Cover Story

Books of the Year

"Books of the Year" Continued...

Issue: "2011 Books of the Year," July 2, 2011

Collins' winsomeness and Templeton money have escalated recent TE success among evangelicals, but so has concern about evangelism. A recent BioLogos essay by Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor pastor Ken Wilson-"supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation"-noted the red/blue division in American politics and argued that "people of blue sensibilities are not coming to our churches in droves." The reason, according to Wilson, is that a blue believer in evolution and global warming will not come for fear of being criticized.

Wilson pleaded with his readers, "I am not asking what you think about these matters of science. Because in this case what you think is less relevant to your ability to be effective in the mission field than how you feel." That's a passionate point, but a plaque over the kitchen sink in a house I've visited declares, "You have a choice: To live in your knowings or to live in your feelings." Evangelicals who know what the Bible says may feel like ignoring the first two chapters of Genesis in the interests of evangelism, but if we are "successful" in growing churches by that method, to which God are converts coming?

Retired University of California law professor Phillip Johnson speaks of "the church of Darwin" and notes that most Americans are still dissenters. Despite decades of public-school control, Darwinians have won little of their captive audience to their opinion. Gallup polls show that only one in seven Americans agrees that "human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in the process."

Slightly over 50 percent of those polled, though, have agreed with this statement: "God created human beings in their present form exactly the way the Bible describes it." Darwinists have been unable to beat that belief with the vision of biologist Bruce Alberts, former president of the National Academy of Sciences: "Humans are more like worms than we ever imagined." Few love the summary of University of California biology professor Charles Zuker: "In essence, we are nothing but a big fly."

Theistic evolution is Darwinists' hope for a breakthrough, but it's an attempt to synthesize the antithetical. And one question more: A generation ago Francis Schaeffer logically wrote (Genesis in Space and Time) that with evolution "man has lost his unique identity. . . . A Christian does not have this problem. He knows who he is. If anything is a gift from God, this is it-knowing who you are." Will this generation of Christians relinquish God's gift?

Read chapter 1 of God and Evolution (download PDF). The excerpt is also available for iPad users through WORLD's iPad app.

A man or a myth?

Our two books of the year have many fine chapters, but the most important one in Should Christians Embrace Evolution? is probably chapter 3, "Adam and Eve," written by Michael Reeves, theological head of Britain's Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship.

That's because most theistic evolutionists have no room in their Darwinist theory for the special creation of Adam and Eve. They say either that Adam and Eve had "souls" inserted into their bodies while they were part of a herd of hominids, or that-as a BioLogos website article theorized-they "were not individual historical characters, but represented a larger population of first humans who bore the image of God."

And yet, as Reeves shows, "far from being a peripheral matter for fussy literalists, it is biblically and theologically necessary for Christians to believe in Adam as first, a historical person who second, fathered the entire human race." One reason such belief is essential stems from the New Testament affirmations of the early chapters of Genesis, and their centrality to our understanding of Christ's sacrifice:

In Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6, Jesus refers to the creation of Adam and Eve as if they were real historical events.

In chapter 3 of his Gospel, Luke's genealogy assigns a father to everyone except Adam, whom Luke calls "the son of God."

In Acts 17:26, speaking before a very tough crowd, the Athenian Areopagus, Paul says, "From one man He made all the nations."

In Romans 5:12-21 Paul refers to the sin of "the one man, Adam" and the sinlessness of the one man, Christ. Paul cites Adam in the same way he refers to Christ. (Pundits ridiculed Dan Quayle during the 1992 campaign when they said he spoke of the television character Murphy Brown as if she were a real person.)

In 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 Paul refers to Eve's special creation: "For man did not come from woman, but woman from man." In 1 Timothy 2:13 he does the same: "For Adam was formed first, then Eve."


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