Evolution: The existence of all religions is understood as a developmental process, starting from a simple polytheism, monotheism (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) eventually emerged.
Scientific Objections: On the one hand, the transfer of evolutionary concepts to the origin of religions was quite arbitrary, but on the other hand, it follows logically from the principles of evolution (compare the basic evolutionary assumption E2). There are no historical grounds for this presupposition. The application of evolutionary ideas to the Bible is in complete contrast with biblical doctrines, and has rather grave implications:
- No distinction is made between divine revelation and conceptual structures contrived by men (Gal. 1:12; Rev. 1:1).
- Biblical pronouncements are reduced to the level of human endeavor.
- The difference between salvation and damnation is ignored.
Lutz von Padberg maintains [P1, p. 44]: “From the biblical perspective
it is a false doctrine to assign ‘another special way of salvation’
to other religions, because they are anti-Christian by nature and
purpose. . . . Man’s resistance to the biblical affirmation that he is
human and therefore cannot be a godlike superman (compare Gen. 3:22) leads to a perversion of the biblical distinction between God
and man. Man will not acknowledge the truth of the Creator, and
thus simply turns the creation account upside-down, perverting it
in the true sense of the word: He does not want to be God’s image,
but turns God into man’s image. That is the origin of religions which
consequently contain many gap fillers borrowed from the Christian
faith, exactly because they are based on ‘
what may be known about
God’ as mentioned by Paul in Romans 1:19.”
The Bible: All people have three fundamental types of information at their disposal, given them at creation according to the Bible:
- The wonders seen in creation lead to the conclusion that a Creator must have been at work (Rom. 1:19–21; for a teleological view, see basic assumption C8).
- Our conscience bears witness that we are guilty before God (Rom. 2:14–15).
- We all possess some inkling of eternity, because God has implanted it in our hearts (Eccles. 3:11).
Man’s inventiveness was extraordinarily moved by this universal knowledge, leading to thousands of peculiar ways in the form of various religions.Man’s inventiveness was extraordinarily moved by this universal knowledge, leading to thousands of peculiar ways in the form of various religions. The distinction between man’s religious way and God’s way already became clear with Cain and Abel. Cain was the first person who wanted to serve God according to his own ideas; he thus became the founder of the first religion. Cain did not at all practice polytheism as envisioned by evolutionists for the first religion. His brother acted according to God’s will and is held up as an example of having a faith that pleases God (Heb. 11:4). Our chain of faith reaches back through Abraham, Noah, and Enoch, and all the way back to the first man. This illustrates the fact that God-pleasing faith was present right from the very beginning (monotheism, therefore, did not evolve), and other religions arose concurrently, being mere human constructs. Although Cain addressed the God of the Bible by his offering, it was frowned upon and not accepted in grace (Gen. 4:5). It thus becomes very clear that all religions which do not pay homage to the Father of Jesus Christ, are denounced by God as idolatry and witchcraft (Lev. 26:1; Ps. 31:7; Jer. 10:14–15; 2 Cor. 6:16). From time to time, the idea that adherents of other religions are also finding their way to God, is advocated, but it is unambiguously and emphatically rejected by the Bible: “
For all the gods of the nations are idols” (Ps. 96:5), and “
No . . . idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5:5). The decisive distinction between the origin of biblical faith (God-given) and the religions (contrived by man) has crucial consequences: While God’s way brings eternal salvation, the religions obstruct the way to redemption (see [G4] for a more detailed discussion).