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“My generation of evangelicals is . . . ready to be done with the whole evolution-creation debate. We are ready to move on.” Those are among the bold claims from a young evangelical who now “embrace[s] evolution.”
The young author of Evolving in Monkey Town, Rachel Held Evans tells the story of growing up in Dayton, Tennessee—location of the infamous (and widely misrepresented) Scopes trial. Raised in a creationist atmosphere, Evans now says that “you don’t have to choose between loving and following Jesus and believing in evolution.”
"We are ready to be done with the whole evolution-creation debate."
According to Bob Smietana, author of the article featuring Evans that appeared in the Nashville Tennessean and the USA Today, Evans is just one of a “movement of mostly Protestant writers and scientists trying to reconcile faith and science.” Smietana also quotes several other individuals with various perspectives on the origins debate, from Answers in Genesis friend Al Mohler to Christian evolutionist Karl Giberson.
Evans told Smietana, “My generation of evangelicals is ready to call a truce on the culture wars. It seems like our parents, our pastors, and the media won’t let us do that. We are ready to be done with the whole evolution-creation debate. We are ready to move on.” However, neither Evans nor the article provides grounds to believe that she does speak for her generation.
On one hand, Answers in Genesis agrees—in a way—with Evans’s insistence that “you don’t have to choose between loving and following Jesus and believing in evolution.” Likewise, a person doesn’t have to choose between following Jesus and believing Jesus is the Son of God who lived a perfect life, died for our sins, and was resurrected; it all depends on what one means by “following Jesus.” But just as the Bible clearly teaches who Jesus is, and that He died and rose again, Scripture teaches of a recent, supernatural creation that explains why humans need a Savior in the first place. Ultimately, “moving on” from the truth of Genesis 1–11 undermines the gospel message. An individual may believe in evolution while genuinely following Jesus, but the two cannot theologically go hand in hand.
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