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Why Must the Church Come to Accept Evolution?

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March 24, 2010 Tags: Christian Unity

Today's video features Bruce Waltke. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of BioLogos. You can read more about what we believe here.

Update on April 2, 2010: This video has been removed from our site on at least a temporary basis. For a full explanation, click here.

In this video conversation Bruce Waltke discusses the danger the Church will face if it does not engage with the world around it, in particular with the issue of evolution, which many evangelicals still reject.

Waltke cautions, “if the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cult…some odd group that is not really interacting with the world. And rightly so, because we are not using our gifts and trusting God’s Providence that brought us to this point of our awareness.”

We are at a unique moment in history where “everything is coming together,” says Waltke, and conversations—like those initiated by BioLogos—are positive developments. “I see this as part of the growth of the church,” he says. “We are much more mature by this dialogue that we are having. This is how we come to the unity of the faith—by wrestling with these issues.”

Waltke points out that to deny scientific reality would be to deny the truth of God in the world. For us as Christians, this would serve as our spiritual death because we would not be loving God with all of our minds. It would also be our spiritual death in witness to the world because we would not be seen as credible.

While Christians may still disagree with one another on some issues, Waltke emphasizes that it is important that we are really interacting in a serious way—and trusting God as truth. Testing these things but holding fast to that which is good will bring greater understanding and unity among Christians.

If we don’t do that, Waltke cautions, we are going to die. If we refuse to engage with the greater cultural/scientific dialogue, we may end up marginalized and that would be a great tragedy for the Church.

Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.

Bruce Waltke is a world-renowned Old Testament scholar, Biblical translator and expositor. He served on the translation committee of both the New American Standard Bible and New International Version -- two of the most popular modern translations of the Bible produced in the twentieth century. Waltke is a professor emeritus of Old Testament studies at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia and a former president of the Evangelical Theological Society.

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REX - #9487

April 11th 2010

It is 2010 and still Egyptian Manetho’s Egyptian chronology has not been challenged. Amazingly, isn’t it Skylark. Manetho’s chronology stands for 2200 years and few question his works. The historians try matching Egyptian history to the Dog Star Sirius instead of trying to piece together the Egyptians as they left Sumer (Shinar) and the Tower of Babel before entering Egypt. They come up with a legendary Menes as 1st king-yet we know the Egyptians were at Babel building a square pyramid. Egypt’s 1st square pyramid the Step Pyramid was built in Djoser’s time. 800 phony years between Menes and Djoser!  Why won’t Christians support the historical accuracy of our Bible? Some 13 Egyptian dynasties are phony. Take out those dynasties and the Bible and ancient history match beautifully!

Rory Roybal - #9505

April 11th 2010

Mainstream media again strains at a gnat while swallowing a camel. This is nothing compared to intense and widespread discrimination against people who believe in an intelligent Creator, as exposed in Ben Stein’s movie ‘EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed’. Evolution is not only unscientific, but is the exact opposite of science, see Miracles of God, Evolution or False Prophets?

REX - #9517

April 12th 2010

We discover the Bible records human civilization. Nations were created after mankind left Sumer (Shinar) and migrated throughout our world. Evolution deals with time and history. Biblical time and Biblical chronology can be proven, while evolution is based on theory.

Skylark - #9522

April 12th 2010

Bible chronology can be proven! History unravels evolution. Genesis 15:13-16 Amorite 400 yrs. of power. (1) Amu (Amorites) rebel against Pepi II the last 12 yrs. of his reign. (2) Mentuhotep I declares Thebes independent. Amorites invade Egypt’s delta. (3)Mentuhotep II drives the Amorites out of Egypt. (4) Mentuhotep III keeps the Amorites out of Egypt (5) Mentuhotep IV is assassinated. (6) Amenemhet I builds “Wall of the Rulers” to keep the Amorites out of Egypt. (7) Senusert I “Throat Sliter of Asiatics” (8) Amenemhet II imports 1567 slaves from Turnip,Syria. (9) Senusert II has Minoan laborers build his temple. (10) Senusert III the Amorites known as Hyksos enter Egypt. (11) Amorites build canal called Bahr Yousef (Joseph’s canal) during Amenemhet III’s reign. (12) Amenemhet IV Amorites still in Egypt. (13) Queen Sobekneferu Amorites still in Egypt. (14) Ahmose kicks the Amorite/Hyksos out of Egypt. (15) Amenhotep I wars with the Amorites at Sharuhen,Canaan. (16) Thutmose I attacks the Amorites in Syria. (17) Thutmose II too sick to reign over Egypt. Queen Hatshepsut reigns. (18) Queen Hatshepsut reigns in peace.

Skylark - #9523

April 12th 2010

(19) Thutmose III the pharaoh of the Exodus defeats the Amorites 400 years of power. (The 7-10 and part of the 11th Egyptian dynasty are a mere list of kings which do not exist. The Abydos,Egypt kings list leave out the 13-17 dynasties which were also phony claiming after Amenemhet IV died Ahmose is the next ruler of Egypt. This leaves us with the history from near the end of Pepi II’s reign to Thutmose III’s was 400 years of Amorite power) 1 Kings 6:1 The Exodus occurs 480 yrs. before Solomon’s 4th year placing Thutmose III as the Exodus pharaoh. (20) Amenhotep II, Thutmose IV, Amenhotep III and Akenaton all collect tribute from the Amorites proving their power was broken. History matching our Bible chronology proves the Bible as a historical document, while evolution still has its missing links.

Russell Rousseau - #9649

April 13th 2010

Ignore evolution and the evolutionists and they will go away.

Bill Rohan - #10549

April 21st 2010

I can’t understand how any adult rational person could consider the Bible anything other than a human document. There is something very wrong with our overall educational system because it enables so many to believe the preposterous claim that the Bible is “the word of God”.

The related debate about evolution as a scientific theory that is in conflict with Theology fails to recognize that theological statements do not qualify as knowledge. They are merely declarations with no foundation in criteria by which knowledge is established and recognized. It is very important to understand that on a fundamental level Theology is not knowledge at all.  At best it is preferred beliefs and at worst a form of social power that can readily be misused.

Jerry - #18050

June 19th 2010

Evolution is simply one system of enormous assumption and not subject to the Scientific Method. Yes, we do see transition forms everywhgere today parading as professors of science, but not yet fully developed and erect.

iconoclast - #61414

May 19th 2011

Let us pause a moment and remember a very famous case where the Church accepted the scientific theory of the moment. The geocentric model of the universe. Despite no evidence for it in Scripture, the Church began modifying it’s doctrines to accommodate this “truth” that had been established by both the observations and mathematical proofs of leading scientists. When new evidence came by and the theory was abandoned (an everyday occurrence in science), the Church (and not science) was the one left with egg on her face. The current evolutionary theories are based on unprovable presuppositions. Reasonable presuppositions perhaps but not ultimately provable. For Christians to force seemingly unnatural readings on the Biblical text to accommodate unprovable assumptions is questionable eisegesis at best. Science will eventually move on to other theories and dates and we will look back on these attempts at reconciling the true Word with the latest scientific fad with the same red-faces we wear when discussing Galileo.

Jon Garvey - #61418

May 19th 2011

There’s clearly some validity in your point, iconoclast, but as has been mentioned several times on Biologos (eg http://biologos.org/blog/christianity-and-science-in-historical-perspective-part-2/) The Galileo story is not all it is usually held out to be.

Modern myths are actually more dangerous in a historical age than ancient myths in a pre-historical one.

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