Recently, a supporter contacted me about an article that appeared in The Banner, the official magazine of the Christian Reformed Church. This supporter was quite upset—and I can understand why! Compromise in the church on Genesis has just become so rampant, that it’s no surprise to see yet another church leader succumb to the idea that we must mix evolution and millions of years with the Bible.
Edwin Walhout, a retired Christian Reformed Church minister, wrote an article in The Banner titled, “Tomorrow’s Theology.” In the article, Walhout makes an interesting claim:
I suspect that a thousand years from now Christians will look back at the 21st century and say, “How could Christians have let themselves think that?” They’d have in mind our theology—some of the doctrines that are so precious to us and that we consider to be the backbone of Christianity.
Now, as soon as I read that, I thought, Oh no, I’ll bet he’s after one doctrine in particular—creation as presented in Genesis. Sadly, I was right.
Walhout goes on to state that evolution “is fast becoming recognized as established fact” and that he “accept[s] that the findings of modern science are reliable and must be taken as established fact.” Of course, by “modern science,” Walhout really means evolutionary historical science, which is an anti-God belief.
Because he believes evolutionary ideas are fact and must be accepted as such, Walhout uses the rest of the article as an opportunity to explain how much of the church’s theology in Genesis must change as a result.
He writes that we “cannot possibly” hold to a young earth, that we “have to find a better way of understanding what Genesis tells us about Adam and Eve,” and that Bible scholars have to rewrite the Bible’s explanation of why Christ died for us, “preserving everything essential to the biblical story while fitting it into a new paradigm”—an evolutionary paradigm.
Now, I have a much better solution for Walhout. How about we take God at His Word? Why not simply accept that the God who cannot lie, and who is infinite in wisdom, knowledge and power, gave us an eyewitness account of Creation and the Fall? Walhout is a prime example of a Christian leader who has chosen to lift fallible man’s ideas above the inerrant Word of God. And he even points out how evolutionary ideas undermine the gospel—but insists that we must reinterpret Scripture anyway!
I urge you to pray for Edwin Walhout, that he would turn back to the authority of God’s Word in Genesis, and to pray for readers of The Banner in the Christian Reformed Church, that they would see the inconsistencies of such a compromise position and how it undermines the authority of God’s Word and the gospel of Christ—and that they would ultimately reject such compromise.
It’s one thing to start with the Bible and reach different conclusions, as happens in eschatology (“end times” beliefs) or debates over baptism, etc.—but the origins debate stems from starting outside God’s Word and reading fallible man’s false ideas in (known as eisegesis). In a thousand years, debates over the finer points of certain biblical doctrines may have shifted and changed somewhat, but God’s clear Word in Genesis will still stand.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Steve Golden assisted in writing this blog item.