Is theistic evolution compatible with the Christian faith?
On February 4, Ken Ham, founder of creation science organization Answers in Genesis, debated famous scientist and children’s television host Bill Nye “the Science Guy” on the question “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?”
One of the points Bill Nye repeatedly asserted during the debate was that one could be a religious person, even a Christian, and still accept evolution. He claimed this was the position of millions of religious people throughout the world and that it is only be a small minority of believers who would hold a six-day creation. The view combining evolution with belief in a Creator is called theistic evolution. This view is extremely widespread and popular today since it purports to allow people to agree with the majority view of today’s scientific community while at the same time holding to their religious beliefs.
While it is possible for a person to believe in Jesus as their Savior from sin and also agree with evolution, such a view undermines the authority of the Bible as a whole and undercuts important teachings of the Bible.
According to evolution, lower forms of life mutated into higher forms of life over untold millions of years. In the evolutionary system, it is the fittest forms that survive. Evolution requires death, millions of years of it, before human beings even appear on the scene. Importing God into the picture, as theistic evolution does, makes death the very means by which God created everything.
It is at this point where theistic evolution parts ways with the teachings of the Bible. The Bible tells us that mankind did not appear on the scene millions of years after the earth formed but was created on the sixth day (Genesis 1:26-31). Jesus says, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4). Not only does theistic evolution run counter to the account in Genesis 1, which says that God created the world in six days, which were time periods consisting of evening and morning, but also impinges on the very reason why Jesus came into the world to be our Savior. The Bible teaches that death is “the wages of sin” (Romans 6:23). The Bible explains that death came into the world as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve. In other words, there was no death before sin came into the world. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). It is for this reason that God sent Christ into the world, to destroy the power of sin and death. “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
If, as theistic evolution teaches, death and evolution are what God used to create, then death is not the “last enemy” (1 Corinthians 15:26) nor is it the “wages of sin” (Romans 6:23). If that is the case, what becomes of Jesus Christ, whose purpose in coming into the world was to “break the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14, Romans 6:10) and pay the penalty for our sins? As you can see, compromise in this one area, namely creation, undermines the basis for the central teaching of all of Scripture, that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again to pay for the sins of the world. Theistic evolution is incompatible not only with the Genesis creation account, but with the teachings of the Bible as a whole.