Theistic Evolution

The Pope has recently declared that both the Bible and Darwin’s evolutionary theory are true; that they are not in contradiction. In other words, God created all things, but He did it by an evolutionary process. This position is very dangerous. It attempts to reinterpret God’s Word to fit man’s ideas. This attempted compromise is not possible.

Theistic evolutionists believe that God created all things, but that He did so through an evolutionary process. Quoting 2 Peter 3:8, that "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years," Theistic evolutionists believe that the "days" of creation in Genesis 1 and 2 are long periods of time - each "day" being a time period of millions or billions of years, God-created, but in an evolutionary manner.

The attempted compromise position satisfies neither the evolutionary scientist nor the biblical creationist, however. The one does not want to acknowledge the presence and power of God in the universe, and the other desires to remain fully true to the creation account found in the infallible Word of God.

Theistic evolution or "long days of creation" theories encounter the following scriptural difficulties:

1. The Old Testament word "day" in Hebrew - "yom," when used with a numeral, always means a literal day of twenty-four hours. The only possible exceptions to this rule are found in the difficult, symbolic visions of Daniel (Daniel 8:14 and 12:11-12). These "days," being quoted in a clearly symbolic vision opens them to non-literal interpretation. The context clearly indicates that these chapters in Daniel are visions and not history. This is not true when reading Genesis 1.

2. Scripture always speaks of God’s creative work as being instant in power. "By the Word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. For He spake and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:6-9). Read Genesis 1. How does the entire chapter testify of this truth? Which verses clearly portray God’s instant creating power?

3. The fourth of God’s ten commandments reads as follows:

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11).

The same Hebrew words are consistently used for "day" and "days" in these verses. There is not hint in the context that some "days" are literal twenty-four hour periods and other "days" are not. Man is not to work for six periods of millions of years and rest for one such period. Man is instructed in this commandment to work for six twenty-four hour days and to rest for one, as God did.

4. Genesis 2:7 informs us that "the LORD God formed man of the dust (literally, the `powder` or `dry dust`) of the ground." The theistic evolutionist believes that "dust" must also be interpreted symbolically. Since man gradually developed from animals, "dust" must mean "lower life forms."

This interpretation encounters serious difficulties in the following chapter of Genesis, however, where God proclaims to Adam and all mankind: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:19).

The Hebrew word for "dust" and "ground" are identical in both verses. Neither verse is placed in a context requiring symbolic interpretations. If "dust" refers to "lower life form," then Genesis 3:19 means that man will return to lower forms of animal life when he dies!

5. Each day representing long periods of time presents numerous contradictions to God’s natural laws. For instance, plants were created on the third day and the sun on the fourth. Plants need sunlight to exist. If one day represented millions of years, how would plants have survived for millions of years without the sun? Insects were created on the fifth day. Plants need insects for cross-pollination. How would plants have reproduced for millions of years without insects?

6. Combining the Genesis One creation account with the evolutionary theory is not possible; numerous differences in order confront those who attempt it. For instance, the biblical account speaks of the following sequences: the earth created before the sun, moon, and stars; plants one day before the sun; whales before land animals; birds before insects; fruit trees before fish; and birds before reptiles. All of these are presented in reverse order in evolutionary time tables, sometimes with millions or billions of years of reversed distance.

For these six reasons, Scripture rejects the idea of theistic evolution.