Preserving Orthodoxy & Honoring Scientific Reality

Richard Mouw introduces a well-researched and thorough book about the tenets of evolution and Christianity from a European voice, sharing an outside perspective while remaining highly relevant to other readers.

It looks really interesting and robust! I think I need to put it on my reading list!


Perhaps I should post a link to this article in the thread about whether or not God answers prayers, because this might just be the book I have been praying for!

@Dale one for your reading list too, buddy.


Something substantial and rigorous on EC from a Reformed theological perspective has been much needed. This looks very, very good! Thanks for bringing it to my attention :smiley:


Looks good! I also looked at a few pages of his Christian Dogmatics: An Introduction via the Amazon “Look inside” feature and a few more via the preview feature. The chapter “Encountering God: The Doctrine of Revelation” looked particularly interesting (to someone who is especially interested in God’s providence and its personal nature).

@dale and @Diplodocus I’ve already picked up a digital copy and plan to drive right in! :nerd_face:


Interesting. Thanks for the heads up.

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Christian Dogmatics: An Introduction doesn’t appear to be available digitally. :neutral_face:

What are the tenets of the tenants of evolution? And what’s the rent? ; )


TENETS! oh no, will fix.


No one knows @Klax, it’s changing all the time :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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Seems like where I live, rent is always going up. x_x

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Autofill and autocorrect are my worst enemas.


Gijsbert van den Brink’s book “Reformed Theology & Evolutionary Theory” is a thorough survey of the current literature on science and theology, along with the author’s commentary, insights, and conclusions. For the sake of argument, he assumes that the Darwinian account of evolution is true. He then asks what that would mean from a (Reformed) theological point of view.

He sums up his discussion by pointing out that there are three places where adjustments are needed in classical (Reformed) theology:
(1) Concordism (“the hermeneutical view that biblical statements pertaining to the physical world correspond to scientific facts”) (pp. 74-5),
(2) The theory of the cosmic fall (“that is, after the first human beings lapsed into sin, and as a result of that fact, God’s originally perfect creation was distorted to such an extent that the entire biosphere fell into disarray”) (p. 111), and
(3) The idea that human history started with a single couple.

He concludes that “Christian believers do not have to resist evolutionary theory because of their faith commitments; and non-Christians don’t have to think that in order to become a Christian they should do the impossible, that is, renounce something that is so evidently true to them as Darwinian evolution.” (p. 274)

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Soooooo, as there is no such thing as original sin, why did Jesus HAVE to die? And even if there were?

Because of sin. There is still plenty of sin around.


I don’t think we have an adequate understanding of the immiscibility of the truly pure with the intrinsically evil.

I have never liked existence questions. Even as a child they seemed meaningless to the point of being inane. The meaningful question is never whether they exist but what are they? It is not whether there is any such thing as original sin, but what exactly is it? Is it just the first sin? Is it the impact of that first sin upon the rest of us. Does it mean that we have no choice but to sin? In any case, original sin is not the only place to wonder if the right questions are being asked.

Denying that original sin is not some kind of genetic inheritance has nothing whatsoever to do with whether Jesus had to die. …And anyway why in the world would anyone think that Jesus HAD to die? God doesn’t HAVE to save us! So the real question in that regard is what did the death of Jesus accomplish? There was no “have to” about any of it.


As I understand him, van den Brink does not deny original sin. He denies a “cosmic fall” (the entire biosphere falling into disarray) and he suggests that Adam and Eve were not the only human beings around at the time of their “first act of willful disobedience to God’s voice.” (p. 183)

He also suggests that “the nature and necessity of Christ’s atoning work do not logically depend on the way in which we became sinners, but on the fact that we are sinners.” (p. 200)

As usual Richard Rohr speaks above the false dichotomy.

So why did Jesus HAVE to die because of sin?

What’s to adequately understand?

If God grounds our being that is all the way up in to the transcendent. Salvation in life and beyond is intrinsic to creation. The only evidence for that is Jesus. And no, He didn’t have to die to effect a pardon for intrinsic damnation.

HAVE to? He offered himself as a perfect sacrifice, a ransom for many.


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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