Philip Bell – Perils of Theistic Evolution

For many years, I have felt keenly both the privilege and the responsibility of speaking about the truth and authority of the Bible. Nowhere has the conflict of opinion been more intense than in discussion with theistic evolutionists (TEs)—those who insist that God used evolution2 to bring living things into being. According to Denis Alexander, we ‘creationists’ “bring the gospel into disrepute”, our teaching is “damaging to the spread of God’s kingdom”, we’re “divisive”, and “Christian campaigns against evolution represent a giant ‘red herring’ … ”3 On the last claim, we have found, quite to the contrary, that our ongoing Question Evolution campaign has gathered momentum and is certainly not being ignored.

Dangers of compromise

For a few years, until part way through university, I myself departed from the straightforward reading of Genesis and embraced theistic evolution (TE). I can testify that, humanly speaking, belief in evolution brought me to a crisis in my faith: I faced the stark choice that either the evolutionary view was wrong, or the Genesis record of Creation/Fall/Flood/Babel was wrong. If Genesis couldn’t be trusted as historically reliable, Christianity itself would fail to be a logically defensible faith in my eyes.

Thanks to God, my own story did not end in spiritual shipwreck—but I have never forgotten my wrestling about origins. I am now more convinced than ever of the real dangers in swallowing worldly philosophy. It is dangerous for Christians to allow the opinions of clever men and women to shape their understanding of the Word of God, if what they say contradicts its plain meaning. Allow me to share just some of the many reasons why I passionately believe that the Christian church must strongly resist the accommodation with evolution that is threatening more and more otherwise evangelical churches.

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