Bible Study: Can a Christian Be an Evolutionist?

Christians often ask the question in the title of this Bible study, "Can a Christian be an evolutionist?" Unless we are willing to usurp God's position and become the Judge of Man, we must acknowledge that there are professing Christians who also believe the myth of evolution. This Bible study will explore the Scriptures to highlight how creation is used in Scripture, and show that evolutionary belief is inconsistent and even dangerous for a Christian.

The "great commission" of our Lord in MATTHEW 28 includes His command to teach those who are made disciples "all that I (Jesus) have commanded you". Everything God has spoken to us - doctrines, laws, invitation - is a command to us in this context. Christians are to observe all that God has taught us in His Word.

Read JOHN 17:17. What are we told here about that Word? What power does that Word have? What did Jesus mean in JOHN 10:35 when He said that the Scripture cannot be broken? Considering the great commission, JOHN 17:17 and JOHN 10:35, what should the faith of the Christian be concerning the "question of origins"?

Turn to JOHN 1:1-4,14. About whom is this speaking? What significance do you find in the fact that Scripture calls both the written Word and the Lord Jesus the Word of God? Since all doctrine (doctrine means teaching) is nothing more than the Word of God (or it is false doctrine), to reject a teaching of Scripture is to reject the Word of God in that matter. If one stands stubbornly in rejection of the Word of God, can one truly cling to the One who is also called the Word of God? What dangers may await the Christian who tries this schizophrenic faith? Is this a consistent faith?

There is more reason for believing creation than the simple fact that Scripture asserts it. Scripture also uses the doctrine of creation. Creator is part of the identity of Jesus. JOHN 1:1-4 describes Jesus as Creator, "...without Whom nothing has come into being which has come into being". Turn to GENESIS 1:1-3 and try to identify each person of the Trinity. Which words make reference to the Son?

PSALM 33 uses the doctrine of creation. What does the Psalmist suggest is the proper response to creation (the creation verses are vs. 6-9)? What does PSALM 89:12-18 suggest should be the result of the knowledge of God as our Creator?

In these short sections we are encouraged to joy, to praise, and to trust because of the knowledge of creation! God identifies Himself in ISAIAH 42:5 by the doctrine of creation. Read ISAIAH 45:5-12. How many references to Himself as Creator does God make? How important is His intimate involvement in the creation to His argument? Note especially that the doctrine of creation is the foundation for the doctrine of salvation!

What does Paul build from the knowledge of creation in 1 CORINTHIANS 11? In 1 CORINTHIANS 15:38-39 and following Paul uses the facts of creation to establish an understanding of the resurrection. Notice, too, the anti-evolutionary distinctions drawn between the kinds of flesh. Without creation, how could we make any sense of this passage, or of its understanding of the resurrection? In what ways is God's intimate involvement with the creation again stressed?

Read EPHESIANS 3:8-13. This is one of the more complex and confusing passages in the letters of Paul. Nonetheless, Paul unquestionably builds the history of revelation upon the history of creation; perhaps even as the purpose of creation. What else is built together in these verses, which rests on the truth of creation?

How important is the biblical teaching on creation? Creation is part of the description of who Christ is, why God has saved us, the purpose of history, the understanding of the resurrection, and the reason for joy, peace, praise, trust and love of God. Perhaps you could add to this list.

Could a Christian be an evolutionist? Only by inconsistency, by believing some things without apparent reason. Some of the beliefs of such an individual would be incomplete, lacking important biblical elements. Such a believer would not believe the Word, or act because of the Word, but out of pure credulity. God has said, "Test all things, hold to that which is good". A faithful believer, founded on God's Word, should seek to conform to the Word. Ultimately, the Christian who does this cannot be an evolutionist. Creation is too important to Christianity!

Close with a prayer of praise for God's marvellous creation, and for guidance into all truth through the Word.

by R.D.F.

Source: 'Bible Science Newsletter', July/August 1990