Theistic Evolution?

Some professing Christians hold that evolution is compatible with the Bible. While it bears repeating that to do so does not automatically or in itself disqualify any person from being a true Christian, it must be maintained that evolution is grossly inconsistent with Biblical Christianity. A few arguments to that effect follow:

1. The first is based on the context of Genesis 1, especially the use of the phrase "evening and morning". This phrase indicates that God the Holy Spirit (Inspirer of human author Moses) intended days of ordinary length when He revealed that the mighty acts of the Divine creation of the cosmos were accomplished in the space of six days. If the creation of all the kinds of Earth's fauna and Man occured in two ordinary days (creation days 5 & 6), and those days were only several millenia in the past, evolution is rendered impossible, since it obliterates the tremendous amount of time required for evolution to occur.

2. In a corrolary way, consider the Old Testament Hebrew words YOM and YAMMIM. They are the words for DAY and DAYS, respectively. (In other words, YAMMIM is the plural of YOM, even as CHERUBIM is the plural of CHERUB.)

It is true that the word YOM can be used in Biblical Hebrew, as in English, when other than an ordinary 24 hour period is intended. (Cf. for example Psalm 78:42, where the context indicates that the time period of the plagues upon Egypt is in view.)

The word YAMMIM, however, is *NEVER* used in that manner in Scripture! Therefore, when Exodus 20:11, a verse from the Ten Commandments passage, says that God created the universe in 6 days, it is exegetically incontrovertible that the intent is six days of ordinary duration. This has been pointed out more than once on this message board, and an exegetical response has never been offered. YAMMIM *ALWAYS* means days of ordinary length in the Bible. Such a bold and sweeping claim should be easy to demonstrate as false, if it is so!

3. Another argument is provided by the account of the long day of Joshua, as per Joshuah 10:14: "...and there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel..."

The difference between this day and all other days is not in the bare reality of the LORD heeding a man's voice, but in how He did miraculously doubling the length of that particular day. If we believe Scripture's statement "there has been no day like that, before or after it", how can we affirm that the days of creation were days of different length?

4. Suppose we work our way backward historically from the Exodus of Israel out of Egypt. That event took place approximately 1,450 B.C. Only self consciously unbelieving "Bible scholars" would doubt its historicity, and that with no warrant other than the spurious one provided by their culpable foolishness.

The Exodus happened. Moses, Joshua, et. al. were real men who, with Divine help, led a nation of hundreds of thousands out of the territory of another nation, ancient Egypt, and into a land God had promised their forefathers centuries earlier. It is assumed that these Biblical, historical facts are questioned by no one who participates here.

However, a question is begged by the view that takes the Genesis 1 "days" as ages of time, ages vast enough for evolution to have occured. That question is: what is the first, real, ordinary day of history? Is the day Moses saw the burning bush (Exodus 3:2ff) a real day? Is the day Joseph died in Egypt (Genesis 50:26) a real day? Is the day his brothers threw him in a pit (Genesis 37:23) a real day? Is the day he was born of Rachel (Genesis 30:24) a real day? What about the dates of birth of his father Jacob (Genesis 25:26), his grandfather Isaac (Genesis 21:3), and his great grandfather Abram (Genesis 11:26). All these dates are given in Genesis in terms of other historical events. Are they real days, or not?

Continuing back in Genesis from the real, ordinary days of Abram the man Divinely called out of Ur of the Chaldees, (a real, historical place like Canaan), are we still dealing with days and years as we know them? Again, where do we start having real days, if the first six days are not ordinary days? Is it at the time of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1ff)? Is it at the time of the Flood, the history of which is given in Genesis 6 - 9 in terms of dates that specify even the days of months?

Thus we have travelled chronologically backward in Scripture from the Exodus. If ordinary days don't begin at any of the junctures on our journey that have been cited, we are back to the history recorded via the meticulous geneology of Genesis 5. In it, 10 patriarchs are listed, Adam himself through Noah. Very exacting dates are recorded concerning the lives of those men: the year of each one's birth, the year he begot the next in line, the year of his death. The list is repeated in exactly the same order in 1 Chronicles 1 and Luke 3 (Luke orders them descendingly, while the Genesis and Chronicles passages are in ascending order). Are the lifespans of the patriarchs of all humanity recorded in terms of real days and years in Genesis 5?

