“Creation is Critical”

The following is based on an article of sorts by Remy Wilkins. I have, with permission, reproduced this work and added my own observations and thoughts (all quoted material is his work unless otherwise noted).

 

Here is my exploritory thesis on why creation matters. Some are weightier than others, others are there simply to pad the numbers b/c I thought it would be cute to have ten and to pattern them after the 10 Commandments. Most are sketched out, so I can develop them further if need be.

 

Tinker with them, gimme your thoughts. How would a Christian evolutionist argue against these?


1. No Father

If evolution is true then there is no personal relationship with God the Father. Evolution would be the tool shaping the world and people.

 

Under Christian Evolution the world is removed from a personal relationship with the Triune God. Time becomes a process by which we mature. Presumably a Christian Evolutionist would argue that the Breathe of God enters man at some point, so at the least man is not handmade by God, but machine made, thus tainting the world with Industrialism at its worse. The world is dehumanized from the very beginning.

The issue here is, who directs evolution? Is evolution a tool God is using, or is it something He winds up and lets go? In other words, there may be a difference between theistic evolution and deistic evolution.

Or is there? For deistic evolution, the outlined point holds perfectly true. At some point, God has to step in and say, “Ok, now this is My Image.” That is obviously incorrect as far as theism vs. deism goes. We know God has a personal relationship with his creation.

 

The flip side is, what if God is actively using evolution to accomplish his purposes? What does this change?

Well, “at the least man is not handmade by God, but machine made.” Can this even be theistic? It does not appear so by the very nature of the theory of evolution. At some point, God must differentiate between an animal and a man. He must alter, stop, or otherwise intervene in the natural process, whether it’s God-guided or not. Man is no longer the handmade Image of God, but rather an arbitrary step in the chain that may change at any time.


2. No Pattern

If Evolution is true then Heaven is not the model. Earth is always changing, evolving. Nothing lasts. If there is no model for earth, there is no model for worship.

 

If Time is a process then Eternity is not the measuring stick. God and man are co-workers, co-conquerors of the world, rather than man as the steward shaping the world to be as it is in heaven. If God, using the tool of Evolution, creates the world in process then the creation is performance art with its meaning bound up in history.

There is no constancy.

The point about worship is a good one: worship is how the world is changed.

(If evolution is indeed a directed process, as many theistic evolutionists claim, then it is not random mutations at all: it is given a purpose and thus is in opposition to the very theory of evolution as a random, chaotic, survival-of-the-fittest-type process. It becomes simply a means to buckle under the pressure from non-believers.)

 

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Is this true or isn’t it? Did Jesus pray for the impossible?

 

“If God, using the tool of Evolution, creates the world in process then the creation is performance art with its meaning bound up in history.” There is no point, no higher goal, no ultimate destiny, meaning, or authority. It’s just a pretty picture for God to poke at with a  stick now and again.

 

This point needs to be further developed before being used as an argument – there’s something there but at this point it’s difficult for me to fully pull it out.


3. No Symbols

In Evolution everything is connect [sic], not symbolically, but physically connected. Animals cannot teach us, cannot symbolically replace us. Go to the ant is bad advice, the sacrificial system gives God inferior beings, the tithe is not a symbol of the whole, not the first fruits, but the immature, the chaff, the offal.

This is one of the more potent points. Sadly, it is not likely to be well received by those antagonistic to true Biblical typology. But even for those who ignore the symbolism inherent in the Scriptures, the truth still stands.

You cannot learn from these things, because you are exponentially better than them by virtue of your mere existence. Your superiority over the animals is derived not from your God-given mandate, but from the fact that you can use tools and written language, and they aren’t that evolved yet. How could something like this ever teach us? All they can teach us is how much better we are than they.

And they certainly cannot represent us.

 

I realize that an evolutionist might come back and say that goats and sheep are only far distant cousins of ours: we are not related on the fantasy “tree of life” that is so often displayed in textbooks. We are not their descendants.

And since we are arguing their points, we must address this. But when was the last time you saw a goat worship his creator (since the ability to worship is a key defining characteristic of humankind)? Have you ever seen a ram or a bull contemplate his mortal existence?

 

If you need “evolutionary evidence” that mankind should be considered to be the top of the chain by the so-called “scientific community”, look no further than the environmentalist nutjobs who wave cardboard signs depicting the millions of species driven to extinction by careless men.


4. No Sabbath

In C.E. there is no Sabbath for God or man. Evolution is a continual process. Time stops for no man or god.

The Sabbath is a detrimental concept for evolution…to cease all work is both wasteful and stupid as concerns survival. God rests – we know this from the very nature of Sabbath. Thus we are commanded to rest as His Images, mirroring Him.

