Why I rejected Theistic Evolution


Dr. David A. DeWitt, Ph.D

Theistic evolution is a significant threat to the Christian church. It undermines the very foundation of the Christian faith and causes people to doubt the truth of Scripture.

I grew up as a theistic evolutionist. I was interested in science, and was an undergraduate biochemistry major. I believed in God and heard that he was the Creator on Sunday, but heard evolution all the other days of the week. I did what seemed the only logical thing, which I think so many other Christians also do, and that is to try to blend the two together. So I combined them, thinking that evolution was simply the process that God used to create. I think people make that compromise because they do not know all of the scientific evidence that calls the theory of evolution into question and they also have not been made aware of the major theological/biblical problems that it generates.

Proverbs 18:17 says: ‘The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.’ Almost all we hear is ‘evolution’ – in schools and universities, zoos, museums, television, movies, etc. So if we don’t teach the implications of evolution and the problems associated with it in our churches, no-one will know any different. Evolution will seem right because people don’t hear the evidence against it and no one questions it.

There were two things that really turned me to biblical creation from theistic evolution. The first were the passages that say that the word of the Lord is flawless. I came to realize that I trusted what the Bible says about salvation, that Jesus rose from the dead, that He could cure the lame, blind, mute and deaf. He turned water into wine – all in an instant. He multiplied the fishes and loaves, walked on water.

I believed all of those miracles – that they happened just as it said. I trusted the Bible in all of those places, so why not also Genesis where it says God created all things by his word in six days?

The second, highly significant, point is that evolution cuts to the heart of the gospel. Evolution absolutely requires death… billions of years of it, struggle for existence, survival of the fittest – billions of years before finally man comes on the scene.

In this scenario, death is not the enemy but the very means by which God created everything. Yet the Bible leaves no doubt: “the wages of sin is death”. Death came into the world through Adam’s sin. Therefore there was no death prior to the fall of man and therefore there could be no evolution whatsoever before that time.

If death and evolution are what God utilized to create (or even if He simply permitted ‘death’ to reign for billions of years before ‘sin’, as ‘progressive creationists’ teach1), then death is not the ‘last enemy’ (1 Cor. 15:26), nor is it the ‘wages of sin’. And if this is the case, then what becomes of Jesus Christ, whose very purpose in coming was to break the power of death and pay the penalty for our sins? I believe this may be the most powerful argument against both theistic evolution and progressive creation, and any other compromise positions on Genesis.

The Bible tells us that God cares for his creation – a sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground apart from the will of the Father – and yet, although his omnipotence could call things into existence, did He instead choose to use a death-driven process, a ‘struggle for existence’ where the weak perish and the strong survive? This is inconsistent with God’s character, his holiness and his love.

There is this ‘question’ being asked: “Did God really say that He created man from the dust of the ground and not through a process of ‘molecules-to-man’-evolution?” The question is a simple variation of what the serpent asked Eve: “Did God really say…?” The answer is, “Yes, God really said so!” When we begin to question the truth of the Bible, in any part, then we are on thin ice. The Bible stands or falls as a whole. We can’t pick and choose which passages to believe and which to reject. On what basis can we do so? Man’s fallible opinion?

I so appreciate the ministry of “Answers in Genesis” and organizations like it, because they enable Christians to find out and proclaim the truth. They encourage them to really believe their Bible, even from the very first verse.

Besides the problem of death before sin, those who believe in billions of years really make out that God is far away and distant. Out of the 15 billion (!!) years that the universe supposedly has existed, with hundreds of millions of light years across, man occupies such an insignificant amount of time in such an insignificant amount of space – it would necessarily alter completely the Biblical concepts of a God who became Man himself, part of his creation, a God who can be known, loved, followed, served…

A God who created only six thousand years ago, on the other hand, is so much closer and more imminent. The psalmist correctly asked: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the sun, moon and stars which you have set in place… What is man that you are mindful of him? The son of man that you care for him?” (Ps. 8:3-4). God does care! Man occupies a unique position in all of creation because only man is created in the image of God – in other words, man reveals God’s glory in a unique way.

The universe is a vast place, but everything was created for man’s benefit. Have you considered that when the end of man is here, simultaneously, the end of the universe will have arrived? “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare” (2 Pe. 3:10).

If the end of man is the end of the universe, and if creation’s purpose is wrapped up with man, why would God have a universe for 15 billion years without man, even though He is fully capable of placing him there right at the beginning?

In Matthew 19:4 Jesus asked: “Haven’t you read.., that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female..?” Jesus emphasizes that Adam and Eve were made ‘at the beginning’. This only makes sense if He is talking of Day 6 – it could not possibly take into account the passing of 15 billion years first.

Clearly, the theory of ‘molecules-to-man’-evolution is incompatible with the clear teaching of the Word of God. Therefore, theistic evolution (like its stable-mate, ‘progressive creation’) is equally incompatible with the Christian faith.

Dr David A. DeWittis the Director of the Center for Creation Studies and an associate professor of biology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. His testimony is listed at www.answersingenesis.org/

Note:Progressive creationists reject the idea of biological evolution, i.e. one kind of creature changing into another, but in every other respect accept the evolutionary scenario – i.e. billions of years, death and disease before sin, cosmic evolution, geological evolution, etc.