What Will the Academics Teach at the Wheaton College Symposium?

During March 28–29, Wheaton College in Illinois is hosting a Science Symposium entitled “Evolutionary Theory: Implications & Christian Belief.”  You can see a list of speakers at this link.

What I thought would be good is to give you documented evidence of the position on God’s Word in Genesis these speakers take. I will give you direct quotes from each of them (with the source), so you can judge for yourselves what Wheaton students, professors, and visitors will likely be taught at this symposium.

Kathryn Applegate, the program director at BioLogos in San Diego, CA, says this:

God speaks through the Bible and through all sorts of other things, too, that comport with the Bible. So for science, I think, science is another way of studying what God does and, we’re progressively having revealed to us how he has created, how he continues to create. That it wasn’t just Godmade it at the beginning and stepped away. I think God is active and involved, and we see that in the continuous creation through the means of evolution.

So, that’s really exciting and a way to better understand who God is and the character of what he’s about. He’s infinitely creative, infinitely good, and we see that in great diversity of life on Earth. Looking at Genesis only for scientific details is a bit like trying to look at the notes on a page of a symphony and without hearing it, you miss all the richness and glory to do so. Not that the notes aren’t important, not that the science isn’t important, but that isn’t the primary purpose of why we have those texts. (http://biologos.org/resources/kathryn-applegate-on-how-evolutionary-science-reveals-gods-character)

In a BioLogos video entitled “The Church Must Not Ignore the Evidence,” Applegate argues that there are “severe implications for the church” if it continues to avoid the topic of evolution (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oio93rWFruU).

Michael Behe is Professor of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. He writes the following in Darwin’s Black Box (Simon and Schuster, 1996):

Evolution is a controversial topic, so it is necessary to address a few basic questions at the beginning of the book. Many people think that questioning Darwinian evolution must be equivalent to espousing creationism. As commonly understood, creationism involves belief in an earth formed only about ten thousand years ago, an interpretation of the Bible that is still very popular. For the record, I have no reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it. (p. 5)

C. John Collins is the professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Collins believes in “anthropomorphic days,” which is similar to the day-age view. He writes the following in Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? (Wheaton: Crossways, 2003):

First, it is true that modern geology does not depend on Scripture (it isn’t true that it ignores it, though: many works cite James Ussher’s chronology for the world). But this is a far cry from saying that it sets itself in opposition to the Bible. In fact, most of the pioneering geologists in early nineteenth-century England were pious Anglicans—some were clergy. It would only be right to say that geology opposes Scripture if we were sure that Scripture requires us to believe that the world is young—and the early geologists thought the Bible gave room for other possible interpretations. (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/05/31/why-dont-many-christian-leaders-and-scholars#fnList_1_23)

Darrel Falk is the professor of Biology, Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA. In a video from the Test of Faith entitled “How old is the universe?” Falk claims, “The age of the universe is around 13 billion years old … and I would say the age of the earth is 4.3 billion years old” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-H3dGttx58&lr=1&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1).

Paul Nelson is fellow of the Discovery Institute in Seattle, WA, and adjunct professor in the Master of Arts Program in Science & Religion at Biola University in La Mirada, CA. Nelson was a contributor to Three Views on Creation and Evolution, edited by J.P. Moreland and John Mark Reynolds (Zondervan, 1999). He writes the following:

Young earth creationism, therefore, need not embrace a dogmatic or static biblical hermeneutic. It must be willing to change and admit error. Presently, we can admit that as recent creationists we are defending a very natural biblical account, at the cost of abandoning a very plausible scientific picture of an “old” cosmos. But over the long term, this is not a tenable position. In our opinion, old earth creationism combines a less natural textual reading with a much more plausible scientific vision. They have many fewer “problems of science.” At the moment, this would seem the more rational position to adopt. Recent creationism must develop better scientific accounts if it is to remain viable against old earth creationism. (p. 73)

Alvin Plantinga is the professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, IN. He is the author of Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism, among other books. Plantinga, in a letter to the Editor in the Chronicle of Higher Education, writes this:

As far as I can see, God certainly could have used Darwinian processes to create the living world and direct it as he wanted to go; hence evolution as such does not imply that there is no direction in the history of life. What does have that implication is not evolutionary theory itself, but unguided evolution, the idea that neither God nor any other person has taken a hand in guiding, directing or orchestrating the course of evolution. But the scientific theory of evolution, sensibly enough, says nothing one way or the other about divine guidance. It doesn’t say that evolution is divinely guided; it also doesn’t say that it isn’t. Like almost any theist, I reject unguided evolution; but the contemporary scientific theory of evolution just as such—apart from philosophical or theological add-ons—doesn’t say that evolution is unguided. Like science in general, it makes no pronouncements on the existence or activity of God. (http://chronicle.com/article/Evolution-Shibboleths-and/64990/)

Fazale Rana is the executive vice president of Research and Apologetics at Reasons to Believe. He writes the following in Origins of Life, coauthored with Hugh Ross (Navpress, 2004):

Scripture shows how God began with an amazing vision nearly 4 billion years ago when He spawned first life. He then hovered over early Earth like a mother eagle brooding over her young to preserve this life under hellish conditions. Thus began a process that connects the origins of early life to mankind’s beginning in a deeply meaningful way, as a progression of miracles making Earth suitable for human beings. (p. 225)

Jeffrey Schloss is the director of the Center for Faith, Ethics and Life Sciences at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. In a BioLogos video titled “Evolution: What We Know and What We Don’t,” Schloss says, “Evolution in the sense of whether that genetic change over time has resulted in the diversity of species we see now, which is the proposition of common descent–that is an idea, that’s an interpretation. But the evidence for the truth of that interpretation is overwhelming” (http://biologos.org/blog/evolution-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont).

Richard Sternberg is a research scientist at the Biologic Institute in Redmond, WA, and a research collaborator at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Sternberg calls himself an “evolutionary biologist” and adheres to “structural realism.” Sternberg writes the following in “How My Views on Evolution Evolved”:

In the grand scheme of things, then, there is no incompatibility whatsoever between subscribing to neo-Pythagorean neo-Platonism as I do and intelligent design in the broad sense; quite the contrary. Intelligent design of this variety clearly has roots separate from the Bible. (And, needless to say, those who try to represent the former as only the modern offshoot of scriptural literalism or of “red state” cultural ignorance are guilty of gross historical illiteracy.) Thus, my position asserts that the cosmos is fundamentally intelligible in such a way that it can be logically, mathematically, and scientifically recognized to be such; and moreover—following Proclus—that the universe emanates from Nous (mind). So in this sense my thinking is compatible with intelligent design broadly defined. (p. 10)

Sadly, such compromise as represented above is permeating Christian colleges and churches in America (and the rest of the world). This is the compromise that has led to a generational loss of biblical authority.

I encourage all of you to read our book Already Compromised that details the research conducted into what is being taught in Christian colleges, seminaries, etc. in the USA.  I would also direct you to a new series of videos where I not only teach about this biblical compromise but give many quotes and video clips of Christian leaders compromising God’s Word with evolution or millions of years. The series is entitled Already Compromised—3 DVD Set.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken