Very nice forum you have here. I came across this site while doing a bit of research, I had never heard of Evolutionary Creation before reading about it here, how long has this been around?
Welcome to the forum! I moved your question to its own thread so it would hopefully generate more response.
The term evolutionary creationism has been used by various people, but I think it was popularized recently by Denis Lamoureux. Francis Collins (the founder of BioLogos) preferred it to theistic evolution.
There is a common questions article on BioLogos.org
The idea that God used evolution in his creative process is not new and that was how many Christian intellectuals approached the growing scientific consensus around evolutionary theory after Darwin. But the promotion of evolutionary creation over and against young earth creationism or progressive creationism in evangelical and evangelical adjacent spaces is a more recent phenomenon.
I imagine ever since the theory of evolution has been around there has been Christians that accepted it. Before it was around, before evolution was even understood, there was already Christians who viewed parts of the Bible as mythological. As time went, we have been better at showcasing it.
Take Esther and Jonah. There has been jews understanding it’s not real for thousands of years and genesis 1-3 has been understood to be poetic for just as long. It’s just that the implications and the doorways opened because of that was not fully understood until we learned more about science.
I gather that I tend to be a bit more literalistic than you do, but generally agree, as long as you are using “mythological” to indicate “communicates the theological point, even if it is not literally true”.
And since the majority of Christianity accepts evolution it is also the majority view.
Good point. We tend to be so self centered in the US evangelical community, we forget that what seems mainstream here is often a minority belief worldwide, not only concerning evolution, but eschatology and social issues.
Welcome to Biollogos, @Wyme, and if possible, tell us more about your research subject and yourself.
ID by another name?
No, old earth creationism.
OKaayyy. Theistic evolution? So where does ID fit in?
Hi Wyme. Welcome to the Forum. I host the BioLogos podcast, “Language of God”, and a few months ago we had an interview with Denis Lamoureux. I’ve always taken him to be the godfather of Evolutionary Creation, and asked him about the term. This section of the interview got edited out of the final episode, so call it the director’s cut (forgive the machine transcription errors):
You mentioned your book Evolutionary Creation from 2008. We at BioLogos have been using that terminology. You didn’t coin that phrase, did you? Where did that, where did that come from, “evolutionary creation”? And particularly contrast it with the more common theistic evolution is that conversation continues to go on.
You’re absolutely correct. And from what I understand, Terry Gray has sort of done a study on this and it goes all the way to it comes out of Reformed circles all the way back to Kuiper – Abraham Kuyper. I think it’s 1899. He was using a similar sort of term. Now where I heard about the term and I, you know, made the step over to becoming an evolutionist in 95, It was on the old ASA and the old intelligent design discussion board, Howard Van Til from Calvin came up. And he’s the one who introduced it to me. And you know, Jim, sometimes when you hear a word in your head sort of goes, whoa, whoa, whoa, there’s something about this. And so I’ve been using it ever since. And it was Howard Van Til who introduced me to it. And here’s the reason why I really like it. And of course, I’m speaking now as a theologian, when it comes to the word theistic evolution. The problem with that I see is an inversion of priority, where in grammar, we talk about the substantive or in other words, the noun being the most important term. When it comes to theistic evolution, the noun is evolution, and you’re sort of tacking on theistic coming from the Greek term theos, you’re sort of tacking God on riding shotgun to this word, and I’m absolutely opposed to that. So for me, evolutionary creation, first and foremost, we’re creationist, because we believe in a creator, we just happen to believe the Lord used an evolutionary process. Now another thing about evolutionary creation, and think about BioLogos think about the American Scientific Affiliation, which also uses the term. This is a term that’s being used distinctly by evangelical Christians who accept evolution. And that’s why I really like it. These are, if you wish, Apostles’ Creed, Christians who are very conservative Christians, and so that’s why I’ve sort of latched latched on to the term evolutionary creation. It’s evangelical and it gives priority to have loot or pardon me priority to the term creation and creator. And let’s assume for a second that maybe we find another model other than evolution for the way the Lord created, hey, I won’t even blink, I’m just going to remove that word evolution and bring it evolutionary, and I’ll bring in the other term, whatever happens to be so for me, I will fall on a sword for the Creator, and the world is the creation how God created I think is very true. But that that is not an article of faith. In my in my Christian evangelical faith.
Yeah, I’ve also always thought it a little bit strange that it isn’t parallel to other kinds of scientific theories we affirm. Does anyone talk about theistic photosynthesis for example?
no, I yet. It’s spot on. No. So or theistic gravity? I mean, I remember once, I can’t remember who told me that it just sort of Yeah, you’re right. I mean, the reason we we do this is because of this controversy that’s been in North America for a long time issue of origins. How do we fit this in? You know, there’s another thing I forgot to mention about the term evolutionary creation. And also this term theistic evolution. The term theistic and theistic evolution takes in all sorts of different theists. Um, you know, God bless them, but my theism is distinctly evangelical. So I’m, you know, I’m pretty you know, I disagree with process theism. For example, Whitehead’s form of theism. So it’s it’s those types of theisms–and some theism is almost border on D isms, you know, almost an impersonal God. Right? So, and the other one that makes me a little queasy is open theism. You know, this is a God who really can’t act in times of trouble and stuff like that. So I, I’m, I’m uncomfortable with that sort of theism. So the word theistic evolution, has too many theisms in there, many theisms of which I will not embrace I don’t accept. And so evolutionary creationists back to really, really evangelicalism. And you know, when I’m with no other evolutionary creationist, I mean, it’s this, they are evangelicals, I mean, through and through.
ID is a layer you can put on top of any of them. It’s not about the Bible or even the God of the Bible specifically, it’s about scientifically detectable design.
I’m deist but for in and around incarnation and the ineffable workings of the Holy Ghost. God does not act in times of trouble since the apostles in any statistically detectable way after all. Other faithful, orthodox, rational Christian theisms are available.
George Müller (and many others) would disagree, and legitimately. It rather depends on what and how you choose to count.
Hi jpm, let me start by saying, wow, there’s a lot to be learned here on this forum. As for me I’m no scientist, just a retired navy vet and simple person. As for my research subject, it’s a bit complicated, about ten years ago I made up a story about a strange stone being created from the tear of Christ and now I have a stone that no scientist can explain. The stone is littered with things that no scientist can identify or explain. What started out as one strange stone has now turned into a ten year science/faith mystery which no one can explain.
Sounds interesting, sort of a Christian fiction/phantasy story. You will some here on the forum who enjoy such literature. Science and technology have become such an integral part of modern life that we it seems exploring the interface in our stories is helpful in navigating the problems it presents.
Dale and @Klax . DO NOT go off on yet another sovereignty tangent. Just stop already.
By sovereignty you mean claims of divine intervention beyond the Apostles? [Backwards in the eternity of time? Above the eternal instantiation of the immutable, prevenient laws of physics? Or do times of trouble only refer to God suspending those laws in human and therefore the infinity of fully conscious species’ and ordinary individual’s mundane affairs, off the radar? What has that bias got to do with evolutionary creationism?]
Oh how I wish this were just another Christian fiction/fantasy story but there is just way too much physical evidence for that to be the case. I am no expert on anything that deals with science or faith but I can say from what I have witnessed there is nothing fiction or phantasy about Christ.
Please can I ask a question?
For a long time now the Holy Spirit has been showing me that God created the earth dramatically and quickly by His creation. The words given to me were “in the blink of an eye”. But God also used the evolutionary process after sin entered in.
The initial creation was perfect, without a flaw, and this will be re-created in the third Heaven, when God brings Heaven back down to earth through His Consuming Fire (which does not destroy, but heals and repairs; as in the burning bush etc…). See Revelation for more on the different Heavens.
What I have been shown is obviously a paradox of some kind, because it is not either or but BOTH!
Now this information will simply not go away from my concious thought. So I set about looking at time-lines and I just got confused! I can understand that the world Adam and Eve inhabited, was created by God alone, after all He can do all things. So for me, there are no issues here. Now I start to lose the thread. As I see it, after sin entered in, the world became a terrible place and God finally said enough, and drowned the lot, except for Noah’s family and the animals. It was only after this that God allowed His process of evolution to evolve on the earth. Then I saw how this could happen, Noah’s seed would survive but be attenuated through the ages by intermarriage. I saw there were many different forms of humanity springing up, some were large and animal like. Perhaps the Nephilim giants (I am not sure about the spelling here).
