Is Evolution Biblically Acceptable? The Question of Genesis 1
Reformed Free Publishing Association
The article linked above is the first in what is slated to be a series of articles by Pastor Rick Phillips about the incompatibility of the theory of evolution with the Bible. Phillips explains that the occasion for this series of articles is a report that Biologos (a supposedly Christian organization that aggressively and intolerantly promotes the theory of evolution) is spending $3.6 million to promote evolution within Christian circles.
There is one comment in the post that irks me a bit: “While I appreciate the moderate spirit of many who want to find a way to accept evolution alongside the Bible, I find that the more radical voices are here more helpful.” This statement rankles for two reasons. It indicates a default setting to approve of “moderates” over “radicals,” as if the “radicals” are likely to be more dangerous than the “moderates.” Secondly, “moderate” and “radical” are inaccurate labels, which Phillips should recognize in light of what he says in the rest of the article. The “moderates” should be called what they are, compromisers of the truth. And the “radicals” should be called what they are, faithful defenders of the truth. And it should be sharply pointed out that so-called “moderates” pose a deadly danger to the church, for they are the ones who have allowed the church to be ravaged by the theory of evolution.
But for the rest I greatly appreciate the article. I quote two paragraphs and highly recommend that you read the rest by following the link above.
It takes great effort to deny that Genesis 1 fits the genre of historical narrative. Here, we see a structure consisting of a series of waw consecutive verbs. The waw is the Hebrew letter V, which means "and" when attached to the front of a verb. When attached to a noun it is disjunctive—it stops the narrative flow. When it is consecutive, before a verb, the waw advances the narrative flow. "This happened and then this happened and then this happened." This is what we find in Genesis 1: "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness" (Gen. 1:3-4). Given this construction, literary guides to the Bible commonly identify Genesis as "an anthology, or collection, of stories" in which "narrative is the primary form." Therefore, just like so many other chapters in the Bible which contain divine wonders that the unbeliever will reject, Genesis sets itself forth as recording events from history. Christians are expected to read accounts like this and believe that what is recorded actually happened, however contrary to secularist expectations….
One of the grand motives, I believe, for accommodating evolution in Genesis 1 is so that evangelicals can stop arguing about science and start teaching about Jesus. But do we fail to note that Jesus' story begins in Genesis 1? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God..." (Jn. 1:1). In fact, when the interpretive approach used to neutralize Genesis 1 as history is necessarily extended by evolution, then the reason for Jesus' coming is lost? After all, without a biblical Adam as the first man and covenant head of the human race, then what is the problem for which the Son of God came? Here we see just how right Peter Enns is: evolution is not an add-on to the Bible, it is a replacement.