This cannot be in a naturalistic worldview. Look no further than the rationalist reforms following the French Revolution(s).


5. No Image

If the image of God can evolve from non-image, then God can evolve from the image of God. The Creator/creature divide is only divided by time. All things are on the road to godhood.

There’s nothing that says God can’t evolve himself (as far as theistic evolution is concerned). Since the Image of God can be randomly generated from something that was not the Image of God, who’s to say that God cannot be randomly generated from something that is not God?

This is, essentially, the Mormon doctrine of exaltation. This says that Jesus Christ was a man (not the eternally begotten Son of God), and became exalted to the status of God. He became God, but he was never God before that point. The doctrine of exaltation says that we can also follow this path to godhood. I am not going to take the time to refute this beyond the fact that if Jesus was not fully God from all time, and fully Man from his Incarnation onwards, he has no power to forgive sins and is not worthy of worship. I’m sure the Apostle Paul has more to say on this.

 

Our status as the Images of God shapes every relationship we have with those things that are not Images. Therefore, this is a crucial doctrine to understand. When it becomes muddied like this, there’s really nowhere to go but down. I could present multiple scenarios where this leads to bad theology (or heresy), but I cannot think of a single good way this can turn out.

 

Where is the line between non-divinity and divinity. What makes God God? More importantly, what makes God different from us? Where is the Creator-creature divide? If we can evolve into god, then what makes the God of Bible so darned important that we have to listen to him? We’ll be in his shoes in a few billion years.


6. No Peace

Because violence is inherent in evolution (survival of the fittest/ might makes right) violence is a Divine attribute.

In other words, God is not Yahweh, he is Allah.

 

This is an incredibly important point, and my favorite so far. I hope no one would disagree that violence and death are inherent to evolution – if so, perhaps I misunderstand the entire concept.

 

Evolution is a religion based on death. And it’s not healthy death, as in death and resurrection. It’s death as in, if you aren’t good enough, goodbye, someone better will take your place. There is no resurrection for you if you are unfit enough to die. You pass into history and maybe someday someone will find your bones and laugh at your deformities.

 

God is Love. He is not death. Violence is not a divine attribute, which is why there is no command in the Scriptures to slaughter.

“Wherever you find infidels kill them; for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection.” – Hadith 9:4

For those of you who have not studied the Qu’ran, this refers to Christians. Allah is violence incarnate (due to his inability, as a monad, to be the source of any kind of love).

 

If God is directing evolution, this means God is killing those who are not fit en masse. Is that the God of the Bible? If this is the case, then we should already be dead. We are not fit by nature of our sin.

 

Yes, God allows suffering. To ignore that would be foolish. But why (not that I want to tackle the problem of pain here)?

  1. For our punishment
  2. For our edification

Often, these are one and the same. We are punished, but we come out the other side whole and clean. This is not the case with evolution.

Evolution is suffering that does not benefit anyone but the strongest. If God uses evolution, then He is a cruel, sadistic mob boss gunning for his favorite horse in the race by shooting all the others.

When the true God sends us suffering, we can be sure it is because He loves us and wants us to grow and learn from it, although we cannot always see how.


7. No Holiness

If evolution is true then sin isn’t a problem, but part of the process. Animalistic instincts are heritage. St. Augustine’s definition of sin, the privatio boni (the privation of good), is made void since it is a necessary step in evolution.

What is sin in an evolutionary world? It cannot be “any transgression of or want of conformity to the Law of God.”

Where does sin come from? Does it come from the Fall and man’s own broken soul? More on this in point 9.

 

This interesting thing here is that sin is not ignored, but actually glorified. Murder, rape, thievery, greed. Anything that gets you ahead in the game is essential for evolution.

Need to take down a rival? Do so, my son.

Need to procreate (by force if necessary) to continue your line? Don’t let morals stop you.

It’s a very Greek mindset. The chief end of man is “be remembered, leave many descendants, go out in glory,” rather than “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

 

Immorality, and acting like an animal, goes from forbidden to commanded. Those who do not act like beasts are doomed to fall behind and join the long list of those who failed to get ahead in the race of life. Why should these animalistic traits suddenly cease? The 10 Commandments are obvious a devil’s ploy to divert us from our road of self-improvement.

 

Does God use sinful men to accomplish His Will? Of course. But this is by virtue of the fact that even those actions that are taken to subvert Him are worked for His Glory. Would God subvert his own plans?


8. No Stewardship

If evolution is true then man has a passive relationship toward creation. Man cannot “evolve” the earth so the Dominion Mandate is a hands off process.

