On Answering Answers in Genesis’s Question
Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis has entitled a recent blog, “Do two Nazarene professors endorse the idea that rejecting Christianity is more viable than believing Paul in the New Testament?” Mr. Ham raised the question, referring to Dr. Karl Giberson and myself, and then proceeded to discuss a scholarly article written one year ago by BioLogos Senior Fellow, Dr. Peter Enns. He never came back to address the lead question of his blog. Since he didn’t, let me answer his question here: “No, absolutely not. It is hard for me to imagine a question about my beliefs which I could more emphatically deny.”
I do, however, fully stand by this essay entitled "On Adopting a BioLogos Faith Statement." Also, to learn more, consider reading this blog entitled "On Putting Our Hands to the Plow and Not Looking Back."
The Chair of The BioLogos Foundation’s Board of Directors, Dr. Randy Scott, and I have issued this official statement regarding BioLogos’s position on biblical inerrancy, Adam, the Fall, and whether Paul was wrong about Adam. We at BioLogos continue to stand firmly behind this statement.
I also encourage you watch this N.T. Wright BioLogos video on interpreting Scripture literally.
Finally, from our annual Theology of Celebration workshop held last November, the following summary statement emerged. The attendees included some of evangelicalism’s most respected individuals.
Science and Faith
We affirm historic Christianity as articulated in the classic ecumenical creeds. Beyond the original creation, God continues to act in the natural world by sustaining it and by providentially guiding it toward the goal of a restored and consummated creation. In contrast to Deism, Biologos affirms God’s direct involvement in human history, including singular acts such as the incarnation and resurrection of Christ, as well as ongoing acts such as answers to prayer and acts of salvation and personal transformation.
We also affirm the value of science, which eloquently describes the glory of God’s creation. We stand with a long tradition of Christians for whom faith and science are mutually hospitable, and we see no necessary conflict between the Bible and the findings of science. We reject, however, the unspoken philosophical presuppositions of scientism, the belief that science is the sole source of all knowledge. In recent years voices have emerged who seek to undermine religious faith as intellectually disreputable, in part because of its alleged dissonance with science. Some go further, characterizing religion as a “mind virus” or a cultural evil. While many of their ideas are not new, these voices are often identified as the New Atheists, and scientism undergirds their thinking.
In contrast to scientism, we deny that the material world constitutes the whole of reality and that science is our only path to truth. For all its fruitfulness, science is not an all-inclusive source of knowledge; scientism fails to recognize its limitations in fully understanding reality, including such matters as beauty, history, love, justice, friendship, and indeed science itself.
We agree that the methods of the natural sciences provide the most reliable guide to understanding the material world, and the current evidence from science indicates that the diversity of life is best explained as a result of an evolutionary process. Thus BioLogos affirms that evolution is a means by which God providentially achieves God’s purposes.
Accounts of Origins
We affirm without reservation both the authority of the Bible and the integrity of science, accepting each of the “Two Books” (the Word and Works of God) as God’s revelations to humankind. Specifically, we affirm the central truth of the biblical accounts of Adam and Eve in revealing the character of God, the character of human beings, and the inherent goodness of the material creation.
We acknowledge the challenge of providing an account of origins that does full justice both to science and to the biblical record. Based on our discussions, we affirm that there are several options that can achieve this synthesis, including some which involve a historical couple, Adam and Eve, and that embrace the compelling conclusions that the earth is more than four billion years old and that all species on this planet are historically related through the process of evolution. We commit ourselves to spreading the word about such harmonious accounts of truth that God has revealed in the Bible and through science.
Last week I wrote a blog entitled, Ken Ham, BioLogos, and Calvary’s Love. In that essay I wrote that both we at BioLogos and Mr. Ham at Answers in Genesis have made mistakes in how we have worded things. I wish that Mr. Ham would have titled yesterday’s blog a little differently, but then again sometimes I have wished that I would have titled a blog a little differently too. We all make errors. However, there is one paragraph from my blog of last week that I will especially stand firm on. I doubt I have ever expressed my sentiment and wishes more clearly than I did when I wrote this:
Please pray for Mr. Ham and his ministry during these days. Pray that on matters surrounding this highly divisive issue of how best to seek harmony between God’s two books we might all draw closer to God and to each other. Pray that Mr. Ham’s great fear—that BioLogos will damage the integrity of Scripture as the fully inspired Word of God—will never be realized. We understand his fear and sympathize with his concerns. Please pray that we at BioLogos might always seek the wisdom which is from above, and that we not give into the temptation to advocate a compromise purely for the sake of appearing wise.
Please keep praying. I especially ask you to pray that Mr. Ham will let his readers know about this blog—the one that really answers the question that he posed. That, to me, seems only fair.
Darrel Falk is former president of The BioLogos Foundation. He transitioned into Christian higher education 25 years ago and has given numerous talks about the relationship between science and faith at many universities and seminaries. He is the author of Coming to Peace with Science.