More “Uncertain” Sounds from the Church

I recently posted on Facebook a short article I wrote titled “An Uncertain Sound” because I’m concerned about the uncertain sound coming (1 Corinthians 14:8) from the church in regard to God’s Word beginning in Genesis. That’s because there is so much compromise with evolution and millions of years from Christian academics and Christian leaders. I want to bring to your attention another example of this uncertain sound, this one coming from a recent article series.

“At what point in the evolutionary process did humans attain the ‘Image of God’?” That question was recently addressed in the Southern Baptist Voices essay series put out by none other than …  BioLogos. This organization claims it wants to have dialogue about Genesis and the issues of evolution and millions of years, but in fact, they really tolerate all views except those who are adamant (as we are) about six literal days, young earth, no death and disease of man or animals before sin, etc.

In an attempt to have what they say is “dialogue [that] will bring greater clarity to the issues at hand,” BioLogos has invited Southern Baptist professors to write essays on various aspects of theistic evolution, to which BioLogos then writes response essays.

Dr. John Hammett is the author of the most recent essay in the series, titled “Evolutionary Creationism and the Imago Dei.” Dr. Hammett is the professor of Systematic Theology and associate dean of Theological Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, North Carolina).

The question Dr. Hammett attempts to answer in his essay is actually at the heart of the issue of adding evolutionary ideas and millions of years to Scripture. Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” Genesis establishes clearly that we are made in God’s image—He created us in His image. We did not evolve into beings in His image.

But Dr. Hammett, unfortunately, does not stand on the authority of Scripture in Genesis and does not speak authoritatively about the importance of making God’s Word our starting point.

Instead, he writes, “In the area of science, to call me a novice would be a kindness, so to question their [BioLogos’s] evaluation of the scientific evidence for the evolutionary process would be inappropriate for me.”

What are the problems with Dr. Hammett’s statement? First, he implies that only a scientist can make judgments about evolution, which is a belief concerning the past. However, God’s Word in Genesis is a true record of origins, and any Christian can use what it clearly teaches to judge man’s evolutionary beliefs.

Second, he gives up the authority of Scripture and tries to argue using man’s ideas as his basis. Finally, Dr. Hammett, I believe, implies in the article that Christians cannot even understand or trust Genesis as an accurate record of historical science.

As Dr. Hammett continues his short essay, he writes, “It is at this point I wish to question whether or not it is possible for the image of God to be produced through the evolutionary process apart from the special intervention of God.” Dr. Hammett doesn’t state his position on Genesis. He may claim as a scholar he is just answering a “what if” question. But the very fact he would agree to argue this way, in my opinion, could be interpreted as allowing for the idea of evolution and millions of years. Regardless of his actual position, this is an “uncertain sound” indeed.

I have become increasingly concerned about the church (and our seminaries and Bible colleges) as I’ve read more about professors and church leaders. These are the people who are training our current and future generation of leaders and pastors—who are willing to compromise on Genesis and not take an authoritative stand on the clear words God has given to us in His Word. Such dialogue for the sake of unity, as BioLogos’s article series would seem to be encouraging believers to do, is not acceptable from a biblical standpoint. Really, BioLogos wants unity in regard to man’s fallible ideas about origins. But what we should be doing is ensuring we have unity on God’s Word and what it clearly teaches, and then judging man’s beliefs accordingly—not dialoguing about how the human soul could come about if evolution were true!

I want to challenge you to read my article, “An Uncertain Sound.” In light of the compromise that is happening among Bible scholars and the church, we need more people speaking out boldly about the truth of Scripture—authoritatively, unashamedly, and without compromise. We need to engage those who compromise God’s Word and challenge them concerning the truth of Scripture—not dialogue for the sake of supposedly tolerating various views but dialogue for the sake of correcting wrong beliefs!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken

Steve Golden assisted in research for this blog.