Strong Words, Certainly Fair

Strong Words, Certainly Fair July 18, 2013

From Pete Enns, on evolutionary theory and evangelicalism:

The two most common attempts are (1) to see Adam and Eve as the first hominids in the evolutionary line that God chose as the first representative humans, and (2) “Adam and Eve” represent the gene pool from which the current world population is has descended–which I am told by people who know these things is something like 5,000 to 10,000 people living 100,000 or more years ago.

Neither Genesis nor Paul say either of these things. I continue to find it ironic that, in an effort to protect the Bible, some see no problem in advancing readings of texts that aren’t there and for which the biblical authors had no frame of reference.

As far as I am concerned, these ad hoc solutions do more to expose the inadequacies of evangelicalism than they do to solve the problem of a biblically oriented faith vis-a-vis evolution.

Merging evolution and inerrancy like this is what Denis Lamoureux has called“pinning the evolutionary tail onto the evangelical donkey”–blindly stabbing away, hoping to hit the target one of these days.

Or to use another image, one cannot simply graft evolution onto the evangelical theological system and hope no one notices. This graft will never really take to the host. One will always see the mismatch. To ward off infection and tend the graft, rounds of medication are needed. When going out in public, the area has to be protracted with layers of gauze, covered up with clothing, or disguised….

The way forward, I feel, is not to make up transparently ad hoc solutions to the problem–finding a better graft or training people to play a better game of pin the tail on the donkey.

It is time for evangelicalism to sit down and think this one through–without feeling that lines have to be drawn immediately, theological turf has to be protected, or that “the gospel is at stake” every five minutes.

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