 

If God develops man, from inferior to superior, using environment then Evolution demands conditioning, salvation through social reform.

Why are we trying so hard? Why did God even command us to “fill the earth, and subdue it”? It’s more likely to subdue us, frail humans that we are. How are we supposed to change anything when God is already using an impersonal force to accomplish that?

How then are we saved?

Is it merely our environment and our adaptations thereof, or is it a change that occurs in our hearts?


9. No Word

If evolution is true then the Word of God means nothing. Undermining “day” in the creation account undermines “incarnation”, “forgiveness” and “God” as well.

This is by far the most important point.

So it’s evident that you don’t believe what the Bible says, either in part (“day” isn’t really “day”) or in whole (“that part is just a story”).

You might say you believe and trust in Jesus (and, for the record, if you say this, I believe you, I just want you to be consistent with it), but how do you know the Bible doesn’t lie about that as well?

Are you going to cherry-pick through the entire Bible, taking what you want and leaving the rest? Was Christ a man? Did he die for our sins? What even is sin?

Speaking of sin, did the Fall really happen? If it didn’t, why is there sin? Did God drop some into the world to make things interesting? Was there a real Garden with a real Tree and a real Adam and a real Eve? If not, what’s that story mean? If that’s not true, why do we need redeeming (“turning back”)? How do we know what is true and what is not?

 

The Bible is given to us as the only thing we can definitively know. All other truth can and must be based and grounded on what we find there. It is the only standard for truth. If we undermine our own standard, we literally have no leg to stand on.

The crux of the matter here is faith. Do you have faith (trust) that God’s Word is truth, and the only standard thereby? Do you trust that God would not lie to you? If you think He does (in claiming that his word is truth and then telling you a bunch of B.S.), then perhaps you should examine your heart.

To give even an inch on this is to symbolically cede the argument. This puts the ball in your court, not God’s. You get to decide what’s truth and what’s not. You become the master of your destiny, not God. You’ll be the judge of what parts of the Bible are true or not.

You either trust someone or you don’t. You cannot halfway trust them. There is no in-between. Either God is truth, or He is not.

“Rather let God be true and every man a liar.”


10. No Maturation

Salvation is distinct from maturation since merely evolving isn’t righteousness and it is accomplished apart from Christ. Therefore, evolving is aimless and no measure for man.

The point here is that there’s no reason for man to evolve. In other words, we’re good where we are, and evolving won’t get us saved. Christ is not part of evolution, which is a machinistic process. Salvation has to come from Christ, and the Spirit has to open our hearts to receive the call. There is no room for this in an evolutionary world.

Christ’s righteousness cannot be imputed to you because his earthly body (even if indeed he was God) was subject to the same inhuman processes that yours are.

 

Again, this point is one that needs to be much further developed: as it stands it is in it’s infancy (rather ironically).


 

Thoughts? Don’t be shy. This is important

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8 comments

  1. thecoldcomposure

    I know I should have some important response to this, but the first thing that came to mind when I read this was Jack Black’s sidekick in Nacho Libre saying “I don’t believe in God. I believe in science.”