Anyway, this vision got complicated as I saw more and more of the details, and I dismissed it as fantasy, not revelation. The current accepted time-lines just DO NOT work alongside this, whatever!!! Vision, rubbish, fantasy, or revelation, I just backed off from it all. Then by chance, or not, I discovered that some of the eastern religions say the earth is many trillions of years old, so again I started to see the visions of God’s evolutionary process. But because I am a Holy Spirit led Christian, and because my professional expertise is not in any relevant fields to this issue, I cried out to God and said: “stop enough of this, I do not understand how all this fits with what we know through Science today”. Then God reminded me that Science is fluid, not static, it changes as we grow in knowledge and wisdom. What we know today, history tells us are the building blocks for tomorrow’s new knowledge which often overthrows previous understanding.
Then almost immediately I find this article!! So my question is: can any of you learned folk shed some light on this dilemma of mine, before I bin this whole crazy subject?
This is a first for me, usually what the Holy Spirit reveals, also makes perfect sense even if it challenges.
Below is what I really love to do for my beloved Jesus Christ.
Sorry if my poem or text fragments in sending this post.
Note: Pollarded trees are ones where the branches have been cut off, and just the stumps and trunks have been left. To me they look hideous.
In John 8:12 (ESV) Jesus said:
“I am The Light of the world, whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have The Light of life.”
Sky blue shines through
As dark clouds gather
Bare trees pollarded
Stretch out with anguished fists
Raised high against their ravaged frame
The wind roared
Cold against my skin
And the rain poured in
Crying nature’s tears
Whipping at blushed cheeks
A Light shimmers
Spreading across the ground
Stirring life beneath the barren land
Waves of brightness everywhere
Bleach the blackness paler still
Then lighter the blazing patches grew
Where tired nature’s heart was broken through
Swallowing the darkness with it’s brilliant hue
Sparkling breezes move across
Clinging firm and holding edges
Sharp like crystal
The breath of life this Silver Light
Sweeping over and between the land
As God’s Consuming Fire of Love stands
Healing and renewing
Springing up and burgeoning through
While worn Earth a new Heaven grew.
See Exodus 3:2 NKJV. (This is where Moses saw a burning bush).
“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.”
We have no need to fear God’s consuming Fire of Love.
The Church as God’s dwelling place is also a burning thornbush, the Triune God burning within and upon a redeemed humanity (Luke 12:49: Acts 2:3-4). Through the burning of the Holy Divine Fire, the once cursed and redeemed thornbush is transformed to be God’s dwelling place. (Reference: Holy Bible Recovery Version: Exodus chapter 3: Notes and Cross References section).
Written by Jennie Starling:
March 4th 2021.
It is easily demonstrated that messages from God are not very reliable. People get contradictory and even harmful/dangerous/evil messages all the time – including people claiming to be prophets or killing people because “God told them to.” Even if it comes from a spirit, God isn’t the only spirit out there giving messages to people. It always pays to check messages against a more reliable source. If it is about Christianity then check it against the Bible. If it is God telling you to do something, check what a pastor or parent thinks about it. If it is about the natural world then check it against the measurable evidence which amounts to information from every corner and direction of the universe coming directly from its creator.
But… isn’t the Bible a reliable authority for the natural world? No, it is not. The mustard seed is not the smallest seed. The earth does not have corners or pillars. Ants are not independent and do have rulers despite Proverbs 6:7. The use of 3 as a value of pi in 1 Kings 7 and 2 Chron 4 is far from accurate. The earth moves and its motion can be altered despite Psalm 104.
Furthermore, the notion of absolute time as one measure over all things has already been discarded by science. We have every indication that the measure of time we have in the physical universe is something that came into existence with the universe and there is no time before according to that measure. And even the Bible tells us that God is not under the same measure of time 2 Peter 3:8.