning to parents who love their teenagers and want them to have a solid education that is grounded in truth. They will no longer be guaranteed to have that at any Nazarene university or college, including any of the seminaries.

Well known college presidents such as Dan Boone of Trevecca are fueling the advancement of the anti-biblical notion that man was created over millions of years of random evolutionary processes. Others pushing this godless idea which clearly contradicts the Biblical account include theological intellectuals like Al Truesdale, my former Greek New Testament professor; Scott Daniels, pastor of Pasadena First Church; retired professor Robert Branson; Kerry Fulcher and Mark Mann of Point Loma; Mark Winslow of Southern Nazarene; District Superintendent Stephen Borger; Carl Leth, Dean of Theology at Olivet Nazarene; Mark Maddix of Northwest Nazarene; Henry Spaulding, Mt. Vernon Nazarene President; theologian Rob Staples; and quite a few more “learned men and women”, who can be found at the Nazarenes Exploring Evolution site. These people are all responsible for helping indoctrinate countless students with theistic evolution, and their furtherance of this godless idea will lead to them being held accountable by God someday.  They need to repent, or they need to be removed from their positions of authority over our students.  Many of them have also been pushing the emergent church teachings. And do you wonder why so many young people are walking away from the church? Why wouldn’t they, when they are taught that they cannot trust God’s word?

In his article Poll Shows Nazarene Scholars Embracing Evolution, Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis summarizes the survey results:

Overwhelmingly, scholars at Nazarene institutions believe:

1) that the Bible does not require a belief in a young earth (nearly 95%)
2) that the Bible is compatible with evolutionary ideas (82%)
3) that science has established that the world is billions of years old (nearly 86%), 4) that human evolution is true (67%)
5) that the Nazarene church should consider theistic evolution as a valid alternative to biblical creation (87%).”

Those are very disturbing statistics, and the numbers for the first four questions, which were also posed to Nazarenes in general, were almost as ominous. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that the Bible contains lies and myths, and that Adam and Eve were allegorical figures. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that the Jesus was not truthful when he referred to Adam. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that sin and death did not come into the world through the disobedience of Adam, as written in Romans chapter 5.

So let’s be clear: if you teach and promote theistic evolution, you are calling God a liar. But it seems it will only get worse, and Bible-believing Christians will have to decide whether a secular college will be less dangerous to their children’s spiritual wellbeing than a “Christian” college or university. This whole bunch are some of the most dangerous people professing to be Christians today, and any parent sending their children to a Nazarene university or seminary today is literally gambling with their child’s spiritual health.

Dr. Ham, who has spoken out about and exposed these issues more than most Nazarenes have, went on to comment:

“This is clear evidence that a major denomination is teaching young people that they can’t trust the Bible when it comes to Genesis 1–11 and that fallible man can reinterpret God’s Word—thus man is the authority and not God.”

I agree. These men and women are a disgrace and not one of them should be in a position of authority that they are in, because they are misleading many.  The failure of the Nazarene General leadership in even attempting to right the ship makes them just as culpable, because they are allowing the erosion of Biblical standards by doing nothing- which seems to be all they are willing to do.

 

Addendum

What follows is the statistical report of both surveys, which are from the BioLogos website. (http://biologos.org/blog/nazarenes-on-evolution).   I found it very discouraging; you are free to make your own conclusions and decisions.

Poll of Nazarenes on Evolution

Question 1: Genesis and other biblical texts require Christians to believe the earth was created less than 15 thousand years ago.

Q1a

Question 2: The Bible can properly be interpreted as compatible with the theory of biological evolution.

Q2a

Question 3: Geology, astronomy, and physics have established that world is billions of years old.

Q3a

Question 4: Humans likely became a species as God worked with the biological evolutionary process.

Q4a

Among other things, this poll suggests that more Nazarenes today feel comfortable with evolution.

 

Nazarene Scholars on God Creating through Evolution

Question 1: Genesis and other biblical texts require Christians to believe the earth was created less than 15 thousand years ago.

q1

Question 2: The Bible can properly be interpreted as compatible with the theory of biological evolution.

q2

Question 3: Geology, astronomy, and physics have established that the world is billions of years old.

q3

Question 4: Humans likely became a species as God worked with the evolutionary process.

q4

Question 5: The Church of the Nazarene should allow the theory that God creates through evolution as one acceptable view of creation among others.

q5

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Nazarenes Exploring Evolution: Spreading Evolution’s Lies, Rejecting God’s Word

“These men are dried-up springs, mere clouds driven by a storm. Gloomy darkness is reserved for them.”  2 Peter 2:17

Evolution is a farce.  It is unprovable.  It is at best a hypothesis, and not even rises to the level of a theory.  It is not based on the scientific method of provability.  And one of its most amazing assumptions, that some living things amazingly transitioned to a totally different living thing (such as fish to mammal), does not have one shred of evidence and has never been observed to have happened.

