Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Theistic Evolutionists

It is not just young earth creationists (as referenced in my last post) whose difficulty with the problem of evil leads to (what I take to be) a faulty understanding of reality. For some of the most outspoken theistic evolutionists, their reason for affirming macroevolution has less to do with any evidence for it and more to do with theological implications of denying it.

Both Kenneth Miller and Francis Ayala appeal to the evolutionary process as a way of exonerating God from responsibility for the "evil" and perceived "bad design" in nature. Just as for the young earth creationist, the things from which these folks want to distance God include predatory animals, parasites (like malaria), and other potentially harmful aspects of nature. For Miller and Ayala, an appeal to Intelligent Design directly implicates God in the creation of such things, whereas if God only set into motion the process of evolution, this somehow lets Him off the hook.

I won't take the time right now to address the many problems with this view; rather, this post merely serves to get it on the table. In forcefully, vehemently arguing for evolution (despite its many evidential problems) and against intelligent design theory (or most forms of creationism) these men seriously believe that they are defending God's honor against the charge of bad design or cruelty.

And so, no matter where we turn, we find people coming to inaccurate conclusions for the very same reason--an inability to arrive at an adequate solution to the 'problem of evil.'


Anonymous said...

God is so much bigger than anything we, as humans, can possibly imagine. I can't even fathom the intricacies and complex systems of planet Earth and how they interrelate on so many levels. The fact that God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscience is hard to grasp but man continues to try and reason his way to all the answers. When will we simply believe and know through faith that God uses EVERYTHING for his perfect plan? Unfortunately, for many, probably never but we can't give up the effort.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18

Rick Gerhardt said...


Thanks for reading. Yes, so many people's "issues" stem from trying to put God in a box of their own making. Indeed, much of our walk as Christians includes daily chipping away at idolatrous parts of our current concept of who God is and how He should act.