The Necessity of Evolution and Resurrection

I’m relatively new to learning about theistic evolution. One compelling argument I have heard to support the intersection of theistic evolution and theology is the idea that evolution was how God was able to create biological free-willed persons with the capacity for love. If I’m understanding correctly, the evolutionary struggles homindis went through allowed for modern humans to evolve to have the capacity to bear God’s image and be able to love Him freely. I find that quite beautiful.

This kind of opens up a discussion on resurrection for me though. If evolution was needed to create people with free-will in God’s image with the capacity to love, how does the resurrection work? The resurrection is God using a miracle to (re)create bodies for us and make us whole again. It’s up for debate whether this includes God (1) reusing atoms and molecules to resurrect us or (2) making something from scratch whether physical or spiritual. However, it does posit the question, if we believe that God is able to (re)create human beings in His image, making their bodies and their minds (as He does in the resurrection), why was evolution necessary? Why was evolution the tool that God used to make humans in His image, if (as I believe) He is also capable of using a miracle to make human beings?

Would love a discussion!

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If you look in a woodworker’s shop you will find a wide variety of tools. Why? Different tools have different uses. I believe God used a natural process to produce our natural bodies. As the Psalm says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” When it comes to our resurrection body that will be a supernatural process for sure. So different body different tool. I see no reason why we have to limit the tools that God can use.

And welcome to the forum.

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Hi thanks for the response! That does make sense. Although I have to say that I’m more on the side of believing our resurrected bodies are still physical and similar to ours albeit different. If I may ask, do you think was evolution was absolutely necessary for God to make us, or do you think He could have just miracled us into existence but chose not to?

I agree God is capable of using miracles to do what he wants. I don’t think the evidence for evolution revolves around what God is capable of, it revolves around what we see in rocks and genes and fossils. I don’t think we know why it was the tool and not something else, but it is pretty clear based on empirical evidence that it is what happened. So then it is up to us to work out how the facts of the matter fit with our beliefs about God and the future.

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Welcome to the forum! Interesting post. As you feel comfortable with our little corner of the internet, you are welcome to share a bit of your personal story and background to help us respond in appropriate ways. Most here are pretty cordial, though we have a few grouches you have to take with a grain of salt.

I don’t think God had to use evolution to make us either, but the evidence is overwhelming that he did, so we have to scratch our heads and try to understand what that means. We were talking about some creation issues at church yesterday, and one thing that stuck in my mind was that things are not always the way we would imagine or desire, and we have be willing to deal with them as they are, not as we want them to be. We can have a nice little system of theology with arguments and answers that are wonderfully internally consistent, but if they do not address the truth of reality, what good is it?
So, we are left with the apparent truth of evolution, what do we do with it as Christians? Personally, that means I have to integrate it into my interpretation and beliefs about God, and to me it seems that an evolved nature made for survival is a good explanation for why we are born to sin. To me, that is much better than having to deal with God creating us flawed with a sinful nature for no reason. It also explains the recurrent laryngeal nerve. :wink:

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That makes sense! So God could have created humans however He wanted, but He simply chose evolution? That does make sense. :slight_smile:

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Hi Leandra. Grouch Alert! I’ve no idea what free-will is and what persons freely loving God look like. If God is the ground of being, then the only way to supernatural being is from nature. Nature is the only breeding ground for supernature.

As for resurrection, only in Jesus’ case did it involve the metamorphosis of His corpse. For everything else glorified germination takes place from the dormant seed of sufficiently evolved information.

Hi thanks for your reply! My personal story would be quite long haha but suffice it to say I’m currently an Old Earth Creationist but I’m searching for answers and I’m just exploring theistic evolution, trying to understand it better. I’m not so dogmatic about it though, to be honest except for a few theological issues that I still haven’t yet managed to fit into a theistic evolution framework :slight_smile:

That does make a lot of sense! Although, how do you address the idea that we were born into sin because of our evolved nature? Didn’t God plan and create the entire evolution process, so how is it fair for Him to create humans with their evolutionary past, and then call that being born into sin? From my understanding being born into sin is bad and not something God did to us but something we do to ourselves by having chosen sin and choosing it again and again. Thanks for your input though :slight_smile:

God could have created the entire universe last Thursday if He so chose to do so. We would have no way of knowing. However, I don’t think the God we know would do so. As to was it necessary for God use evolution we have nothing that would let us know. We just know that He did based on what we see in His creation.

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Hi Klax, thanks for your reply. I’m not sure what you mean by “for everything else glorified germination takes place from the dormant seed of sufficiently evolved information”. What does this mean? Does you mean that our future resurrection is in some way dependent on our past evolution? My argument was that whatever way God uses to create us anew after death, wouldn’t this be an argument for the idea that God can also create humans ex nihilio or using atoms/molecules/dirt and immediately creating a human being? And if so, why did He use evolution?

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Thank you, that does actually make sense! Why don’t you think God would have done so, though? Could it be perhaps that God using evolution to creatively fashion humans simply was something that He did for His own glory and pleasure, and that it gave Him joy to see us evolve and grow?

Last Thursdayism would make God into a trickster at best and a liar at worst and neither are in His revealed attributes. We are told we can trust what He reveals in His creation.

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Here be tygers Leandra!

He cannot do better. If He could, He would. When we die He (supernaturally) takes the natural information that defines us as persons, and if Jesus is anything to go by, spins that up, reboots it in a glorified copy, perhaps on a glorified parallel Earth. I love John Martin’s The Plains of Heaven myself (Ctrl +). The rest is therapy.

He cannot create that information by fiat.

If He could we’d all be glorified Adams with no backstory immediately. But, you say, Adam went to the bad and could not handle immortality. I say that just means God is incompetent and can’t fix anyone but pre-compliant saints.

So do you mean that the reason you think He wouldn’t have done so is because otherwise it would make God into a trickster, as in, the evidence points to the contrary? I only meant to ask, why do you think He used evolution and not a more miraculous creation to create us, as YEC and OEC claim?

You do have to take that “born into sin” a bit metaphorically. The evolutionary process gave birth to our nature which is to try to survive and procreate, to take care of self. We gained the ability to rise above our nature when we became created in the image of God, with moral capacity. At that point we had the capability to choose light or darkness. i find that much more satisfying than saying God created us with an inborn tendency to sin, so that it was inevitable that Adam and all humanity would sin and be condemned to hell, not by their choice, but by God’s design. That perhaps is a bit of a hyperbole, but is essentially the option.

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Thanks! I can’t say I agree but that’s certainly an interesting perspective and I’ll need to ponder that a while. You say God uses the natural information to make a copy and boots that into our new resurrected bodies. But doesn’t that still mean that God will have to somehow create this copy? Why couldn’t He just create the information? So for instance, if evolution is the reason why our DNA it is today, couldn’t God have simply inserted a strand of DNA as we have today without prior evolution? I’m not saying that’s how it happened, I’m just curious if theistic evolutionists believe that there was no other way and whether the resurrection proves otherwise. :slight_smile:

How could God create you?

I can’t speak for all as this is a big tent and a diverse group, but in general, EC has no problem with miracles and God’s special interventions over and about his overall control and sustaining power over all creation. The lines get thin, as in general, most EC adherents see evolution as being a creation of God that is sustained by God as part of his creative process. A strand of DNA produced by the process of evolution is no less miraculous that one poofed into existence from empty space. The difference to those who look at the science is that the strand of DNA produced by evolution shows mutations, similarities to closely related animals, differences with more distance relations, coffee stains from past sloppy copiers, all of which point to an evolutionary origin. It doesn’t matter what we want to find, it is what is there.

So meaningless order is as miraculous as meaningful short cuts? So what value does miraculous have?

Good question that goes to the question of what a miracle is. Is it something outside of natural law? Is is something that has the purpose of pointing to God? (Which might exclude poofing a strand of DNA into existence.).

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