One Book, Not Two

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To defend the theory of evolution, theistic evolutionists often place God’s revelation through nature in the same category as his special revelation. For example, in the recent book Adam and the Genome, Dennis Venema tells us that God is the author of “two books.”

If indeed nature and Scripture have the same author, as Christians affirm, then there cannot, ultimately, be any disagreement between what we “read” in one book and what we read in the other.1

This saying is frequently recited by those who believe in theistic evolution. However, we must remember that general revelation is referred to as “general” revelation because it has a general content and is revealed to a general audience.

However it is not a matter of disagreeing with truths in nature but of keeping in mind that a scientist interprets the evidence found in nature according to a framework: naturalism, the predominant worldview today. We must keep in mind that sin has affected how we view general revelation. The New Testament uses various words to describe the ruin of humanity’s intellect: futile (Romans 1:21), debased (Romans (1:28), deceived (Colossians 2:4), and darkened (Ephesians 4:18). As theologian Louis Berkhof states, “Since the entrance of sin into the world, man can gather true knowledge about God from His general revelation only if he studies it in the light of Scripture.”2 It is therefore necessary to interpret general revelation in light of special revelation.

Our interpretations of the discoveries made in nature must be consistent with the special revelation found in Scripture.

This does not mean that we can learn nothing from studying nature. Rather, our interpretations of the discoveries made in nature must be consistent with the special revelation found in Scripture. Therefore, when theistic evolutionists tell us that there never was a historical Adam, because of the “genetic evidence,” we must remind them that the clear testimony of Scripture is that God created Adam supernaturally from the dust of the ground (see Genesis 2:7; Acts 17:26; 1 Corinthians 15: 45).

Rejecting evolution is rejecting not science but an ideology. The debate over creation and evolution is not a battle between science and Scripture—it is between two different worldviews, naturalism and biblical theism, and the interpretation of science in light of them.

Footnotes

  1. Dennis R. Venema and Scot McKnight, Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Brazos Press, 2017), 8.
  2. Louis Berkhof, Introductory Volume to Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing, 1932), 60.

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