Yet, it seems Nazarenes Exploring Evolution are trying their best to turn the Nazarene denomination into one that first and foremost holds to the false and unfounded teachings of the religion of evolution, while grudgingly letting faithful Bible-believers hold on their “silly” notion that the Bible does mean what it says when God explains creation in the book of Genesis.

The latest indication of a corrupted mind comes from a recent article written by Mark Maddix, Professor of Practical Theology and Discipleship at Northwest Nazarene University.  In an article titled “Evolutionary Theory and Moral Development”, he gives further proof that the Nazarene universities are a breeding ground for false teaching, and are a “great” place to send your child if you wish to have his or her faith shattered by the time the graduate.  Northwest Nazarene is clearly near the top of the list of the worst, along with Point Loma and the Nazarene Theological Seminary, yet we cannot recommend a single Nazarene university today that is holding true to biblical principles, and that has not fallen for the emergent ideology and the “spiritual formation” programs which are corrupting our youth.

Dr. Maddix is also known for his promotion of contemplative spirituality (the true name of spiritual formation).  At General Assembly this year, he led a presentation which ended up promoting the usual forms of contemplative spirituality that has so infected practically all Christian universities today.  When I stood up to challenge him on his premise that Roman Catholics believe the same way we do, we could tell that he was not only steadfastly defending that position, but that he and his colleague were wrong on the side of history, claiming that the Bible came from the Roman Catholic Church.  These are the kinds of dangerous things being allowed by the General Superintendents and the board of directors at these schools.

In his article, Maddix says this:

 “Growing up in a Christian home, evolution was only referred with negative connotations. I was taught that evolution was an atheistic theory which undermined the authority of Scripture in general and specifically Genesis 1 and 2.”

So in his early years, he was taught the right thing.  Evolution is an atheistic theory, it has never been close to being proved and cannot be proved with any facts whatsoever.  So what made Dr. Maddix change his mind?  Was it compelling evidence from Holy Scripture?  Sadly, no.  His authority is not the Bible, as is evident now.

He goes on to say that when he went to a Christian university, that is where he changed his mind.  He was persuaded, not by God’s word, but by the words of a professor.  He believed the professor who said that “the author of Genesis, probably not Moses, (that created another anxiety) had no understanding of modern science and was writing to show God’s relationship with God’s creation.”   So then Maddix explains that “His explanation changed the course of my understanding of the creation-evolution debate and helped me understand Genesis 1 and 2 as theological not scientific.”

He then goes on to tell how he subsequently became confused by a young earth creationist’s explanation of our origins.  He then stayed confused until a biology professor “affirmed his belief in evolution by stating that Darwin’s theory was the best way to explain how God created the universe.”  He accepted the professor’s explanation that “”Believing in evolution does not reject Scripture, since Scripture was not written for such purposes.”  Dr. Maddix goes on the state that “My Christian liberal arts education provided me with a clearer understanding of a Wesleyan view of Scripture, particularly as it related to the creation accounts and a view of creation that could include evolution.”

Hath God Said?

Thus he bought into the lie, and thus that is where he is now.

You must read on through his entire article in order to appreciate the kind of thinking that is causing great harm to Christian students in our universities.   A other quote by Dr. Maddix:

“In my search for understanding how persons grow and develop morality, I first asked whether humans are born with the capacity to know what is right or wrong (nature), or is morality shaped primary by our environments (nurture).”

He is searching for answers, but he seems to not search in the right place.  His search for understanding can only fully be fully arrived at in the pages of the “great book” as John Wesley called it.  As he and others distort the history of John Wesley for their purposes, they forget that John Wesley believed entirely in the complete inspiration of Scripture, and that it has no error whatsoever.  And therein lies the problem.  They do NOT believe that the Bible is God’s word.  They pick and choose and decide for themselves what the Bible says, not what it really says.

