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Recently, the prominent theistic evolution group BioLogos published the testimony of Daniel Hamlin, who writes for Nazarenes Exploring Evolution. (I’ve blogged about this group before.) Now, many Nazarene universities have given in to the compromise that has swept so many of our churches and Christian schools. Their faculty members often accept and teach millions of years and even biological evolution.
For example, consider Dr. Darrel Falk, the former president of BioLogos and current professor of biology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. He stated in an interview with Test of Faith that he would teach a student who asked about the age of the earth that our planet is billions of years old and that the universe is billions of years old—despite what we know based on the genealogies in Scripture. (See my blog post for the video of this interview.)
With such disregard for the authority of God’s Word on creation by many Christian college professors, it’s no surprise when I read testimonies like Hamlin’s and see the destructive effects of evolutionary ideas on one’s Christian faith. As I’ve taught many times before, evolution comes out of a naturalistic worldview and is an attempt to explain the world without God.
Well, Hamlin shares that when he began reading about evolutionary ideas, he came to the conclusion that “Christianity is a lie and I’ve been duped.” He believed he had been “deceived” by Christian leaders, and he writes that he “chose science and for a time questioned the existence of God.” Wow! Those kinds of statements really demonstrate the way evolutionary ideas can undermine the authority of the Word of God and the gospel. Hamlin’s automatic conclusion was that Christianity had to be false if evolution and millions of years were true—these things are mutually exclusive!
Of course, a belief in a young earth is not necessary to salvation in Christ. And Hamlin did eventually return to the church—as a theistic evolutionist. Sadly, Hamlin chose to incorporate evolution and billions of years into Scripture. And who knows how many in the younger generation he will influence will go through what he did, though they may never return to the church (and most of those who leave the church don’t return)? He writes that just as Christ was both human and divine, “the Bible is both human and divine”:
The original authors recorded God’s self-revelation as he interacted with humanity and the people of Israel. As these interactions were recorded, they were written within the worldview of the author and in terms that the original audience could understand. Because of this, parts of scripture contain evidence of an ancient understanding of the world. However, God accommodated this understanding so that his story could be told, his message understood, and his love displayed.This is a false argument, and it is certainly not a new argument. BioLogos regularly claims that God “accommodated” His Word to the supposed primitive understanding of the Israelites. In essence, all that means is that God lied to His people, that the One who created language wasn’t able to communicate His own message truthfully to humans in a way we could understand. This is a clear example of man’s word being lifted above God’s Word. Such a view also undermines the perspicuity of Scripture.
What’s more, if we actually examine the cultural and historical context in which the Bible was written, it’s clear that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) not only teaches the truth about creation, the Fall, the Flood, and so on, but that Moses (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) wrote it in part to specifically counter the claims of the surrounding pagan nations’ mythology. I encourage you to read Dr. Abner Chou’s article in Answers magazine titled “Genesis—The Original Myth Buster.”
Hamlin also claims that he wanted to “balance the extremes of bibliolatry” in his understanding of origins. Now, the word bibliolatry refers to the worship of the Bible. And of course it is possible to literally worship the book itself or to engage in spiritual pride about one’s beliefs. But Hamlin seems to imply that those who take Genesis 1–11 as literal history are engaged in bibliolatry. But it’s not worshipping the Bible to take God at His Word—it’s honoring biblical authority over the fallible ideas of man. That’s the appropriate response for Christians.
Certainly we should celebrate when a person understands the gospel and is saved. But we should also pray for those fellow believers, such as Daniel Hamlin, who have not only left biblical authority behind when it comes to origins, but who also have influence and are using it to spread evolution and millions of years in the church. I believe such people are leading many away from the Christian faith, including this current generation of young people—something they will have to answer to God for one day. Yes, God will judge—and He will have the last word!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying, Ken