If so, we're back to the first six days of history, Adam's real life of 930 years having begun on the sixth. When dealing with a Bible book so obviously written as historical narrative (Genesis), what would be our exegetical or even merely rational justification for arbitrarily regarding its first few chapters as having another literary form? What makes Genesis 1 - 4 to differ in literary style from Genesis 5 - 50? What are the identifying marks of the alleged different literary style of the early chapters? What is "poetic" about the statistical, numerically exacting geneologies of Genesis 5 and 11? Why do First CHRONICLES and the Gospel of Luke, Bible books also written as historical narrative, not convert the alleged "poetry" (what a hoot!) of Genesis 5, rather than repeat it verbatim as they do?

So let us repeat our original question, lovingly challenging our neighbors who assert that they are both evolution and Bible believing to answer it exegetically:

If Genesis 1 does not record ordinary days, at what point in Bible history do ordinary days begin?

5. No evolutionist can claim to have observed the formation of the cosmos, and the origin of the things within it. This is obviously true of creationists as well. No one but God was there! Therefore a fifth Biblical argument to the effect that evolution has never occured inheres in the absolute lack of any positive teaching on it found in Scripture.

Consider what the Bible is: God's Word, in which He reveals to Man what Man could never discover by observation and research. Its core message is the plan of salvation in Jesus. The account of creation (and the Fall of Man) gives us the backdrop for that core message, and is essential to understanding it. Redemption can only occur where a previous ownership existed.

Consider that the Bible tells us much (not all) about the end of history as we know it. The Lord Jesus Christ will return physically to Earth with great power and glory, though no man knows the day and the hour. There will be a real, bodily resurrection of the saved and the lost. There will be a great judgment of all men and angels by Christ (in which His people will participate, Matthew 19:28, 1 Corinthians 6:1,2). History will be consummated in a way that greatly glorifies and vindicates God, displaying to His eternal praise the wonders of His grace and the majesty of His justice.

Consider that the Bible tells us much about things that occured during the time of its being written (namely c. 1,450 B.C. through c. 70 A.D.) Monarchs like Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, and Augustus, empires like the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Medo-Persian), and places like Nineveh, Damascus, and Corinth as well as events found also in extra-Biblical literature (such as the expulsion of the Jews from Rome in the first century) are named and discussed in Scripture.

In all this Divinely imparted information about pre-Bible history, about history that passed during the centuries of the writing of the Bible, and about the coming end of history, one will search in vain for any mention of God having used "evolution" to bring into existence any living things, any indication that evolution has occured since the beginning, or any prophecy that evolution will ever occur.

It is silly to counter this by asserting that the Bible doesn't mention certain other matters (such as "plumbing"), because the matter of origins is integral to the Bible's purpose of telling us Who God is, who we are, how we got into our current desperate situation, God's plan to save the world, and where you or I personally will go (heaven or hell), depending on how we respond to that we respond to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator incarnate!

In other words, the Bible's purpose is not merely to give miscellaneous, unrelated facts about human industries or history, but to tell us how to be right with God. However, wherever it speaks on industries or history, it speaks truthfully and plainly. Included in that "wherever" is the history of the origin of our world, ourselves, such basic aspects of human life as worship and the seven day week, marriage, Man's dominion over the lower creation, why nations and different languages exist, etc. The origins of all these things are revealed by God in Genesis.

Therefore, it seems that we are faced with three possibilities:

A. God has not revealed anything about origins, an idea foreign to the Bible as per the considerations above, or...

B. God has revealed something about origins, but only in a vague, "poetic" way, an idea well overturned by exegetical arguments 1 - 4, or...

C. God has in fact revealed much (not all) about origins plainly and clearly in His Word. He did so for the instruction of all men, and for the comfort and making of His people wise unto salvation.

Part of that wisdom is to recognize that the concept of evolution is ridiculous, and has ITS origin in the pit of hell.

© Keith Graham, edited February 9, 2009 (original article August 2001)
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