Olsen Park Church of Christ

Can A Christian Believe in the Bible and the Theory of Evolution?

Introduction. Everywhere that you turn in our world today the Christian confronts the theory of evolution. In movies, television shows, books, school and in the thinking of friends we encounter in the world. Not simply in considerations of science, but in children‘s shows, in television comedies, in novels and elsewhere. Many Christians have accepted what the world has to say about this subject because it is presented as if there is no question about the truth of the theory. Seldom is it pointed out that there are really two types of evolution that must be considered: macroevolution & microevolution.
Microevolution- Species make adaptations to their environment over time. (E.g. Insects change to imitate the color of trees or plants they are around - birds beaks may grow long or short given feeding conditions.) This type of evolution is a fact.
Macroevolution- Species can change from species to species over time. (E.g. Monkeys can become men.) This has never been proven and in fact runs contrary to certain facts of science.
     Even so, some Christians have accepted not only microevolution but macro evolution as well. The question is whether this can really be done on reasonable grounds by those who accept the Bible as the inspired word of God. (Note: By “inspired of God” I mean that it is rational communication from Deity to humanity regarding real people and places and events - not simply something that is wholly metaphorical or allegorical). In this lesson we will consider whether this can be done or not.

I. Time Problems.
     Macro-evolution depends upon one necessary factor - time. There would have to be time for the millions of changes that could even by the farthest stretch of the imagination explan life as it now exists. I would argue that even if you had billions of years it wouldn‘t resolve the problems. There are scientific reasons to question the theories that say the universe is billions or millions of years old. But regardless of this the Bible makes some clear assertions regarding the age of the earth and certain events that do not harmonize with macro-evolutionary theories.

  1. Six days of creation. Genesis 1:31-2:2; Exodus 20:9-11
         Note: the comparison is God‘s work in 6 days & man‘s work. If 1 day =10,000 then two different things are being compared.
  2. The flood. In order for there to be anywhere near enough time for macro-evolution to even be imaginable the earth has to have existed for millions of years. Geologists used to explain much of the geological changes on earth in light of the worldwide flood recorded in Genesis. Modern evolutionary geologists deny a worldwide flood and try to explain changes in terms of slow change of a long time. Genesis 7:17-20,24; Matthew 24:37,38
  3. Bible timelines. Genesis 5 (look at example). An examination of the timelines & genealogies of the Bible can be figured to bring the age of the earth to 6-7000 years old. There is physical evidence which supports this dating. If we are to accept the Bible we cannot simply ignore these claims.

II. Species Problems.
     Marco-evolutionary theory contends that all life came from single cell organisms that evolved into multi-cellular creatures that then changed into the complex life that exists now. In this view the distinctions between species are really artificial. They come about only through minor adaptations multiplied over time. A scientific problem with this is the fact that species cannot cross breed. When near species do this the offspring is incapable of reproducing.

  1. Each after its own kind. Genesis 1:21,24-25; 6:20; 7:14 Note: word for “kind” Hebrew mien same word that is used in modern Hebrew for the word “species.”
  2. Distinct creation of man. Macro-Evolutionary theory has no distinct origin of man as opposed to that of animal life. The Bible clearly does. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7; 21,22

III. People Problems.
     Macro-evolutionary theories are quite diverse but all rest on the basic premise that mankind evolved as a species. While some genetics studies suggest that all humans are related to a single mother, they contend that this one woman came to exists from a development of a species as a group. The Bible presents the origin of humanity from one man and one woman.

  1. Adam & Eve. Genesis 3:20; 4:3
  2. One man. Roman 5:12-19 Here Adam is pictured as typical of Christ. If there was not one man Adam - then why believe there was one man Christ?

Kyle Pope 2006

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