Many of my regular readers know that I have frequently critiqued the theistic evolutionist/evolutionary creationist organization BioLogos which attempts to meld evolutionary dogma into the Bible. This organization recently held a convention in Baltimore, and, among other things, promoted a textbook by a number of authors including Wheaton College professor John Walton. I have had the opportunity to read this book, entitled Understanding Scientific Theories of Origins, and found numerous items about it incredibly troubling, rising to the point of heresy. By promoting this textbook, BioLogos has crossed the line into heresy.
Let me explain what I mean. Many of the items in the textbook are not new. Dr. Walton, whose influence is apparent throughout the textbook, has been saying them for years. However, only rarely has BioLogos been called out for their corruption of the truth of God’s Word and it would be remiss of me to not to call them out for their actions.
Some people might say that BioLogos is not heretical, even if they are misguided. I would point out that changing the meaning of Scripture so that Jesus was fallible makes one a heretic. Let me illustrate this with some quotes from this textbook.
“Therefore, being formed from dust is not about material origins; Adam’s or ours. This forming account, then, is archetypal and more about the identity of all of us than about describing the material origins of the first human.” (pg 550) These sentences clearly show Walton’s influence. Removing the textbook jargon, what these authors are saying is that Adam was not the progenitor of humanity. One further quote illustrates this further. “Rather, the text is making a claim about Adam and Eve are archetypes of all humanity, revealing ontologically what is true about relationships between human beings and between God and human beings. No claims are being made about the material origins of Adam and Eve or, for that matter, any of us.” (pg 552) The text goes on to repeat the standard evolutionary out of Africa model. However, what is interesting is what these authors are saying. They are saying that the Bible does not tell us where Adam and Eve came from. That is a very interesting claim. We’ll return to it in a moment.
These authors freely accept the evolutionary story as fact, without applying any of the contorted textual criticism they use on the Bible. “Humans are hominoid primates in the hominin tribe with cognitive abilities that exceed those of all other primates, evidenced by our ever-advancing technology, cultural innovations, and adaptability to different environments.” (page 562) In other words, the “dust” referred to above does not mean dust. Instead, it means that God made a man out of was an ape. I find that very interesting given this verse. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19) So….to the TE’s and ECs….when we die, do we return to apemen? I really don’t see a way around this. If dust refers to apemen, then when man dies he should return to an ape. Unfortunately for the TE/EC crowd, that isn’t what we observe empirically.
However, this does not explain the heresy issue mentioned earlier. Returning to Adam and Eve, if Adam was not the first man, and not responsible for introducing sin and death into the world, then both Jesus and Paul are liars. Consider this verse. ” But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” Those words from Mark 10:6 could not be more clear. Jesus, talking about marriage, points out that at the very beginning of creation, humans were made male and female. However, according to the ideas that BioLogos accepts, humans did not evolve until around 2 million years ago. Considering that, in their view, the universe began about 4.5 billion years ago, man has only existed for 1/2250th of that time. That’s hardly the beginning of creation. However, based on a creation about six thousand years ago, man has existed for 99.99% of the history of the universe. That sounds an awful lot more like the beginning of creation.
So was Jesus wrong? Or did He lie? Either way, you have a problem. If He was wrong, then He can’t be God because God is inerrant. “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:” Hebrews 6:18. That same verse applies to Jesus lying but for emphasis, also consider Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” In other words, it is impossible for the God who wrote the Bible to lie or make a mistake. Yet by changing the timeline of Adam and Eve (or denying their existence, more on that in a moment) BioLogos makes Jesus a liar. By extension, this removes Him from being God. That is heresy. Any teaching which removes Jesus from being God, even as a corollary, is heretical. No Christian would openly dispute that.
Let’s take this logic to its logical conclusion to demonstrate just how damaging BioLogos’ ideas are. If Jesus is not God, then He cannot Redeem us. Since Jesus was not God by their logic, His claim to be God in John 8:58 was a lie. This means Jesus was not perfect. Yet only a spotless Lamb could pay for man’s sin. BioLogos, by making Jesus a liar, destroys the Gospel.
BioLogos also makes Paul a liar. If Adam was not responsible for death coming upon humanity as this would claim, then when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 15:22, he was lying. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Clearly, Paul thought that death was Adam’s fault. In fact, if death is not Adam’s fault, the analogy does not work. If Adam did not pass death on to all humanity, then Christ cannot make all humanity alive. So is BioLogos expecting us to believe that some people in the world cannot be saved, or that there are people who do not labor under the curse? Paul continues the analogy in verse 45. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” Who is this last Adam? Verse 47 tells us “the second man is the Lord from heaven.” In other words, Jesus. How BioLogos and Walton get around this involves a lot of textual eisogesis that distorts the plain meaning of the text.
Paul and Jesus both regarded Adam and Eve as real, historical people, who were the progenitors of the human race at the beginning. Any other meaning from the text requires imposing your view on the author. The authors say “To some readers this will sound like we are going to a lot of trouble to avoid the obvious.” Well, maybe that’s because you actually ARE going to a lot of trouble to avoid the obvious and impose your secular, godless worldview on the Biblical text so that you can call yourself Christian, but still retain some respect in the secular community and publish in the peer-reviewed journals. Jesus had some words for people like you. ” He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” Luke 11:23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23. “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16. BioLogos, be warned, your judgment will be great for promoting heresy.
In conclusion, BioLogos has crossed the border into heresy. Any belief system that makes Jesus into a liar is heresy, no matter how it attempts to cloak itself in orthodoxy. Christians should be very careful of these wolves in sheep’s clothing who seek to undermine the foundation of the church from within and cause it to fall into darkness.