Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

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How did we and our world come to be?

God directly created the world and the species as we see them during six 24-hour days.
24
39%
Each day could have lasted for thousands or millions of years, but otherwise I agree with #1.
28
46%
God directly created humans through the process of evolution.
9
15%
Life arose spontaneously as a result of the natural laws of the universe. We're the culmination of a long process of natural selection.
0
No votes
Life on earth originated due to the involvement of an advanced civilization on another world
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No votes
 
Total votes : 61

Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby Ramblinman » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:38 am

TheBartman47 wrote:Verse 30 says every best of the earth, not every beast in Eden. Every fowl of the air, not just those in Eden... and every thing that creepeth upon the earth, not just creepers in Eden. This is clearly all-inclusive of the whole earth. This is the most plain reading of Genesis. Any other interpretation requires special pleading.

Actually the Bible would suggest otherwise. Adam and Eve did not leave Eden until after they fell from grace.

TheBartman47 wrote:I would also at this time like to point out one caveat distinction in verse 30, the "wherein there is life", which suggest there are some creeping things that are not classified as being "alive" in the Biblical sense. There are many other scriptures that give additional words describing what is "alive", as it says "breath of life". This would mean insects that do not have breath (lungs) are not considered "living", and would therefore be considered complex self-replicating mobile food sources (for plants like the venus flytrap and animals like the aardvark), plus all the millions of microbes that populate our guts to aid in digestion. Plants too are not considered "living" since they don't have breath. Notice in other Bible verses, it always mentions plants "withering" instead of "dying".

This is a side issue for both the position you take and alternate theories, but let's address it briefly:
insects and most fish do not have lungs, but do have a means for gas exchange.
Plants lack lungs, but have gas exchange as well: CO2 by day and oxygen by night. Yes, plants use oxygen at times!


TheBartman47 wrote:God saw ALL that he created and declared it "very good". I can't stress the importance of this point any more clearly than it is scripturally impossible to have Satan being a bad guy at this point in time. There is no room in scripture for a fallen Lucifer before day 6. Why do you keep insisting otherwise? There is no hint in scripture to suggest this. Where else are you getting this notion?

Again, context is important. God had created Lucifer and all the angels before the material world, including planet Earth. If Lucifer and 1/3 of the angels fell and became demon spirits in ages before creation, God may have created it perfect and called it "very good" and Satan may have done some damage later after God's declaration.

TheBartman47 wrote:Why not consider the third possibility, that there was no tampering or destruction of any sort before day 6, and certainly no world-wide calamity before the flood? Is that so hard to believe? That is what is clear from scripture.

Actually scripture strongly implies the destruction of previous Earth ages prior to the creation of Adam.
In Genesis 9:11 (often called the "Rainbow Covenant"), God leaves open the possibility that he did in fact destroy the Earth before. As we study the evidence the Lord has left us in the fossil record, we can see the destruction of five distinct previous Earth ages, filling in the details of what scripture hints at.
Ordovician/Silurian boundary
Devonian/Carboniferous boundary
Permian/Triassic boundary
Triassic/Jurassic boundary
and Cretaceous/Tertiary (early Cenozoic) boundary
then the global deluge(s) at the end of the Ice Age and approximate time of Noah.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby TheBartman47 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:30 am

Ramblinman wrote:
TheBartman47 wrote:
Verse 30 says every best of the earth, not every beast in Eden. Every fowl of the air, not just those in Eden... and every thing that creepeth upon the earth, not just creepers in Eden. This is clearly all-inclusive of the whole earth. This is the most plain reading of Genesis. Any other interpretation requires special pleading.

Actually the Bible would suggest otherwise. Adam and Eve did not leave Eden until after they fell from grace.

I never claimed they did. Irrelevant to the discussion. God, (not Adam and Eve) who sees the entire Earth, and all of the universe, said "EVERYTHING", "ALL".

This is a side issue for both the position you take and alternate theories, but let's address it briefly:
insects and most fish do not have lungs, but do have a means for gas exchange.
Plants lack lungs, but have gas exchange as well: CO2 by day and oxygen by night. Yes, plants use oxygen at times!


Yes, I said it was a side issue, but a point of interest none the less. I'm well aware that fish and plants and insects all have a gas exchange, but they do NOT have "breath". That is the key distinction as spelled out in the Bible. It is worth mentioning because it is related to the fact that plants are eaten, but it is not said that they are killed when we eat them. This is related to how the entire Earth can still be called "very good" and also still claim there is no death.

Again, context is important. God had created Lucifer and all the angels before the material world, including planet Earth.


I'm going to have to call you out on this one. Big claim with nothing to back it up. What verses back up your claim that Lucifer was created before the Earth was created?



Actually scripture strongly implies the destruction of previous Earth ages prior to the creation of Adam.
In Genesis 9:11 (often called the "Rainbow Covenant"), God leaves open the possibility that he did in fact destroy the Earth before.


Now you're really reading into it what is not there. This is just after the flood, and God establishes his covenant with Noah that he will never wipe out life from the earth again by flood.



Isaiah 54:9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.



It is clear in this verse that the flood of Noah's days was unique. The only flood that destroyed all the earth at once and has a covenant associated with that one flood event that it should never happen again.



As we study the evidence the Lord has left us in the fossil record,


What fossil record? There is no "fossil record". All you know is that there are some dead things buried in the ground. You can not prove when they died.



we can see the destruction of five distinct previous Earth ages, filling in the details of what scripture hints at.
Ordovician/Silurian boundary
Devonian/Carboniferous boundary
Permian/Triassic boundary
Triassic/Jurassic boundary
and Cretaceous/Tertiary (early Cenozoic) boundary
then the global deluge(s) at the end of the Ice Age and approximate time of Noah.

These "ages" are nothing but made up names for a bunch of sedimentary rock layers. The layers almost never are in the order predicted by the geologic column. And did you know, the geologic column was made up before they ever did fossil digs? It's all a fantasy. Not only is there nothing in the Bible to support it, there's not even any scientific evidence to support it either, and there is MUCH evidence that makes the geologic column IMPOSSIBLE! The fact of the existence of polystrate fossils is only one example that proves the layers can not be different ages.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby bn2bnude » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:56 am

I watched a movie last night called "The Genesis Code" streaming from Netflix.

It is a movie with a very "Christian" message but I was unable to determine who was behind the movie.

While being a drama the whole movie was around the issues of Science vs. a 6 day creation.

The premise in the movie was that whether creation was 6 days or billions of years is a matter of perspective (viewpoint). In other words, there are several cases where time slows due to gravity or approaching the speed of light, etc. The only constant being the speed of light, not our solar day.

You'll have to watch the movie to get the full idea of their premise. It does have it's "stock Christian" parts but, for the most part, isn't too corny.

It even has a scene on a gun range!
Last edited by bn2bnude on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby bn2bnude » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:03 am

webmeister wrote:That's different...


I added a clarifying word in my post with regards to the perspective on creation.

The "hook" example in the movie was a football play.

If the runner runs around the right side of the line for a touchdown, to the offense, it looks like he went right, to the defense, it looks left.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby TheBartman47 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:58 am

bn2bnude wrote:The premise in the movie was that whether creation was 6 days or billions of years is a matter of perspective (viewpoint). In other words, there are several cases where time slows due to gravity or approaching the speed of light, etc. The only constant being the speed of light, not our solar day.

I've not seen this movie, but there are some things to consider involving "perspective". The Lorentz transformation calculations for time near 0 with an expanding universe at a rate near the speed of light and logarythmicaly decelerating (reverse logarithmic curve) as time progresses toward "today" would show an apparent time frame of billions of years for an observer on Earth, but the absolute time to an observer outside of time and space would be the approximate 6,000 years as indicated by Biblical account. Comparing the atomic vibration rate of the cesium atom (used in atomic clocks) compared to time calculations using a planetary orbital clock shows that time itself is actually slowing down (the atomic vibration of the cesium atom) as well as the speed of light slowing down at the same rate. That's right, the speed of light is NOT constant. Since we observe a slowing of the speed of light, then obviously the speed of light was faster in time past, and it shows a reverse logarithmic curve, meaning at the creation event, from God's perspective, creation of the stars and planets in time and space occured at the speed of light (which to an Earth observer would look like billions of years in a short moment looking out in space), but planetary motion would have only been 1 physical day. And since the slowing of time and light is reverse log, by the second, third, and fourth day, space time and light speed had slowed to near what we observe today.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby bn2bnude » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:07 am

TheBartman47 wrote:
bn2bnude wrote:The premise in the movie was that whether creation was 6 days or billions of years is a matter of perspective (viewpoint). In other words, there are several cases where time slows due to gravity or approaching the speed of light, etc. The only constant being the speed of light, not our solar day.

I've not seen this movie, but there are some things to consider involving "perspective". The Lorentz transformation calculations for time near 0 with an expanding universe at a rate near the speed of light and logarythmicaly decelerating (reverse logarithmic curve) as time progresses toward "today" would show an apparent time frame of billions of years for an observer on Earth, but the absolute time to an observer outside of time and space would be the approximate 6,000 years as indicated by Biblical account. Comparing the atomic vibration rate of the cesium atom (used in atomic clocks) compared to time calculations using a planetary orbital clock shows that time itself is actually slowing down (the atomic vibration of the cesium atom) as well as the speed of light slowing down at the same rate. That's right, the speed of light is NOT constant. Since we observe a slowing of the speed of light, then obviously the speed of light was faster in time past, and it shows a reverse logarithmic curve, meaning at the creation event, from God's perspective, creation of the stars and planets in time and space occured at the speed of light (which to an Earth observer would look like billions of years in a short moment looking out in space), but planetary motion would have only been 1 physical day. And since the slowing of time and light is reverse log, by the second, third, and fourth day, space time and light speed had slowed to near what we observe today.


A lot of what you mention sounds like conclusions the movie made.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby Johannes_1965 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:26 am

I've already expressed my faith in creation and my objection against evolutionism and creationism. On February 6 Benedict XVI. taught about God, the Father Almighty, in his general audience and expressed in two simple paragraphs what I believe and what not:

"However our question today is: in the age of science and technology does speaking of creation still make sense? How should we understand the narratives in Genesis? The Bible does not intend to be a natural science manual; rather, it wishes to make the authentic and profound truth of things understood. The fundamental truth that the accounts of Genesis reveal to us is that the world is not a collection of forces that clash with each other; it has its origin and its permanence in the Logos, in God’s eternal Reason which continues to sustain the universe.

A plan of the world exists which is conceived by this Reason, by the Creator Spirit. To believe that this is the foundation of all things illuminates every aspect of existence and gives us the courage to face the adventure of life with trust and hope. Therefore, Scripture tells us that the origin of being, of the world, our own origin is not in the irrational or in need, but rather in reason and love and freedom. Consequently, there is this alternative: either the priority of the irrational, of necessity, or the priority of reason, of freedom, of love.
We believe in the latter hypothesis."

Excerpt from: General audience about faith in Creation
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby Petros » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:47 pm

For which stance there is much to be said. My experience with the academic community has highlighted for me humanity's reluctance, perhaps inability, to contemplate the uncaused. Coexistent, of course, with our strong sense of God's existence. Again and again, we push the beginning further back - hoping to avoid the question of what preceded the beginning - or to postulate a cycle, A Buddhist wheel or reincarnation or a Big Band - Big Crunch alternation - because if we have an infinite chicken - egg - chicken the origin of species becomes a meaningless question. TypicAlly, the historiazn passes it to the paleoontologist who passes it to the gelologist who passes it to the astronomer who calls on the physicist.

Reasonable science - and reasonable theology, which is a branch of science - must recognize that we cannot know it all. But for those of us with careers and reputains on the line, this is, you should pardon the expression, an inconvenient truth.

Ultimately , we choose - uncaused Cause, or uncaused Laws.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby Johannes_1965 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:22 am

Petros wrote:Reasonable science - and reasonable theology, which is a branch of science - must recognize that we cannot know it all...
Ultimately , we choose - uncaused Cause, or uncaused Laws.

To recognize that we don't and cannot know all corresponds to the truth and to our condition as creatures. Only God is the origin of natural laws and of what exists in this world.
But when we come to meet the Lord definitively after this life we are probably not any longer interested in all those historical questions about the past because they don't matter any longer.
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit..."
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby Bare_Truth » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:31 am

Johannes_1965 wrote:...Only God is the origin of natural laws and of what exists in this world.
But when we come to meet the Lord definitively after this life we are probably not any longer interested in all those historical questions about the past because they don't matter any longer.
I am not so sure of that! To know how the creator did all that he has done is certainly part of knowing and appreciating what he is. And I believe that is an inherent part of what the scripture tells us will be part of our knowledge at that time.
In 1st Corinthians 13:12 Paul wrote:For now we see through a glass, darkly;
But then face to face:
now I know in part;
But then shall I know even as also I am known.
I take this literally and I look forward to it as it appears that Paul did. The context of it is in Paul's discussion of the importance and prominence of Love, and surely the knowledge of how magnificently God brought about the existence of the universe and ourselves can only deepen that love.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby Johannes_1965 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:17 am

I take already the preceding verses literally:
"Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away..." (1 Cor 13,8-10)
The knowledge that will be done away is the knowledge in form of hypothesis concerning the present state of the world. Not only we will be changed, but the whole world is to become a more perfect one (Offb 21).
I think when we see God face to face it will appear that all created things are "nothing" compared to Him and we will not be any longer interested in the little detail questions about a world we left behind us. "But when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away", meaning this creation and our knowledge about it.
Bare_Truth wrote:To know how the creator did all that he has done is certainly part of knowing and appreciating what he is.

In my opinion this is true here and now, as long as we live in this passing world.
1Cor 12,13: "but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known", refers to the more comprehensive knowledge of God himself in the world to come, compared to which all other knowledge is "nothing" (1Cor 13,2).
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby pipermac » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:11 am

To answer the original question...I believe the answer is "NO". I have met "short-day" creationists and "long-day" creationists, but never a Christian "evolutionist". I am a "long-day" creationist because I believe it best fits the physical evidence.

As for whether we will be interested in this old universe, I believe the answer is "yes". God isn't going to do a "memory-dump" on our brains in the resurrection, so what we are interested in here, we will have at least some interest in then. Our perfected brains will also far exceed our current "brain-power", much as my desk-top computer is far more powerful than my ancient laptop. We will have far more information available, because we will have all eternity to gather it, but we will also be able to store and process far more information.

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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby Petros » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:51 am

Well -


At least as my brother the paleontologist and some others on both teams use the terms, Creationist and Evolutionist involve membership in a party. You can be a democrat or a republican or a communist without any political affiliations. But I am not convinced that all Democrats are democratic, or that all Communists would approve of a commune. As to Republicans opting for a republic, I just do not have enough data.



Can a Christian be a [small e] evolutionist? I see no reason why not. Likely some fundamentalists types can't, but they are not all Christians. Can a [big E] Evolutionist be a Christian? Well, he can go to church, but if he believes my brother at least would kick him out of the party.



To be a Christian, when you come down to it, means trusting him, following him - at least that is all he says is at bottom requisite, and I should not like to contradict him.



To be small e evolutionist, you simply have to believe - till a better explanation comes along - that some species over time have given rise to different species. No specific stances on the origin of the universe or of life is required, you are not obligated to believe evolution is pure Russian roulette,



I see no incompatibilities.



But no Christian qualifies as a sibling for my brother. Too bad for him.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby bn2bnude » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:57 am

pipermac wrote:To answer the original question...I believe the answer is "NO". I have met "short-day" creationists and "long-day" creationists, but never a Christian "evolutionist". I am a "long-day" creationist because I believe it best fits the physical evidence.

I have met several people who follow Jesus who do favor some sort of theistic evolution.
I may have mentioned this in this strip before but...

I don't know what I believe. I do not believe the Bible tells us "how" the world was created, just that it was. Whether it was 6 literal days, 6 figurative days (see 2 Peter 3:8) or if, as some believe, the days are actually phases of creation used by evolution, it doesn't matter.

The important thing seems to be that

  1. God was instrumental in us being here.
  2. Because of creation, man is different than any other part of the world
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby Johannes_1965 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:50 am

bn2bnude, I agree.
After following this strip for a while I would say I rather believe in an evolution founded, steered and directed by the Creator than in any form of creationism. The "days" in Gen 1 are a way to account for the evident intelligent order in nature, in space and time, nothing more.
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