Evolutionary Creation

As a student that is also a Christian, I was wondering what is the biblical basis for evolutionary creation?

Hi MMH,

The Bible doesn’t talk about evolution. Evolutionary science and the science that points to an ancient earth were unknown until fairly recently in history. So, the short answer is, you aren’t going to read the Bible and come up with “evolutionary creation” based on what you read there. You have to take the Bible and science together and see both as legitimate tools for learning about the world. The tools of science and the knowledge science uncovers are different than the tools of faith and the knowledge the the Bible and a relationship with God uncover. But both science and faith can complement each other to give us a fuller, truer picture of reality.

One of the fundamental assumptions of evolutionary creation is that we can understand the truth about the world that has been discovered by modern science and we can understand the truth about the world that the Bible reveals in a way that harmonizes and doesn’t contradict, because God is the source of all truth.

Here are some things I believe the Bible teaches:
God created all that is.
Humans are made in God’s image to be his representatives on earth.
Sin has broken humanity’s relationship with God, all humans are damaged by sin and need a Savior.
In Jesus, God united himself with his creation and his life, death, and resurrection made a way to repair the damage done by sin and restore humanity’s relationship to God.
Creation will one day be made new.

Here is what science says is true:
The earth is ancient.
The diversity of life on earth can be explained by the process of evolution from a common ancestor.
There is no evidence of a global flood that destroyed all life on earth in the recent past.

So, evolutionary creation takes the questions about God and humanity that are raised by science and the questions about natural history that are raised by what we read in the Bible and asks how do we let science and the Bible inform each other and shape our understanding of reality into a single picture.

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Adding on a little to what @Christy said, or saying it slightly differently, the truth that comes from the reality of the data in the Bible cannot conflict with the truth that comes from the reality of the data in God’s creation. If there is an apparent conflict, the problem lies in our interpretation and understanding of one or the other or both.

Genesis 4:14 I shall be a wanderer on the Earth and whoever finds me will slay me?
What people is Cain talking about?

Genesis 6:1-2 When men began to multiply on the face of the ground, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair and they took to wife such of them as they chose.
Throughout the OT, the sons of God referred to God’s chosen people, so here is the answer to the age old question of who did Cain and Seth marry – not sisters who are never mentioned but the daughters of all those other people out there who were not the children of God.

Genesis 2:7 Then God formed man of the dust of the Earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.
The divine breath is inspiration, so God formed man out of the stuff of the Earth according to the laws of nature and then spoke to Adam in order to bring the human mind to life.

What Christy says is valid about what the Bible teaches, but science and greater rationality of which it is a subset, the empirical tool, feeds back in to that and underpins it. So it is right to rationally AND faithfully question all claims made by the Bible. Including the concept of ‘the Bible’; the library of a two thousand year evolving culture, and its teachings.

The Bible is mute on evolution as the Bible isn’t a science or history text book but a series of documents that talk about Love, Faith, Hope, and Salvation.

It’s a bit like asking what is the biblical basis for germ theory or gravitational theory. The Bible doesn’t teach those things, as that’s not the purpose of the Bible.

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Thank you for your helpful insight on this topic. You helped me understand this topic better.

I never thought about that before. Thank you for your comment!

Though it has been stated I’ll share my thoughts anyways. Genesis was not wrote as a scientific explanation, or a historical one, of the origins of the universe or life. I know that sounds false because of what it says in genesis 1-3. But that’s because it is a story about the origins of the earth but this story is wrote in the manner of a myth. It’s a Jewish creation mythological tale.

So the problem that many Christians run into is they try to force a literal understanding on to the story. But if we use literary analysis we can easily see the story for what it is.100% truth. Not 100% literal.

Once someone deconstructs their understanding of the the first few chapters and allow the context to guide them towards a clearer understanding they realize that it’s not the bible that is undermining science, but that it’s actually just one faulty interpretation undermining the word of God. Once that realization is made it becomes really easy to see science for what it is.

So while the Bible does not address evolution anymore than it does not addresses other things it does make itself able to be understood which allows us to see why it does not undermine science including evolution.

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