Today’s post might be a bit controversial, but the truth needs to be told regardless of who it offends. Many Christians have accepted the claims of evolution, but want to remain religious and believe in God, so they attempt to combine their faith with evolution. Is this a viable solution? Can the two be combined? That will be the focus of this article.
In order to understand if combining the two is possible, it is necessary to understand what each one demands. Evolution requires death to produce life as we know it. It requires a belief that, under unknown circumstances, the Law of Biogenesis could be suspended and life could arise from non-life. Evolution requires that there be death before sin. Evolution also requires that certain parts of the Bible be rewritten or ignored in favor of man’s ideas.
Christianity requires saving faith in Jesus Christ. That is literally all there is to it. If a person has repented of their sins and asked Jesus into their heart to save them, they are a Christian. That is the one thing which Christianity requires. Christ Himself made this clear in John 6:47 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” So belief in Christ is the only qualification.
How do these two ideas fit together though? Well, remember, the only qualification for being a Christian is a belief in Christ. So it is possible, in at least a theoretical sense, for a man to be both Christian and evolutionist. However, that does not mean the two are well suited for one another. Let’s examine where some of the differences are and see if the two can be combined.
The most obvious difference is the validity of the book of Genesis. Evolution dismisses it entirely as fairy tale or allegory. Some Christians have made efforts to accommodate evolution within Genesis through movements such as the Day-Age and Gap Theories. These theories will be discussed in more depth in another post, just know for now they attempt to fit evolution into the book of Genesis. The problem with combining the two is the amount of emphasis Christ Himself puts on Genesis. The Gospels record Jesus quoting Genesis either directly or via paraphrase on at least eight separate occasions. That ranks it in a tie for third with Isaiah for Jesus’ most quoted books. How many of those quotes are from the much-maligned first eleven chapters? If you guessed all eight, give yourself a cookie because you are correct. Clearly, Jesus placed some weight on those first eleven chapters, which are regularly dismissed by evolutionists. In fact, every reference is clearly a historical reference rather than an allegoric one. For example in Matthew 24:37-39 He clearly references the Flood as being a historical event. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Note that he says it was the “days of Noe” (Noe being Noah). This is clearly meant to set a historical time frame to His listeners.
However, the veracity of Scripture is not the only conflict between evolution and Christianity. Evolution, even the theistic variety, requires that death took place before sin. Think about it a moment. Only man has the capacity to discern right and wrong, and therefore the capacity to do something that is wrong. If man evolved over millions of years, certainly there must have been billions of deaths leading up to the point where the first man appeared. However, Roman’s 5:12 completely flips the evolutionary script. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Notice, Romans references Genesis by pointing out that a man brought sin into the world, that man being known in Genesis as Adam.
Evolution does not just demand that Scripture is ignored, it also requires a level of suspension of disbelief usually reserved for science fiction and superhero movies. It requires that the airtight Law of Biogenesis be suspended. The Law of Biogenesis is attributed to the great French Christian and scientist, Louis Pasteur. If you just thought of pasteurization, you would be correct, that is another part of his legacy. In Pasteur’s day, the popular belief among scientists was that life could spontaneously generate from non-living material. Pasteur proved, with real, scientific, repeatable experiments, that life cannot come from non-life by any natural means. Evolutionists accept the Law of Biogenesis reluctantly due to the mountain of evidence behind it. However, this acceptance is tinged with shaded hints that in past conditions, life could have arisen from non-life. While evolutionists are welcome to claim that, until it can be observed, tested in a lab, repeated by other, independent tests, and falsified by experimentation, it is not science. Christians have no problem with the Law of Biogenesis because the God of the Bible is outside of His creation. Since He made the scientific laws, He could suspend them as well. I’ll freely admit this isn’t scientifically provable. However, I’m not holding my breath for evolutionists to admit theirs isn’t science either.
Can Christianity and evolution be combined? Well, the short answer is yes they can. However, they fit together much as a square peg would in a round hole. They have numerous contradictions. The contradictions are such that one must take precedence over the other. You can either accept the account of Creation that Jesus did, from the book of Genesis, or you can accept evolution. Those two ideas cannot be combined. If Christians wish to reject the book of Genesis, then they can combine evolution and Christianity. However, doing so knocks away the foundation of their faith, and makes Christ into a liar. Ultimately it’s a choice of whether to be a friend of the world’s philosophy of evolution or God’s Word in Genesis.