The well-known Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga recently argued, as summarized by this news article, that “Christians don’t have to cower as atheists swing the heavy club of science.” Plantinga is the emeritus John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, and he is the inaugural holder of the William Harry Jellema Chair in Christian Philosophy at Calvin College. Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is one of the most ardently compromising Christian Colleges in the US that continues to lead so many young people astray in regards to the authority of Scripture beginning in Genesis.
Plantinga declared that (what he calls) science and the Christian faith are compatible with one another and that science only contradicts faith when you add something to it (such as atheistic naturalism). I would certainly agree with him—until he equivocates science with evolution. I certainly do not agree that evolution only contradicts Christianity when you add something to it. No, evolution is absolutely, completely, and utterly opposed to Scripture regardless. Besides, as is usual for these academics, they refuse to acknowledge the difference between historical science (beliefs about the past or origins) and observational science (that builds our technology). (See our informative page, “What Is Science?”)
Plantinga seems to recognize that naturalism is the philosophical and religious underpinning of evolution and that it is atheistic and diametrically opposed to Christianity. He says,
[Atheists] are thinking of evolution plus naturalism, which is the idea that there isn’t any such person as God or anything like God . . . evolution doesn’t say anything about whether there is such a person as God or not. . . . It’s a metaphysical add-on they are importing into the scientific notion of evolution.What he fails to realize is that evolution is not some kind of neutral science that stands or falls on its own. It is an entire worldview that effects how you see and interpret the evidence in cosmology, geology, and biology. The religious implications of evolution are inescapable because to accept evolution means to reject or reinterpret the clear teaching of Genesis in all three of these areas. This puts man as the ultimate authority instead of God, which is exactly what naturalism seeks to do—explain life without God so that we can be our own authority.
Now, Plantinga also doesn’t seem to recognize that evolution and God’s Word are utterly contradictory to one another. In order to fit evolution into God’s Word, you have to compromise Scripture. The Bible makes it clear that death came as a consequence of Adam’s sin (Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:18) and that it did not exist before the Fall (Genesis 1:31). The very gospel itself is founded on this teaching: Jesus came to take the penalty that we, in Adam and individually, deserve, and that’s why He had to come physically and die physically and then physically rise again, defeating death once and for all. To say that God used millions of years of death, suffering, disease, and extinction to create life is to compromise the plain teaching of Scripture that death is the result of Adam’s sin.
And this is not the only problem with trying to squeeze evolution into the Bible. You also have to somehow fit millions of years into Genesis, and you have to rearrange the order of events in creation to accommodate the supposed evolutionary order. You have to understand Adam and Eve as either non-literal figures or as the descendants of ape-like ancestors instead of being specially created by God’s hand from dust (Adam) and Adam’s rib (Eve). Thorns, a part of the Curse (Genesis 3:18), are claimed to have existed for millions of years in the fossil record, and, if the fossil record represents millions of years, then the global Flood of Genesis 6–9 has to be reinterpreted as a local flood that would leave the rock layers undisturbed. And these are just some of the numerous biblical problems! Clearly the evolutionary model and Scripture are not compatible.
Now, while the evolutionary model of history is contradictory to Scripture, this does not mean that science and faith are pitted against one another. Observational science—the kind of science that is in the present and is observable, repeatable, and testable—will always confirm the Bible. You see, molecules-to-man evolution is historical science—the kind of science that interprets the past based on your starting point and is not observable, repeatable, or testable. True science and its conclusions are always in perfect harmony with God’s Word.
Actually, it is because of God and His Word that we can even do science. Evolutionists are unable, within their worldview, to account for the existence of the steady laws of nature that allow us to do science. If the universe evolved randomly by chance processes and is materialistic, as many evolutionists teach, then why do non-material, steady laws of nature govern the universe? These laws can only exist because there is a logical Mind who created the universe and upholds it in a logical and orderly way. Science is only possible because of God!
Isn’t it sad that such compromisers have infiltrated Christian colleges like Calvin College and have led so many astray? They have much to answer for when they stand before the God of Creation one day.
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