Dr. Maddix concludes:

“Evolutionary ethics does not contradict a Biblical view of human persons Instead it provides a scientific explanation for how God created humans with the capacity to be moral, and through our environments, we grow and develop morally.

How truly sad.  How pathetically sad.  Yet he will answer to God for the damage he is causing.  But Dr Maddix is not alone; he is but one example of the many members of Nazarenes Exploring Evolution who are causing great harm today.  One is a former professor of mine in Greek New Testament.  Another is Tom Oord, also from NNU, who also promotes such false teachings as process theology and open theism.  Another is Dr. Dan Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene University, one of the most dangerous and influential men in the denomination today.  It is a long list of “learned men and women” who cannot seem to accept the plain taught facts of Scripture.

As I wrote in a previous article:

Believing in evolution means you must accept that, among other things:

-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 the book of Luke, 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 any 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 and is written deceptively.

Quoting a friend who recently commented on Maddix’s article: “What was it someone said to Paul, “Great learning has driven you mad.”  This fellow, like many in our universities, has had Christianity educated out of them.  So sad.”

Well, we know that Paul certainly was not mad, as he was clearly preaching and teaching the truth.  He himself claimed that the words that came from him were “not man’s word, but God’s words.”  Dr. Maddix and his friends do not believe the Bible is God’s inerrant word, and until they accept God’s word for what it teaches, they will be lost like a ship in the storm.

Related Articles:

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/prominent-nazarenes-reject-gods-word-and-promote-ungodly-evolution/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/what-they-believe/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/square-peg-nonsense-in-false-theology/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/responding-to-nazarenes-exploring-evolution/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/you-say-toe-may-toe-i-say-toe-mah-toe/

Square Peg Nonsense in False Theology

In the following guest article by John Henderson, he discusses a recent Nazarene pastoral training conference conducted by Dr. Al Truesdale, and material Truesdale used including a document by theologian Robert Branson.  In a previous post, I refuted Dr. Truesdale’s continuing attempts, along with others, to re-write history and say that Nazarenes were never fundamentalists.  Truesdale was my former Greek New Testament professor at ENC and was an excellent instructor, but he has it all wrong in the matter of scriptural inerrancy and John Wesley’s position on it.  The material from Dr. Branson is also very suspect and does not make any biblical sense, as John points out.  It is no surprise that both men are members of Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, which is trying very hard to make the heretical belief in evolution the de facto, unofficial position of the Church of the Nazarene.  We clearly need more theologians who are true to the Bible, and not their own imaginations.  Rev. Henderson has asked us the proper question here: How absolutely foolish can it become? 

Square Peg Nonsense in False Theology

Oct. 7, 2013, By John Henderson

How absolutely foolish can it become?  If the emergent movement ever beats folks such as I, it will be that they wear us down with foolishness, but never by reason or evidence of truth.  I came across what seemed to be a handout of sorts and assume it was at the recent pastoral training conference for the Nazarene’s Tennessee District conducted by Dr. Al Truesdale.

I actually came across two documents from that event.  One was Truesdale’s outline of his presentation wherein he appears to have attempted to trace the idea of “fundamentalism” historically by tying it into the John Darby movement of a pre-tribulation rapture and Calvinism.  I had received a notice of the event from the district office and responded politely that I could demonstrate historically that Nazarenes were traditionally fundamentalists right along with the Calvinists.  Also, the Church of the Nazarene does not take an official stand on the theories of millennialism but allows all three and their variations.

It seemed, from the outline, that Truesdale was attempting to teach that Nazarenes and John Wesley were never “fundamentalists.”   I do not wish to actually address that issue here because the idea is well-refuted in other places and I think I have dealt with it enough for the moment.  It is the second document that concerns me and I am puzzled that it would have been included in the presentation for any reason without rebuttal by the presenter, unless he supports its assertions.

It is a short document by Robert Branson, Emeritus Professor of Bible Studies, Olivet Nazarene University, August, 2013.  It is titled:  “A Day In the Wilderness (An Illustration of ‘accommodation’ in the Bible).”

It is presented in an imaginary setting of Moses entering the tent of meeting where he uttered a casual “Good morning, God.” And there was a table with parchments and pens.  God told Moses to write how He had created the universe.  I quote:

“’Before time and space began, before anything existed, thirteen billion years ago, I formed a singularity of tightly compacted energy and matter.  In three-thousands of a second it exploded sending energy and matter in all directions.  Time and space began.

