Theistic Evolution

Hello family! Let me say off the bat that I dont want to malign anyone who holds to this idea, I just want to ask how does this reconcile with The Fall and death being a consequence of it? Also according to Revelation and the hope of a new creation, which I’ve always understood as a correction and restart to mirror the original creation, death will not be apart of it in any sense. Has anyone looked into these lines of thought?
-Thank you.

2 Likes

I don’t believe this, but I have studied it. Some people believe in order for this model to work, death must’ve occurred for millions of years between each creation day. So in order for this framework to operate, death must be as essential as creation itself, thus lowering the significane of death entering the world via Adam and Eve.
After all, no death means no natural selection, no natural selection means animals without good gene combinations would survive long enough to reproduce, and if that happens it could mean the end of a species once death did enter the world.

1 Like

Well see that was my thought too but the claim is that God managed and guided every step supposively beiong more involved intrionsically to His creation instead of “Let there be…” and then walk away. Now im not apposed to a gap theory to creation or a liitteral 6 days but I just think given the growing uncertainty of Darwinism among honest scientists, there isnt a complusion to rethink all of theology to fit evolution into it.

I had some thoughts a number of years ago on the subject. (just my thoughts). Time seems to be the tipping point where one leans towards one side or the other. What if we look at time differently. For example: Once God had created Adam and Eve he instructed them to be fruitful and multiply. From this we can assume that at the time they were created, they were “of age” and physically mature enough to do so? That being the case, would they not be BOTH 5 minutes old and “appear to be” 14 or 16 or whatever the appropriate age to reproduce might be? Going forward then with this thought, could not the Earth at the same time be BOTH be 5 minutes old AND 4.5 Billion in appearance? Could not billions of years of change, growth and age occurred instantly as was similarly the case with Adam and Eve? I don’t know…just some thoughts…

2 Likes

Well, let’s break it down to its most simplistic parts:
Evolution is the changing of one species to another.
It requires the good genetic traits to survive and the bad ones to be removed from the species. This is done by the death of animals with bad traits.

Some goats are born deformed, with no mouth, and only one eye. The moment they are detached from their mothers umbilical cord, they’re on a timer. Without a mouth, they can’t eat and they’ll either die of starvation or dehydration.
Now there’s also the story of the one eyed sheep: after WWII, some farmers noticed that their sheep were giving birth to lambs with only one eye. Instead of brushing it off as a fluke, they called in researchers from the government. After a decade of research, they isolated the problem: a flower called Corn Lilies. Now if these sheep were wild, missing an eye would’ve been a massive disadvantage when evading predators, so they most likely would’ve been eaten. Only the ones who’s mom hadn’t eaten corn lilies would have survived.

This is the pattern: something bad arises in the DNA, the animal isn’t fit, they get eaten. Now evolution is all about taking something bad and making it good. (basically going against the law of entropy)

So this raises many interesting questions:
If animals have to change their code to be better equipped for situations, doesn’t that mean that God didn’t make them good in the beginning?
We can accept that animals adapt in modern times because we live in a broken world and the creatures we have are dirty reflections of the creatures they once were, so of course they’re not good.
But animals before death, before the fall?
It would then mean that God didn’t create something perfect and good. You could argue that not creating Eve off the bat meant God created something bad, but he wasn’t done creating the universe.
But allowing malformed animals to exist and die before we get the final, perfect result is clearly not a good creation.

Then you might argue, “okay, but maybe God weeded out the bad genes from the animals and replaced them with good ones.” That’s a massive leap of logic to cram in between a couple of verses. It’s also an Ad Hoc fallacy: impossible to prove, impossible to disprove if given some support. And if we believe this, what’s stopping us from believing in Lilith?
Lilith is a woman from Jewish legend that was created before Eve. We can also cram in Lilith the same way we crammed in Gap Theory.

At the end of the day, we can take the implications of a such a claim and by evaluating those implications, we evalute whether the claim is valid itself. Cramming in Millions/Billions of years means that the Bible doesn’t quite mean the time frames it gives to us. And not saying what’s true is ethically wrong.

One might argue that for God a day is a millon years, and vice verse as it says in Peter. But then we would have to apply that logic to everywhere else in the Bible. That must mean that Jesus was also dead for 3 days, but also 3 million years. And since Jesus said he would give the sign of Jonah, that must also mean that Jonah was in the fish for 3 million years.

But one might also argue that it only points to that specific event in Genesis, but that’s terrible exegesis: the Bible uses the same word for day as it does in Jonah. It gives us no reason to assume otherwise, the reason some people do is because of a reason they believe outside of the Bible. You can’t play by the rules only when it’s convenient

Sorry if this got a bit complex, but these topics usually are like that. I hope this helps you

1 Like

Hello, @Myles_Goodwin

This certainly can get complicated, but it may be much easier if we try to discuss one question at a time. Let me see if I understood your questions. I am going to rewrite them and please let me know if I understood them:

  1. How do theistic evolutionists reconcile the fall of man and death being a consequence of the fall with the Bible?
    I have a question regarding this: What do you mean by death? Death of bacteria/plants/animals or death of humans?

