The Waltke Controversy

In February, during my State of the Nation 2 live webcast presentation, I quoted from Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke, as one of those theological leaders who is undermining the authority of Scripture. He had been asked by the BioLogos Foundation founder, Francis Collins, to prepare a white paper. Dr. Waltke stated:

Francis S. Collins, noted for his leadership of the Human Genome Project, for his recent appointment by President Barack Obama to head up the National Institutes of Health, and for his founding of BioLogos, has asked me to prepare a white paper by September 15, 2009, on “Identifying the barriers that hinder the typical evangelical theologians from accepting the possibility of creation by means of an evolutionary process.”

We since found out that Dr. Waltke spoke at a BioLogos conference, and a video clip of Waltke—apparently endorsing evolution—created a controversy, resulting in Dr. Waltke resigning his position at The Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. There are some reports (which I can’t verify yet) indicating that he may be doing some courses for Knox Theological Seminary in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This seminary was founded by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, who was an ardent biblical creationist. He would never allow such a person, no matter how qualified and world-renowned, to teach at his seminary. Dr. Kennedy interviewed me many times on radio and TV. He was, in fact, the honorary chairman of our Creation Museum project!

Last evening, I was interviewed about the Waltke controversy for Diane Sawyer’s ABC World News TV program—probably airing on tonight’s edition—so keep watch. I don’t know which clips of the interview they will use, but I did emphasize a number of times in my recorded interview that for Christians who believe in evolution, although it is not a salvation issue, it is an authority issue as they are undermining the authority of the Word of God.

The reporter interviewing me (Dan Harris) suggested that young people might turn away from the church if we insist on believing Genesis when the majority of scientists believe evolution (as, by the way, the BioLogos website claims). I responded that two thirds of young people are already leaving the church (see the Already Gone research) and it is because the church by and large has not stood on the authority of God’s Word, but instead has compromised with secular beliefs such as evolution. In other words, the opposite of this statement put to me is actually true!

It is so obvious to me that the BioLogos Foundation (now headed up by two Nazarene college professors who are ardent evolutionists and liberal in their theology) have loved having a world renowned scholar like Waltke endorse them, as they are being very aggressive in pushing their liberal theology agenda on the church. In fact, if you want to see where compromising evolution/millions of years with the Bible leads to, go to the BioLogos website and read their question and answer section.

On the questions and answers section of their website, they give the different views of understanding Genesis, but for an organization that claims is “promoting dialog,” they very blatantly criticize a view if they don’t agree with it, or endorse a view when they do agree with it. For instance, in regard to what the BioLogos Foundation calls “the literalist interpretation” (e.g., the stand AiG takes), they state:

The scientific evidence suggests a dramatically larger population at this point in history. Recently acquired genetic evidence also points to a population of several thousand people from whom all humans have descended, not just two. Finally, fossil and DNA records point strongly to a more unified creation reflected in the relatedness of humans and other animals. The comparison of human and chimp chromosomes provides one of many compelling pieces of evidence for this unity. The chromosomes of the two species match up almost exactly, except for human chromosome 2, which appears to be a fusion of two chromosomes that were distinct in a primate ancestor of our species. This remarkable claim was confirmed when sequences that are normally found only at the ends of chromosomes were discovered in the middle of human chromosome 2, right where the fusion was thought to have taken place. Today, we carry in our bodies this evidence of our relatedness to other species. The evidence argues strongly against a literalist interpretation of the Genesis creation account of humans.

Then in regard to what they call “The Everyman Reading,” they state:

The Everyman Reading of the creation story understands understands [sic] the Fall as an allegory representing every human’s individual rejection of God. In this light, the Fall was not a historical event but an illustration of the common human condition that virtually everyone agrees is deeply flawed and sinful. In this view, Adam and Eve were not intended to be presented as historical figures. Their deeds simply represent the actions of all humans and remind us of this troubling part of our natures.

They then state:

This interpretation is less popular among many Christians, for the historicity of Adam seems to be assumed by the apostle Paul. In Romans 5 (and somewhat in 1 Corinthians 15), Paul draws an analogy between Adam and Jesus, both of whom are representative of humanity, but in different senses: Adam brings death to all, whereas Jesus brings life; Adam was disobedient, Jesus was obedient; Adam’s disobedience affects all, whereas Jesus’ obedience affects “all”. Since Jesus is an historical figure, it is argued that Adam, too, must be an historical figure in the very same sense. You cannot have one part of the analogy be symbolic and the other historical. Plus, if Paul believed in an historical Adam as the first human, Christians should too. The difficulty with this understanding of Paul, however, is that it is difficult to reconcile with the scientific data, which has lead Christian thinkers to consider different ways of handling Paul’s words.

They do not believe in a literal Fall of Genesis 3, and they do not believe in the historicity of Adam. In a previous blog I actually included a number of other quotes from the BioLogos staff to show clearly that they deviate from orthodox Christianity.

I don’t often recommend websites of those who undermine Scripture—but in this instance, God’s people need to know what the BioLogos Foundation is teaching, and what in essence Waltke (either wittingly or unwittingly) was endorsing. That is why I encourage you to go to their website and read their question and answer section—you will see, as I stated, that it greatly deviates from orthodox Christianity. This should be a warning to all Christians concerning what happens when God’s Word is compromised with the secular religion of the age (evolution/millions of years)—it is a direct attack on the authority of the Word of God.

Today’s lead article on the Answers in Genesis website gives more details concerning Dr. Bruce Waltke and the BioLogos Foundation. I urge you to read this article by AiG researcher/speaker/writer, Dr. Terry Mortenson.

Meanwhile, watch ABC TV’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” tonight (Thursday), as we may be seen in a segment commenting on Dr. Waltke.

Speaking at AHEA, Canada

Tomorrow I begin a series of six presentations at the Alberta Home Educators Conference in Canada, and then speak four times at a church. I believe this Home Educators conference is the largest such meeting in that nation. You can obtain details from the AiG website.

Devotion

You are they which have continued

(Luke 22:28–30) You are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

We might not think of the disciples as overcomers, but the Lord Jesus Christ is for us and has a vision for us to persevere and be rewarded in His kingdom.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken