BioLogos building an idol out of human reason?

Now hold on, there. I am as about as science-y as they come but even I know you start with the foundation. And then, um…the plumbing?..No wait, the frame, and then, you know, the roof, and then the plumbing or maybe the fireplace. And wires go in there someplace. Then the floor. OK…never mind.


Thanks Albert: Your thoughts are interesting. My gut sense in much of the discourse that I read on this website however is still what I would compare to that of Job’s 3 friends who were absolutely 100% convinced in their finite minds by all logical measures that Job was suffering due to his sin. And they so intelligently relayed their message to Job, confident that God, whom they did correctly describe at times, was punishing Job and how he needed to repent. For this, I believe that Christians everywhere need to call their scientist brethren to be more agnostic towards science and more trusting toward revelation. I see way too many attempts on this website in convincing people away from being agnostics to science and towards being doubtful about revelation. That is my honest opinion.

As far as your suggestion that agnostic scientists are so because of humility and not due to revering idols, this is, all due respect, counter intuitive because when God made us, He created in us a propensity for worshipping something. Eternity and transcendence is built into the fabric of our souls (book of ecclesiates) and when God is not the vacuum filler, then must be something else…the definition of an idol. For this, I must conclude that if a person does not have Christ and is a zealous scientist, they may be placing the very practice of such in the “god” category and for this, Biblically it will be really hard to convince me that we must come down to the level of such a person in order for them to be accepting of the tenets of the gospel. The tenets of the gospel are that God does not need us in the sense that this relays the correct mindset to all human beings that we are as different from Christ as the builder of the house is different from the house. (Hebrews) We are compared to that of sheep…who fall into a crag on the hillside and can’t get up and who will follow other dumb sheep over the cliff because that is what we do. Before regeneration, we were dumb, deaf, blind mute just like the idols we were chasing. The amount of knowing and understanding we were capable of and still are as Christians by the way about any subject including the one that debates creationism vs evolutionism is probably less than one billionth of a percent of what is even true on the topic…which God does know. I for one will take much more reverent steps towards coming to understanding these items we talk of and as far as the gospel is concerned repentance away from self-reliance and meism and disobedience is only necessary for a gospel of love that forgives from such to be understood. And the more I grow as a believer, the more and more I tend towards better understanding of my ineptitude of understanding the vastness of God’s to boot!

His greatest blessings to you my friend Albert. May we all share the gospel of hope that frees us from the sin that places anything, good, bad and neutral alike in place of God who is outstandingly beyond us in every single degree. When we meet Him one day face to face, hopefully we were not of the types like the disciples who thought they deserved the closest seat to Jesus based on human rationale where God has to say, sorry my son, you are saved but your reward category has not claim for a mansion close to town, but rather is a shack in the outer courts.


I think you need to look at the book of Job again.

Job’s friends were not scientists, but theologians. They said that Job must be guilty of a terrible sin, because God would not punish him with all these many catastrophes otherwise. Job said that he was not perfect, but he had not committed any terrible sin, so there was no reason for God to punish him.

Job trusted his reason, and his experience of the goodness of God. His friends trusted in bad theology of their day. I would agree with Job against the bad theology no matter how well intentioned of YEC.

1 Like

But what do you conclude when a person does have Christ and is a zealous scientist? Are they necessarily an idolater by choice of their vocation? In the case of the fellow Christian who is a scientist, there is no “coming down to their level,” because they are a brother or a sister in the faith. The overwhelming majority of scientists who profess saving faith in Christ accept the evidence for an ancient earth. Even if they may disagree on the mechanisms of evolution, they accept the evidence for common descent. This fact is what is most salient to me in the creationism/evolution debate. Why shouldn’t I trust my brothers and sisters in Christ who understand the finer points of science? I’m not choosing an atheist opinion over a Christian one, I’m choosing an informed Christian expert opinion over a non-expert Christian opinion.


Roof first Sy, in case it rains.


5 posts were split to a new topic: The Copernicus “science v. church” story is wrong

Are you referring to the discussions that happen on the Forum, or to actual articles at It would be helpful to understand specifically what is giving you the impression of rationalistic arrogance on our part. If you’re drawing this conclusion from the discussions here, I need to give the standard disclaimer that this discussion board is not meant to be representative of the views of our actual organization. 95 percent of the commenters here have zero affiliation with BioLogos.

Hi Christy: Here lies the issue: “Scientists” who are charged with the duty of developing a hunch on the way things work that thereby gets initial testing that evolves to a hypothesis for more testing for the evolution of that to a theory which, after many definitive results concludes to a law. I am finding a real tendency in this world for the “scientist” to thereby take the inch of validity in this process of law making by that “scientist” and and arrogantly translate this into a mile of assumption on the way things are even when they cannot be tested like the above scenario explains. It blows my mind when “scientists” declare in definitive language that such and such occurred x number of millions of years ago when methods of such determinations are impossible to even engage in such bold conclusions. This is not humility but self righteous pride.

I find it really interesting that even the laws of physics that have been counted on as legit and firm are being reevaluated due to progress in the fields of quantum physics. Did you know this?

So the gospel which should be the pinnacle topic in such discussions should not be hinging (in the minds of Christians and non Christians alike) on human rationale, but on GOD who created us, and designed the universe, and developed His creation on a timescale, in all due respect to those who think they know themselves, that is most likely well beyond our understanding…If He is capable to design a DNA strand, He could have run what appear to be evolutionary cycles that took millions of years by our estimations in an hour could He not? Humans view things through lenses that are subject to what we think is possible in our earthly existence and that is what science is based upon as well by the associative property. God created it all and knows how He created so I will choose to, again, be an agnostic towards human perception and more trusting to revelation which ultimate was the means by which I came to an absolutely mind blowing experience where God has chosen over and over to use me as a weakened vessel for His glory after I confessed to Him my sin, weakness and frailty to find forgiveness at the cross! His blessing to you Christy!

Greg, it sounds like you are in a good place, but I would like comment on one of your statements in particular, and perhaps leave the others for later. You stated:
".If He is capable to design a DNA strand, He could have run what appear
to be evolutionary cycles that took millions of years by our estimations
in an hour could He not?"

My thought is: Indeed he could have, but the question arises, would He?

Would God create the appearance of great age where there is not, knowing that such a deceit would call His character into question, and possibly draw His people away?

Would God say in His word that:
( Romans 1:19-21)" since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For
since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal
power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from
what has been made, so that people are without excuse."
and then create a world that is not clearly seen, but that is something that it does not appear to be, thus calling the truth of his word into question?

These questions are part of why I believe the word of God and God revealed, as well as accept as likely the scientific data as to the age of the earth and so forth, with the supposed contradictions being due to my limited understanding and faulty theology.
Blessings on this day, as well as the days to come.


Hi Roger: Of course I recognize the difference between the scientist and the theologian. I think you miss my point. I believe that God has embedded into the precepts found in Job here that what is observed as seemingly true by the “wise” counselors of Job’s 3 friends were observations that were not wise at all. Likewise, if one supposes that what is observed as being true about what occurred 100 thousand years ago let alone a million years ago based on human rationale and considers this as ultimately true when we as Christians believe in a God who does the miraculous, then this could indeed lead to a tainted interpretation as well. My theology thus rests more on our great God who transcends the seeming “reality” as I would see it…ESPECIALLY realities so great as to have occurred way deep in the past. I will not be the one to promote division with my fine brethren who love the Lord who are young earth creationists when we all are worshipping God who stands alone outside of even our frail perceptions of who we think He is all about and how He really caused our existence to come to be.