  2. According to Revelation the new creation is a correction to the original creation. Is death a part of it in any sense?

Did I understand the questions correctly?

A video by Fuz

1 Like

I appreciate you clarifying the issue as I could have done a better job asking it! As to your first point that is exactly what im asking since a clear reading of Scripture would indicate that death was a consequence OF the fall not something preceding it. By death I mean the decay of the natural world and us as humans.
However your second point I would say is not entirely accurate because according to the Theistic Evolutionist, death was a integral part of God’s created order which He deemed good. Now to imply a correction to that would be saying that God didnt get it right the first time. We know very well that it was us that through the wrench into creation not God making a mistake obviously. So it is not, from what Scripture says, a correction but a restoration to the original plan without sin AND death.

On a side note, why do we have to be compelled to except evolution into God’s plan when plenty of scientists not apart of any faith are starting to very seriously question Darwinian evolution?

Brother I think that is a very logical and biblical argument and I would agree with you. It would undermine God’s initial creation as not being what He called it which was good. My other thought was that this would entirely change our perspective on what sin really is and what the final restoration of creation is. Also Jesus’ death and resurrection to save us from the wages of sin which is death. It would kind of imply Christ rising from the dead was the next step in our evolution. I dont know, many things would have to be hammered out and 2,000 years of Theology rewritten.
However this is not to say we shouldnt consider that if thats the truth of God’s creation, thats no reason to hold on to traditional theology IF nature compels us otherwise. I just dont think there is that kind of pressure even in the slightest.

1 Like

Hi Myles what a great question. Thanks for stipulating your position from the beginning. Much appreciated. I’m not a theistic evolutionist but I hold to a ‘Day Age Creation’ view which has no evolution in it. It does hold to an old earth/ universe . I hope that doesn’t offend anyone. If it does I’ll leave the conversation. One thing I try to remember is that all these issues are not central to the gospel . With this in mind my intent is to talk graciously about it all. My view does include animal death before the fall. Romans 5 .12 says Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” The point can be made therefore that death came to people not animals. Can anyone point to a scripture that specifically says death came to animals after the fall. Animals are a separate creation to us.
Point 2 Okay how should we view death. When God said to Adam not to eat from the tree otherwise he would surely die. when they ate the fruit Adam and Eve did not physically die as a consequence for another 800 years or so. Brought on by their lack of access to the tree of life which God denied them access to after the fall. It was the spiritual death and separation from God that was the central focus.
What about our own death. Doesn’t Paul refer to wanting to die as being a better choice he would prefer as he would be with the lord. Isn’t it by dying that we receive life. Also aren’t we encouraged to die to self. To put our earthly man to death. The parable of the seed comes to mind. Without death there is no life.

1 Like

I am not offended at all by you sister and pray no one else may be so near sighted as to be either. I would agree that Theistic evolution, young earth,old earth are not “salvation issues”. However I would say on the part of Theistic evolution, which was my main concern in this topic,it does pose a significant reinterpretation of our fallen nature, what scripture means when Christ conquered death, and the new heaven and new earth.
If I may point out that scripture “could” allow for animal death but is silent mainly because The Bible is the story of humanity’s salvation not nature’s, although it is touched on.
Although Adam and Eve didnt “drop dead” immediately, creation is changed as well as the degeneration of human life which is why we dont live as long now. The ground would have to be coaxed to give food and the act of reproduction would be a painful experience now due to sin The point is still that the garden was in God’s presence with the tree of life which they would never have to leave and therefore not die if it werent for sin.
Also all the passages you site for a positive view on death are after Christ had defeated it on the cross and now “oh death where is your sting?”. Jesus’ victory over death is the only reason we dont have to fear it. Otherwise we would experience the “second death” after the Great White thrown Judgment.
Does that make a little more sense? Death is seen as an enemy throughout scripture even in the NT for those outside of Christ’s grace.
So my question is that how could that be apart of the original creation and deemed good?

Hi Myles . Yes you make some good points . This is a fascinating topic. Interestingly Dr Hugh Ross discusses this topic on RZIM in 2017 . If you type in his name and look down you will see his response to the death question. He’s the expert on this view.
I would point to decay being present before the fall ie when they ate food And the stars were shining before the fall and were in a state of change ie decay before. Also a point to consider is When God spoke to Adam re the consequences of his act of disobedience God said “ Cursed is the ground because of you .” The sun and stars missed out on this process. The laws of thermodynamics had been established before the fall. In Jeremiah 3.25 God says “I have established the fixed laws of heaven and earth.“.

in Romans 8.18 -23 speaks of the law of decay and creation groaning being subject to this law. These were established before the fall. God didn’t change his laws they had already been established.
Also on the death issue in Job 38 .39 God himself talks of satisfying the appetite of the young lions and providing the prey for them. There is no suggestion that this death of the other prey is in anyway evil. Indeed the question could be posed. Are carnivores evil? If The death of animals is truly evil then perhaps we should all be vegetarians. I can’t comment on the theistic evolutionists as I haven’t learnt too much on that . There is a book called Four views on creation evolution,and iIntelligent design which I’ve heard is good .
Interesting discussion Myles.

1 Like