“’I commanded gravity to collect the matter into billions of galaxies of stars.  The angels watched as giant red stars such as VY Canis Majoris and white dwarfs such as Siri​us B burst forth​ in light.  They were astonished as subatomic particles such as quarks formed hydrons such as protons and neutrons.

“’I shaped planets out of the remnants of stars and gave particular attention to the one I called Earth.  Four and half billion years ago it was a ball of molten lava which soon cooled.  Out of its toxic methane environment I caused the first living cells to form.  Then a little over two billion years ago blue-green algae formed and began to free oxygen into the air.  A billion years later invertebrate animals evolved and then vertebrate animals.  The Earth was alive with plant and animal life.  The oceans were filled with fish of every kind and description.  Soon humans would appear.’

“’Moses, are you getting all this down.  The parchment looks empty.’

“’Forgive me, God.  I have a question.’

“’Yes?’

“’What’s a billion?”

“After a few seconds of silence, God said, ‘Hmmm.  Get a clean sheet of parchment and write down these words.’

“’In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and…’”

It is extremely difficult to respond to utter foolishness, but I will try.

First, the imaginary setting is plagued with both scientific and theological errors.  The casual meeting between God and Moses is irreverent towards God.  That may have set the tone for the outlandish dialog that followed.  Compared to God, man is certainly not bright but the punch line seems to say that we are too dense to understand what an “educated” scientist easily grasps so God had to resort to a simplistic summary of sorts, knowing that we would manage to misinterpret it with fictional concoctions.

Not only does Dr. Branson need to revisit the Scriptures, but he should consider either getting his scientific data straight or leaving it to those who really understand research and discovery—the only thing “science” can actually do.

This is an anemic and silly attempt to promote the demonic doctrine of creation by evolution—a concept that the atheistic evolutionists reject.  In other words, phony theologians have bought into the atheistic ideas of evolution but vainly try to rationalize beyond reason to force-fit it into a wild idea that God was somehow behind it all.  Dr. Truesdale’s Square Peg  book was part of his presentation.  Talk about a square peg in a round hole, however, Dr. Branson’s attack on revelational truth takes the prize cake.  I wonder why it was part of the presentation.  I have one question.  How far is one willing to go to reject the plainness of the Scriptures?

Resource:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/10/20/debate-finally

You Say Toe-May-Toe, I Say Toe-Mah-Toe

(By James Scullin)

I once had a conversation with a pastor concerning Article IV of the faith:

“We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New  Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.”

I asked if we believe in plenary inspiration, why the reluctance to state the Bible was inerrant throughout. He replied that he preferred the term infallible, that is the Word of God cannot fail. According to the dictionary, infallible and inerrant, in their primary meanings, are synonymous. It is the secondary use of infallible, incapable of failure, that the pastor preferred.

But is the infallibility also limited to matters of salvation?  It would appear so.  Consider these statements:

 

“The “science” in the Bible poses especially difficult problems that call out for editing, or at least supplementary reflection.”

 

“The creation story in Genesis, to take the most important example, is embedded within an ancient worldview that contains primitive scientific ideas that we have rejected.”

 

“The first verse of the Bible – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” — claims that the earth was created at the same time as the “heavens.” We know, however, that the universe is billions of years older than the earth. Humans were created within a few days of all other life-forms according to Genesis, but we know, for example, that life existed for billions of years before we arrived on this planet.”

(Karl Giberson from a Huffington Post article:  If Only We Could Edit the Bible)

 

Dr. Giberson teaches writing, and science-and-religion in the Cornerstone Program at Stonehill College, formerly a professor at Eastern Nazarene University.

How Dr. Giberson “knows” what happened billions of years ago is beyond me. Knowledge requires a firsthand account by an eye witness; clearly an impossibility for Dr. Giberson. The Holy Spirit, who inspired the writing of the Genesis account, is an eye witness, but His testimony is being rejected. That rejection carries a judgment that the Bible fails to get the facts correct concerning creation. This is admitted by Trevecca University President Dan Boone, at exploringevolution.com, Nazarenes Exploring Evolution. He states, “Sadly, we have determined that Gen. 1 is the factual story of the creation of the world.” He also says, “So while we believe God to be the Creator of all things, Gen. 1 is not necessarily the story of material creation.”

If not, then why should we believe any of the rest of the Bible, including what it has to say about salvation? This is of special significance, since the Bible tells us it was due to the actions of the first created man and woman that we need a savior.