  2. thecoldcomposure

    OK, so here is my full, point-by-point response to this article.
    Point 1: I was totally confused by this one. I’m not sure what you’re saying here. How exactly would God using natural processes dehumanize anything? Since Jesus Christ was born from a real Jewish girl’s womb, is he somehow less “real” or “holy” or what-have-you than if he had spontaeneously appeared in Jerusalem? Is the book of Revelation “dehumanized” if it is interpreted symbolically rather than absolutely literally?
    I think what either you or Remy are dealing with here is a confusion over the nature of natural processes. It seems your assumption is that if something happens by a natural process, it has less value than if something happened by a miraculous intervention. What you forget is that all natural processes are upheld by God. He’s not merely the “First Cause,” but the cause of all the causes. He upholds every natural process or law, and none of these can exist outside of him. So if God accomplished his will by a “natural process,” it isn’t somehow invalidated or dehumanized. So I don’t think your point about something being made by evolution being “machine-made” rather than “handmade” stands. I think you veer towards Greek/Gnostic heresy with this sort of thinking. (I am not, of course, accusing you of being a Gnostic.) I do, also, think that some Christians are too quick to try to exonerate God from using any supernatural means in creation. (I’m looking at you, Francis Collins).
    Point 2: Teleological evolution, anyone? The Bible teaches that the earth was created without form and void, but then God, through a series of actions, gave it its current form. No matter what interpretation you hold, it should be clear that God did change (“evolve?”) the world from its void state to its “very good” state at the end of the first chapter. Change is not necessarily bad, especially if it is change directed at a certain goal. There’s a great Leithart quote about how Christian philosophy shouldn’t view change per se as bad; unfortunately, my copy of Deep Comedy is in my dorm room, so I don’t have access to it right now.
    3. I think the problem that you have here is more with evolutionism as a philosophy or ideology rather than evolution as a mere biological hypothesis. Even the most stringent creationist believes in some form of evolution, and that does not in and of itself destroy all symbolism. I think what you have in mind here is not evolutionism or even Darwinism, but Nominalism, which does, indeed, destroy all possibility of symbolism. In that case, your true target should not be Darwin, but William of Ockham. I’ll let G.K. Chesterton deliver the rest of my points. “Evolution is either an innocent scientific description of how certain earthly things came about; or, if it is anything more than this, it is an attack upon thought itself. If evolution destroys anything, it does not destroy religion, but rationalism. If evolution simply means that a positive thing called an ape turned very slowly into a positive thing called a man, then it is stingless for the most orthodox; for a personal God might just as well do things slowly as quickly, especially if, like the Christian God, he were outside time. But if it means anything more, it means that there is no such thing as an ape to change, and no such thing as a man for him to change into. It means that there is no such thing as a thing. At best, there is only one thing, and that is a flux of everything and anything. (Orthodoxy, 60-61).
    4. Not sure what is going on here as well. Also, I think you are confusing evolution with Darwinism. This point isn’t fleshed out enough for me either to engage with it or bluff my way out of it, so I’ll leave it at that.
    5. I have to say that this is a bizarre analogy. I’m not sure where to begin with this one. For one, I don’t believe that the image of God evolved from non-image, and there is Biblical evidence to support me. The Bible does say that God breathed his Spirit into Adam, which is a direct act of God, not a gradual process. The hypothesis that a fish, over a long time, might have turned into a cow, does not necessarily imply that a cow, could, over a long time, become the image of God. Also, you seem to imply that anyone not a creationist views God as part of the world or as anything other than absolutely self-sufficient. The reason God could not come from non-God is that he is not part of the natural world. He is completely separate and transcendent and does not depend on the natural world, nor is he part of the natural world. (This, incidentally, is why Anselm’s Ontological Proof isn’t sound.) Not even the most radically Darwinist Christian believes that God follows the same rules as the natural world.
    Responses 6-10 coming “soon.”

    • MadDawg Scientist

      I’m going to be reposting this article soon, with updated and hopefully logically sound arguments. I’ll try to address your concerns there.

      I also believe that it would be helpful for you to lay out your interpretation as best you can of the Genesis account, so I won’t accuse you of things you don’t believe. Whether you’d like to do it here or on your own blog is up to your discretion.

      I will be re-reading Jordan’s “Creation in Six Days,” which honestly should have been the first thing I did before diving in. I’ll probably post the updated article after doing so.

      • thecoldcomposure

        Short answer: I undogmatically believe in an old-earth view. I don’t hold it as the only option, just as the one that seems to make the most sense of the text and the scientific data. I would hold to a framework view of the days of Genesis. I do not believe in Darwinian evolution (other kinds of evolution may be possible), I do believe in a literal Adam and Eve and a literal flood. And while I do not completely count out the possibility of a young-earth, I feel like creationists need to at least re-evaluate much of their research and analysis in this area. Bad arguments for the truth do no one any good.

      • MadDawg Scientist

        Ah, Framework Hypothesis. Day-age or no?

        I agree that we need better articulated reasons.

        It’s becoming clear to me that the crux of this matter is Scriptural typology,which I believe to be more trustworthy than modern scientific theory and more biblical than textual (or framework) analysis. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to fully formulate this. But never fear, stay tuned, I shall not forget.

      • thecoldcomposure

        Not Day-Age. Framework Hypothesis (or at least the kind that I hold to right now.) would hold that the passage in Genesis 1 that talks about the days is more of a poetic description about God’s creation of the universe than one intended to convey scientific fact. Also, thanks for actually engaging with me on this. Too many Christians refuse to grant credence to anyone holding a different view than them on this area, and are content to hurl insults or turn a blind eye rather than engage with their brothers. We are, after all, all Christians here, and we should all act like it.

  3. MadDawg Scientist

    Absolutely. Civility is the mark of a gentleman.

    I think my future post on typology will explain this further, so this is all I’ll say at the moment: poetry (especially in the Scriptures) does not necessarily convey fanciful interpretations or mis-truths that are not really lies. in other words, poetry and reality are not mutually exclusive. More on this to come.

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