Author: Pastor Paul A. Bartz
Theistic Evolution: Is This the Same God?
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
Theistic evolution is the belief that God created, but that He did so using evolution. Many Christians object to theistic evolution because, in fact, the Bible’s God can’t be added to evolution. In this study we want to sketch the god of theistic evolution, and then examine the biblical God. Based on what we learn we want to answer the question, “Is this the same God?”
1.Many theistic evolutionists say that God chose an early hominid and gave it (or that species) a soul. Theistic evolution presents a god who presided over evolution, now and then sticking His finger into the world to force something to happen (like the creation of matter and energy, or the first cell), or to “steer the progress in the right general direction.” Aside from these few intrusions, life on Earth developed by evolutionary principles, with mutation and natural selection leading to the rich variety of life on Earth today.
2.Is the god of theistic evolution all-wise and all-powerful?
The god of theistic evolution appears to be limited in power and ability. He does not seem to be very involved with his creation, for he watches to see what happens, rather than planning it. His primary force for development is death.
There is no evidence of wisdom – although his grasp of biochemistry is admirable. This god’s power and wisdom differ from man’s in degree only, not kind.
Finally, this god is distant and removed, unconcerned about the individual pieces in his creation, and limited in both his ability and his desire to directly affect situations on Earth. This god is little different than the pagan gods of the Greeks and Romans!
3.Now, let’s compare the god of theistic evolution with the God of the Scriptures. Open your Bible to Genesis 1. Make a list of the characteristics of God revealed in the first chapter of Genesis. Notice His power. How does He accomplish everything?
Look at verses 4, 12, 18, 21, and 31. What do these say about God’s concern for His creation?
Could we say that God inspected His work regularly? How did He judge it?
4.Notice the principle of “after its kind.” How do these words suggest that Bible’s God created a “finished” work?
Note how long the text says it took to create. What could you surmise about God from that? In those six days God invented every force and phenomena, known to man or unknown.
5.Turn to John 1:1-4. Notice especially verse 3. What was left to evolve after the God of the Scriptures finished creating?
How does that compare with the creativity of the theistic evolutionist’s god?
Which God deserves the greater glory?
6.Matthew 10:29-30 describes which aspects of the nature of God?
Can you describe any differences between the god of evolution and the God of creation based on these verses?
Is there any reason in theistic evolution to suspect that its god is aware of or cares about the life and death of each sparrow?
Do the millions of years and billions of deaths necessary to evolve life as it is today suggest a God that cares enough to count the very hairs on your head?
7.God’s wisdom, planning, and attention to detail are laid out in Job 38-41. Just skim those chapters and see how many details are listed. Chapter 38 describes things about the sea that were unknown until recent times.
Verse 23 alone could be understood to speak of the spectrum caused by the bending (splitting) of light, and finishes with a question about scattering winds (look closely at the TV satellite weather map tonight), which might well describe jet streams, thermal inversions, up drafts and down drafts.
The secret of ice and snow (perhaps the miracle of how water behaves when frozen is referred to?) is mentioned. Verses 36-37 give an answer to the question of the unique capacities of the human mind.
The following chapters describe the “instincts” of various animals and their temperaments as deliberate creations planned by God. Discuss how these facts indicate differences between our God and the theistic evolutionist’s god.
8.Look up Romans 5:14. When, according to this passage, did death start?
What is the relationship between Adam and Christ, according to this passage?
Does I Corinthians 15:21-23 agree with Romans 5:14? What information does it add about the relationship between Christ and Adam?
According to the relationship stated here, if the first Adam was not the origin of sin and death in the world, what becomes of the work of the Second Adam?
Notice the construction of this statement. “For as … even so” In other words, if death isn’t a result of Adam’s sin, but existed before that sin, then neither will we be made alive in Christ. Does theistic evolution teach that there was death before Adam? What, then, has theistic evolution done to Christ?
9.If theistic evolution were true how much could we really know for certain about God from Scripture?
What would we do with the parts of the New Testament (and the authors) that quoted those “misleading” sections of the Old Testament?
Jesus quotes the creation account with authority. What would that say about Jesus if theistic evolution were fact? What does theistic evolution do to inspiration?
10.Finally look at Ephesians 1:3-12. What is the subject of these verses?
Can we imagine that a God who did not carefully plan His creation, nor care enough to become personally involved over thousands of millennia at a time, would care to predestine individuals to great blessing and so much love?
What would you expect instead?
It certainly seems fitting to close this study by praying Psalm 23.
Copyright © 1986 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329 800-422-4253 www.creationmoments.com