Greg, in 1951, as a grad student at the U. of Chicago, I took a course in Radiometric Dating given by Prof. Willard Libby who was then ‘fine tuning’ the corrections needed for the Carbon-14 method of dating for which he later received the Nobel Prize. And yes, it was mind blowing to see how it could take ancient wood of established ages (Sumerian and Egyptian relics and Sequoia tree rings) as standards and extend the method to dates as far as 40,000 yrs ago. When you have the world’s foremost expert explain the details to you, and you have the chance to verify them in the lab, its hard NOT to be convinced. About this time other scientists were working on other radiometric measures; mainly parent/daughter ratios, such as uranium/lead and potassium/argon, which are appropriate for much earlier dates–namely for millions and even billions of years. For these dates to be meaningful, extraordinary care must be taken to insure accuracy. But it is also important to note that these methods depend to a degree upon ‘scientific faith’–that the half-life of the unstable parent is fixed and cannot be altered by physical factors, such as heat, or pressure, etc. This seems verified by all the tests that have been made in the laboratory, but we have no theory that explains it.You will find other contributors to this Forum have covered this subject in greater detail. But keep in mind, Greg, that it is the essential strength of science that all past theories are open to revision–no Dogma is sacred. Misleading theological dogmas are much harder to correct. [quote=“grog, post:16, topic:5941”]
I find it really interesting that even the laws of physics that have been counted on as legit and firm are being reevaluated due to progress in the fields of quantum physics. Did you know this?
Incidentally, I agree with @Relates when it comes to Job’s advisors. They were acting as Theologians not Scientists in pretending to know the Mind of God.
Al Leo

1 Like

Hi Greg,

Chiming in here again from the peanut gallery.

Glad to hear you won’t be promoting division with YEC folks. Me, neither. I come here and post semi-anonymously. In my real life, where most of the folks in my home church are YEC-sympathetic if not YEC-ers themselves, my views are not known. This is because I have no interest in forcing people onto this journey of squaring with the scientific evidence, which can be at times disorienting and difficult. God bless them in their faith.

I must say I find that, more often than not, in my experience (and I can only speak for myself, of course), YEC folks, not EC folks, are the ones promoting divisions, as they attempt to split off those “liberal” “compromisers” as not “real” Christians like the rest of us “Bible-believing” folks. This creates a division that’s not really there, because as you said, we’re all worshiping the same God in all His awe and mystery, and we are all trying to make the best sense we can of Him given the evidence we’re aware of, while seeking simultaneously to submit ourselves humbly to the transforming truth of His word.

1 Like

Thank you for your kindness in this reply. I should clarify that I do not think that there is enough valid scientific evidence to even suggest that macro evolution is true…yes to adaptation but no to macro evolution from single celled organisms… The reason I made this statement is to suggest not that God tends to deceive but to suggest that God is God and our perceptions about subjects and thus arguments and divisions over the validity of macro evolution vs God created “kinds” are foolish because “science” does not prove either. There are fragments in the fossil record that make some suggestions here and there but no definitive proof that the kinds of plants and animals we see today are inevitably from a single celled amoeba vs individual fully functioning kinds that God created directly which does of course fall better in line with Genesis. And there is division and strife in the church over this…interesting too, this division I believe is masterful by our enemy…think about this for a second: the old earth theistic evolution camps say that if we don’t acknowledge the “truth” embedded in the rocks as decided by geologists like those dang young earthers do, then the Bible cannot be trusted. Likewise, the young earthers declare that if those theistic evolutionists don’t believe the “correct” interpretation of Genesis 1, then the Bible cannot be trusted either. We are arguing for not trusting the Bible and subconsciously we are leading ourselves to not trust it! I would suggest today that neither of the options in those states are good because they are both declaring towards both camps that the Bible is not true. I stand in a different place. God is true and He is beyond our rationale. For this, I will only simply stand more closely upon His revelation that He created the plants and animals according to their kinds which can adapt, He created Adam and Eve who sinned…And I will stand more distant from all of the far reaching interpretations we want to conclude in our observations in the rocks which want to declare that there is definitive proof that macro evolution is factual when this is pushing it indeed. When it comes to the age of the earth, I will lean towards it being younger (maybe not 6000 years old but 100k) and lean away from it being billions of years old that is all so necessary for macro evolution to be true even though it really has no legit scientific proof that it is. I will leave the issue with that simplicity because when I choose to try to give details, it leads to division. Instead I look to our God who is beyond understanding to our finite minds. And the reason human kind wants to expand on the details in many cases is because they want to make much of self and their intelligence to have come up with such a plan that deserves a book deal or another para church organization or even notoriety and then less of God who confounds the “wise” and declares them foolish relative to His omniscience. This thinking of honing in on particular details is how denominations started which are necessarily devisive…think about that for a moment. Instead I will remain humbly submissive to the fact that I was not there when God laid the foundations of the earth that causes me to be more trusting of the main precepts of His revelation when it comes to our beginnings yet gives me pause to define in detail including timeframes etc on how He actually accomplished creation. If we Christians would agree to, in our finiteness leave it this way and stop trying to develop detailed analysis then focus on sharing the gospel with loving unity that adores and reverences God who is outside of our full comprehension…whereby we stand on the main principles of God’s Word to be absolutely true in their original intent, I believe we will find His power prevailing through the humility found in this sweet place of unity in His Spirit and lives transformed by the gospel as we share it with conviction and without blushing! I will say in closing that this is the way that I look at early Genesis and how we were created because there seems to be flexibility in interpretation. However in most other areas of the Scriptures where the text is cut and dry, I believe it exactly as stated. I can tell you story after story of great power by the Spirit of God when I, by faith have trusted in the God of the universe who declares His character and ideals through the plain reading of His Word! Some would say that for the seeker, we need to water the text and socialize them into the fold…there is a place for gentleness and kindness towards our communications, but there is power by the Spirit of God when we share the gospel with a countenance of confidence in God described in our Bibles! Spirit of the Living God, revive us towards Yourself!

My mother in Law was diagnosed with cancer a few years back. She sought the best doctor in the city for this type of cancer -I believe her name was Dr. Marsha Ballard. Anyway, the testing that they did to my Mother in law suggested a number (which the type or name of the scale I am ignorant) which was off the charts positive that she had cancer of her female organs and had it very badly. So she was to go in for surgery to remove these “known” to have cancer. We prayed. My mother in law and wife had a belief out from this season of prayer that she was healed of her cancer that concluded with an episode where, in the waiting area before the surgery my Mother in law was proclaiming that she was healed to Dr. Ballard. I will never forget Dr. Ballard. She snubbed by mom and told her that the tests reveal that she does have cancer end of story…and that they were going in to remove it and see if any more important organs were affected. Dr. Ballard walked out with a swagger. Mom, remained steadfast that she had been healed. Two hours later, I will also never forget watching the woman who walked out with such swagger walk back into the waiting area this time with her tail between her legs telling all of us who were waiting that she did the hysterectomy by found no cancer at all. I was dumbfounded because I for one trusted the science more than I trusted God who confounds the wise sometimes.

Then there was the time that as a young lad with a small house that depended on rain water for filling a cistern used for water supply during a drought summer…I was just out of college In this new house and house poor…and was always buying water from Whalen water works to come and fill the cistern the weather patterns failed to fill for me. I prayed for rain… Then I turned on the local meteorologist for a weather report. He said any chance of a stray shower had been called off for the day for the drought to continue from which I wrote a check to Whalen to tape on the back window of the house to pay him to fill the cistern while I was away at work. (I still have that check) Then, I kid you not, I heard what sounded like a car crash. Then heard it again louder…then again soon to realize that it was thunder. The doubter I was, I then thought that this storm that seemed miles away will probably miss us anyway…would you know that zero chance of rain just predicted about 30 minutes before turned into the opposite -a rain shower so strong and forceful that in 5 minutes as it came and went then back to blue skies my cistern was so full that the water was gushing over the top of the funnel where the downspouts connect? And while that storm was roaring, there was a clap of lighting that produced such a loud instantaneous thunder that I could feel vibrations in my chest as if the Almighty was saying Greg, why did you not trust me and base your rationale on the weatherman instead?

