Yes, evolution, again.

I keep on promising myself that I’ll just let this topic go, but Al Mohler keeps on stupefying me. There is so much wrong with this paragraph from his latest article attacking Biologos:

As I have stated repeatedly, I accept without hesitation the fact that the world indeed looks old. Armed with naturalistic assumptions, I would almost assuredly come to the same conclusions as BioLogos and the evolutionary establishment, or I would at least find evolutionary arguments credible. But the most basic issue is, and has always been, that of worldview and basic presuppositions. The entire intellectual enterprise of evolution is based on naturalistic assumptions, and I do not share those presuppositions. Indeed, the entire enterprise of Christianity is based on supernaturalistic, rather than merely naturalistic, assumptions. There is absolutely no reason that a Christian theologian should accept the uniformitarian assumptions of evolution. In fact, given a plain reading of Scripture, there is every reason that Christians should reject a uniformitarian presupposition. The Bible itself offers a very different understanding of natural phenomena, with explanations that should be compelling to believers. In sum, there is every reason for Christians to view the appearance of the cosmos as graphic evidence of the ravages of sin and the catastrophic nature of God’s judgment upon sin.

Oh my! He really thinks the issue is as neat and tidy as choosing “supernaturalism” or “naturalism.” In case you missed it, here’s the thesis statement: “Indeed, the entire enterprise of Christianity is based on supernaturalistic, rather than merely naturalistic, assumptions.”

No, Christianity is not “based upon” the flow or suspension of physical properties and laws. Christianity is based upon the love of God in Jesus Christ. This love was revealed in covenants and promise-keeping which involved a new creation. I don’t deny that God’s self-revelation from Abraham to Pentecost, before and after, involves a series of supernatural occurrences. But, this hardly requires some “supernatural” criteria for understanding biblical cosmology as normative for revelation and, thereby, for dogmatics. That’s an assumption which Mohler never proves and can’t prove. It’s an all-or-nothing “worldview” game for Mohler, requiring massive intellectual blinders.

Also, what the heck does the last sentence mean? “In sum, there is every reason for Christians to view the appearance of the cosmos as graphic evidence of the ravages of sin and the catastrophic nature of God’s judgment upon sin.” That’s how Mohler accounts for the incontrovertible evidence for an old earth? Really? How on earth does the “ravages of sin” have anything to do with the light-year span of distant galaxies or the decay of radioactive uranium?

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11 comments

  1. One of the things I liked about living in the UK is that Christians there seem mostly to have moved beyond these controversies.

    btw, have you seen this?

    “Adam and Eve as Historical People, and Why it Matters” by C. John Collins

    It’s long, but to get the gist you need only read from p. 12 [158] (“Quite briefly, I take the biblical storyline to imply…”) to p. 16 [162]. What do you think of his “modified monogenesis”?

  2. I don’t think you and Mohler are on the same wavelength. I think his framework is somewhat incomprehensible to people born after a certain date. The quotation makes perfectly good sense to me, not that I agree with it.

  3. The relation of science to faith, and in particular, evolution to faith, is an important topic. Recently I interacted with someone who announced he had left the Christian faith because he believed in evolution. Last Sunday at our church a Sunday School children’s teacher was telling the children that most scientists don’t know what they’re talking about (when it comes to science). There continues to be much turmoil over this issue. Hence your observations are relevant and welcome.

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