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Wayne Grudem Critiques Theistic Evolution

I recently had the chance to hear Wayne Grudem present at the Evangelical Theological Society. His presentation focused on how Theistic Evolution directly attacks the inerrancy of Scripture. It is the outline of his contribution to the book Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique.

Your children will face teaching about evolution. He does his usual methodical and persuasive job. I think this is going to become the goto resource for smart Christians.

The following is from his handout:

What this book is not about?
1. Age of the earth. We take no position.
2. Whether supporters of theistic evolution are genuine Christians.
3. The book is about whether Genesis 1-3 should be understood as a historical narrative in the sense of reporting events the author wants readers to believe actually happened and not as figurative or allegorical literature.

What is theistic evolution?
Definition used in our book from multiple TE sources
God created matter and after that did not guide or intervene or act directly to cause any empirically detectable change in the natural behavior of matter until all living things had evolved by purely natural processes.

Implications: We have descended from earlier ape-like creatures by virtue of random mutation and natural selection. All living things have also come about not through direct creation by special activity of God but by random mutation from previous, simpler life forms.

Additional Implications: Modern genetics claims there was no original couple from whom all human beings decended, rather 1000s of different apelike creatures in different parts of the world gradually developed different kinds of human characteristics. The human race today descended from 10,000 early human beings. If there is a literal Adam and Eve just two individuals God picked out of 10,000 humans on earth.

Then what happens to Genesis 1-3?
1. Adam and Eve were not the first human beings (and perhaps Adam and Eve never existed).
2. Adam and Eve were not created without parents but were born from human parents.
3. God did not act directly or specially to create Adam out of dust from the ground.
4. God did not directly create Eve from a rib taken from Adam’s side.
5. Adam and Eve were never sinless human beings.
6. Adam and Eve did not commit the first human sins, for human beings were doing morally evil things long before Adam and Eve.
7. Human death did not begin as the result of Adam’s sin, for human beings existed long before Adam and Eve and they were always subject to death.
8. Not all human beings have descended from Adam and Eve, for there were thousands of other human beings on earth at the time that God chose two of them as Adam and Eve.
9. God did not directly act in the natural world to create different “kinds” of fish, birds, and land animals.
10. God did not “rest” from his work of creation or stop any special creative activity after plants, animals, and human beings appeared on the earth.
11. God never created an originally “very good” natural world in the sense of a world that was a safe environment, free of thorns and thistles and similar harmful things.
12. After Adam and Eve sinned, God did not place any curse on the world that changed the workings of the natural world and made it more hostile to mankind.

Result: Not Just Reinterpreting 1 or 2 Words/Verses.
1. Theistic evolution claims that Genesis 1-3 is not a historical narrative that reports events that actually happened. It sees Genesis 1-3 as figurative or allegorical literature, not factual history.

Biologos website (the primary online location for thoughtful theistic evolution materials:

Denis Lamoureux: “Adam never existed,” and “Holy Scripture makes statements about how God created living organisms that in fact never happened.”
Peter Enns: “Maybe Israel’s history happened first, and the Adam story was written to reflect that history. In other words, the Adam story is really an Israel story placed in primeval time.”
Francis Collins: “Gen 1-3 is “poetry and allegory. “
Denis Alexander: “figurative and theological” literature.
John Walkton: stories about “archtypes”
Walton: Bible makes “no claims” regarding “biological human origins,” for Genesis 2 “talks about the nature of all people, not the unique material origins of Adam and Eve.” In fact, he says that “the Bible does not really offer any information about material human origins.”

Result: Genesis 1-3 should not be understood as claiming to be a report of actual historical events.
However: This nonhistorical reading of Genesis 1-3 does not arise from factors in the text itself. It is only adopted because of a prior commitment to the supposed fact of evolution.

Reasons why Genesis 1-3 must be understood as reliable historical narrative.
1. Evidence within Genesis 1-3.
2. Intertextual ties to later historical OT that affirm historicity of Genesis 1-3.
a. Genealogies: Genesis 5:1-5 Gordon Wehnam: If the later figures in the genealogies are real people – and they certainly behave in a very human fashiion – then the earlier characters, the ancestors of Abraham, must also be viewed as real persons.
1 Chron 1:1, 27
b. Details about intentional creation of specific animals. Affirmation that God intentionally and with specific wisdom created individual animals.
Psalm 8:4-9, Psalm 104:24-25.

Ten NT books reaffirm historicity of specific details in Genesis 1-3

1. Matthew. He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to this wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Matthew 19:4-5).
2. Luke: the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:38).
3. Acts: The God who made the world and everything in it. Acts 17:24
And he made from one man every nations of mankind to live on all the face of the earth. Acts 17:26.
4. Romans: Therfore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin…For if many died through one man’s trespass, For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Romasn 5:12-19.
5. 1 Corinthians: For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 1 Cor 11:8.
For as by a man came death, by a man has come the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ, all shall be made alive. 1 Cor 15:21-22.
6. 2 Corinthians But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led a stray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Cor 11:3
7. Colossians: For by him all thins were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Col 1:16.
8. 1 Timothy: For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 1 Tim 2:13.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 1 Tim 2:14.
9. Hebrews: For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way, And God rested on the seventh day from all his works. … for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Heb 4:4,10.
10. Revelation: “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to received glory and honor and power, for you created all things and by your will they existed and were created. Rev 4:11
…him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is int it, and the sea and what is in it. Rev 10:6

Consider equipping your son or daughter with this valuable resource.