So the age of the earth and evolution…I have mentioned in previous statements that I will remain open to the possibility that the earth might be 100k years old etc, but will not succumb to the idea that it is millions or billions required all so necessary to produce macro evolution that evolve a nothing into a single cell into what we see today. These suggestions by “scientists” today are pushing the envelope in order to undergird their naturalistic worldview and too many Christians think that they need to fall in line or else. Instead, there is nothing insulting to science to suggest that God created plants and animals according to their kinds with ability within themselves to adapt. This falls better in line with revelation. This combined with a healthy reverence to God who is so transcendent and beyond human rationale makes for acceptance of the validity of His Word from top to bottom. And when we push against the rationalistic, naturalistic approaches posed by the world, and have faith in the God of The Bible, He is honored and sometimes He shows up in amazing ways! God help us! .

Then the time

Admittedly we seem to disagree as to the role of humans in God Creation and God’s Plan. My Bible says that God created men and women in God’s own Image. It says God trusted humans to rule with God as viceroy over God’s Works. Psalm 8 says that God created humans a little lower than divine beings. Job demanded that God respond to his complaints and guess what, God did, rather then punish his impertinence.

Islam rejects modern science for theological reasons. You want to limit modern science for theological reasons. I think the traditional understanding of humans as created by God with the ability to understand Gods creation is right.

I accept people who reject evolution as Christians. I would hope that those people would accept me as a Christian also… Salvation is not based on theology or science, but on faith in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. This is where we need to put the emphasis, instead of insisting that bad theology id good theology, because it is your theology.

1 Like

I desire to limit the tendency for “Christian” to blindly follow the precepts guided by naturalistic scientists who use science as a cover up for vast, bold and incomprehensible interpretations about how we came to be millions or billions of years ago. Check out C.S. Lewis’s book called the Screwtape letters. It is a book that is a fictional account of the way satan and his minions strategize how to distract people from the beauty and power of our great God. I can hear a new chapter in the book about science…satan says to one of his workers of evil, “convince the people that science is all together bad so that they don’t use the resources of modern medicine for the benefit of the health of individuals.” THEN he says to his minions,"And for the rest who won’t decline the benefits of science on a practical level, convince them that scientific terms are the main source of all explanation and understanding (they call this naturalism) thus giving them propensity to maybe give a little lip service about the enemy to soothe their meist mindset, but in their heart of hearts, ignore the enemy who made them by which they will not just die physically, but will find permanent death and separation from the enemy and presence with us.

Aha! So according to your theology, Satan created nature.

Ironically, C.S. Lewis himself was a theistic evolutionist:

(See also parts 1, 2, and 3 for background. A Google search for “Lewis evolution BioLogos” will yield still more links from blog posts about this over the years.)

Not that this proves anything, of course.


Greg, like you I think it very sad when Christians blindly follow ‘false prophets’ in search of the Truth. You fear that “naturalistic scientists” are acting as false prophets, using radiometric dating as an “incomprehensible” “cover up” to justify the immense time that evolution must have needed to produce humankind from the first living cell. Greg, you need not be a trained scientist to comprehend radiometric dating, IF you have the mind to try. It must be an OPEN mind, however. If you undertake the task, you must allow for the fact that the scientists who developed these methods were seeking the Truth, just as you are. If, instead, you accept as a “given” that science is attempting to “cover up” something, then you are blinding yourself at the start.

As I stated in an earlier post (which you seem not to have read), I am lucky in that I had a chance to learn C-14 dating from Libby, its discoverer. And I know first hand that he was not trying to cover up anything–only to learn and attempt to understand, as much as possible, how God operates in our Universe. There is some truth to the old maxim: “None is so blind as those who will not to see.”
Best wishes,
Al Leo

1 Like

What evidence have you evaluated, grog?