 

Brent Strawn, Chandler School of Theology, Emory University, has this to say on Nazarenes Exploring Evolution:  “Evolution-the-scientific-theory is a well-established fact in scientific literature for how biological life grows and develops; evolutionism-the-religion is a non-scientific but heavily philosophical and theological deduction from science to argue that, given evolutionary processes, natural selection, random mutations, and so on and so forth, there is no God, no Creator, no purpose in life, etc.”

In other words, evolution is fact, denying evolution is an opinion-based religion that seeks to deny the facts. My first question is how can a theory be a well-established fact? Secondly, there are scientists who disagree with evolution, isn’t Strawn ignoring their facts?

And there is theological fallout from denying the creation account.  Romans 5:12 declares, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”: (KJV) This is undeniably a verse pertaining to salvation, and it informs us that death entered the world because of the sin of one man. It was the sin of man, not a lesser being. It was death, both physical and, for man, spiritual, and not just the death of man. This is the first death for animals recorded as well; God killed an animal to provide covering for Adam and Eve. If man was the result of billions of years of evolution, death was in the world long before the sin of man. If evolution is true, then this verse, which pertains to salvation, is a lie. You simply cannot pick and choose what is reliable and true from the Bible.

I will gladly accept Scripture by faith as opposed to accepting “scientific facts” that are actually faith-based as well. Man cannot replicate the evolutionary process to prove his “facts.” Man was not present at the onset of humanity on the planet.  The only fact man can point to is that man exists. Enough of the flaunting of degrees telling me I must believe what I am told because I do not have a degree in physics, or biology.

The pastor I spoke with went on to say that only the original manuscripts were inerrant throughout. I believe he more correctly believed that we do not know if we have any perfect copies of the original manuscripts. For instance, examination of early manuscripts shows some text in the New Testament appeared as marginal notes in some copies of a document, and were incorporated into the body of the document in other copies. I have heard of an example from one of Paul’s letters, where a copyist saw Paul refer to Jesus in one part, Christ in other, and Christ Jesus in yet another. The copyist made all references the same. Do we have a perfect copy? No. Do we still have an inerrant copy? Certainly.

Playing the infallible card declares the Bible less than perfect, but perfectly effective, nonetheless. But how can that be, when throwing away the Genesis creation account undermines the need for salvation?

Jesus did not throw away man being created. Matthew 19:4 “And he answered and said unto them, Have you not read, that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female” Nor does the Genesis account reflect evolution. The formation of Eve from one of Adam’s ribs is explicitly stated. Why would we not be given the facts if man evolved from a lesser life form? Instead man and animal are shown as distinct formations. Genesis 2:19 refers to animals being formed. Genesis 2:7 refers to man being formed. Our English translations simply use “formed” in both cases. The Hebrew way-yi-ser is spelled with an extra yodh when speaking of man. It has been posited that this implied the ability to experientially comprehend morality; a trait the animals lacked, a moral awareness that reflected the image of God. Morality was instilled by God, not survival training.

Where does rejecting a Bible that is inerrant throughout, that says what it means, and means what it says, take us? In The Death of Jesus Historically Contingent or Divinely Ordained? A Paper Presented to the Thirty-Sixth Annual Meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society by Jirair Tashjian, Tashjian says, “Again, it is not that God demands the death of Jesus as a penalty for sin. It is rather that Jesus comes to the realization that his faithfulness to the kingdom of God will likely mean his own death. Rather than mandated by God, the death of Jesus is the result of the conflict that the kingdom of God creates in the  world. Jesus will drink the bitter cup if that is the only way he can remain faithful to the kingdom of God. In this way, then, Jesus understands his own death to be not only for himself but also for others. It is “a ransom for many because the power of the kingdom of God is unleashed in the world and will transform history.” Tashjian is a professor of New Testament at Southern Nazarene University.

How can we get to a point where the blood of Jesus is not because of His substitutionary death on the cross? How do we get to a point where it is only the lifestyle of Jesus we need follow? Has it not been because of an erosion of respect of God’s Word? Has it not been because of a decrease in faith in God’s Word? Has it not been because of buying into what man “proves”, whereas the Bible asks for that faith? In some cases, has it not been because some prefer the ways of man?

How long before all of the Bible is rejected and the cry becomes, “You say infallible, I say inerrant; let’s call the whole thing off.”

 

​Jim Scullin​

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/