The Expulsion of Adam and Eve, Benjamin West, 1731
The compromises of theistic
evolution and progressive creationism has caused
confusion and is undermining faith in
If you saw the Ken Ham, Bill Nye debate last year you saw proponents of the two major
views of Origins: Creation (defended by Ken Ham), and Evolution (defended by
Bill Nye). Those two positions - Creation and Evolution - are diametrically
opposed worldview positions as you can see from the chart below.
Unfortunately many Christians - including some well
known, well regarded apologists and leaders- have elected to undermine the biblical account of origins by taking one of the two compromise
positions below. In their desire to reconcile science and the Biblical account
of the beginnings of all created things (the universe, earth, life), they are attempting
to do what cannot be done: have their cake and eat it too. To appease a
scientific community that has misinterpreted the data they've turned to either Theistic Evolution
of Progressive Creationism - both of which are in compatible with the biblical
Someone will ask, á la Hillary, what difference does it make? What does it
matter what we believe about origins? Perhaps a few questions
will clarify it for you:
- If God can't be trusted about the origins of life, can he be trusted about
what happens at the end of life?
If God can't be trusted about the origins of the universe, can he be trusted
about the origins and existence of heaven?
If God can't be trusted about the origins of the soul can he be trusted for the
moral commandments for the soul?
If God can't be trusted about the origins of sin, can he be trusted for the
solution of sin?
You see all the beauty that God has promised for the life to come is tied up
with the beauty of how God started this present world and this present life. If you deny God's account of
and in so doing reject His assessment that when he finished, everything was "very good"
(Gen 1.31); (which included the facts that there was no death, no sin, no separation from God); then if
you don't believe him
for the the beginning, why believe him for the ending? Many, including
young Christians of college age, have noticed the disparity between what science
teaches and what the scripture teaches and have left the faith because of it1.
They have concluded if this story from scientists is right - as many of their teachers and pastors are
telling them, then scripture must be wrong - and none of it can
be trusted. They are (ironically and most unfortunately for those in Christian
schools), simply following what
they've been taught. (A charge usually leveled derisively at church goers.)
Speaking as a former pastor, I address this question to pastors and Christian
leaders who have abandoned the Biblical creation account to embrace bad
interpretations of science: How can you expect your congregations, and the
people who eagerly read your books, to stand firm in the faith if you won't?
Scripture records "The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." (Acts
11.26) The word "Christian" - is translated in many a sermon as "little Christ",
supposed to represent someone who believes and acts as Jesus did. Jesus believed
in the Biblical account of creation (Matt 19.4-5), in the global flood of Noah's
day (Matt 24.37) in Jonah and the fish (Matt 12.40). Since evolution was
not popularized until after Darwin's 1859 The Origin of Species - Jesus clearly
did not have that in mind. So why do you allow evolutionary ideas to be injected
into scriptures that clearly mitigate against it? Or are you unaware that one
reason Darwin wrote Origin was to obviate the need for God?2
There are two flavors of compromise when it
comes to those who refuse to remain steadfast in the faith - and history - "once
for all entrusted to the saints." (Jude
3). There is the straight compromise of Theistic Evolution, promoted by
Francis Collins and his Biologos
organization. Then there is the syncretistic compromise approach of Progressive
Creationism, promoted by Hugh Ross and his
Reasons to Believe organization.
Of the two, Progressive Creationism is more dangerous because it is more
insidious, claiming to support the Biblical Creation account while all the while
quietly injecting evolutionary ideas, concepts and time lines into the Biblical
account. At least theistic evolution tells you up front what it is -
a flavor of evolution - that its adherents claim was God's method of creating. They're wrong
of course, but at least they're up front about what they believe.
Contrast that to Progressive Creationism which
claims to be creationist to the core, but if you look
at what they believe, (made plain in the table below), you'll see there is not a single tenet of the Christian
account of origins that they have not contaminated with incorrect evolutionary
doctrine, timelines, or both. This adding of evolutionary material
is a clear attempt to
harmonize biblical and evolutionary accounts; and is the very
essence of syncretism. And they do so as noted above with teachings that are
diametrically opposed to the faith. Speaking of syncretism, it is very
interesting that in an article meant to support a
literal Adam and Eve3, out of the many, many paintings they
could have chosen to depict Adam and Eve (an example is above), which one do they select? One that
includes the mythical Lilith - an extra-biblical character - variously depicted as
Adam's rejected first wife, or a half serpent, half woman creature; and
in some circles regarded as the mother of the demons of seduction (succubi4). Perhaps the
selection of that picture was an unconsciously performed act of syncretism; but it certainly fits the spirit of what they do there at Reasons.org - adding untruths to the biblical account.
Before going to the chart, let's clarify a few things
in the debate which some people may
- Natural Selection:
First off, note natural selection is NOT synonymous with evolution. Natural
Selection is a process whereby various traits increase or decrease in a
population due to various pressures (typically external) on the organism. You may be surprised
to learn that it was first proposed by a Christian as an explanation of how the
sick, weaker, or defective creatures were removed from a population.5
While it is not mentioned in the Bible it is included in the Creation column
because it accords with the biblical doctrine of the fall, was proposed by a
Christian, and most (if not all) Creationists agree with it.
Believers in theistic evolution (TE) swallow the entire evolutionary story,
hook, line and sinker. The only way TE differs from pure evolutionary
doctrine is in their attempt to shoehorn in some works of God, along with
but poorly accommodated for the human soul
(sometimes called the spirit in this context). The soul is a huge problem for TE
believers. Since they don't believe in
an actual Adam and Eve, they have no definitive place where they can point to where God
imparts a soul to man, since they don't know precisely where apes end and man began.
In spite of these gross errors please
note that as long as they are still confessing Christ as Lord, they are still be
considered Christians (as are those who believe in Progressive Evolution).
Though confused, mistaken, and mislead this is not a salvation issue
Ken Ham keeps pointing out).
Of the two (TE and Progressive Creation), this is the more dangerous because of
its deceptive nature. Adherents claim to be
creationists - but when you dig into the details, all their explanations include evolutionary concepts and time
frames. For example:
- They believe that God created the Universe - but He did so according to the
Big Bang account and sequence of events6, which varies greatly from the Genesis 1
accounting of events7.
- To create the world we have today, progressive creationists
believe God did a bit of creating, then paused for a few
million years, then returned to the work of creating to create some more new
creatures after some species have gone extinct in the interim. This is nowhere
represented in scripture, and does not fit in the biblical account.
- Progressive creationists say they believe in a literal Adam and Eve - but the Adam and
Eve they believe in were not the first of their kind as the biblical Adam and
Eve were. They believe there
were "hominids" before Adam and Eve, which includes pre-humans and
humans (like Neandethals8). According to
their teaching God started with a hominid and modified it to make Adam and Eve and gave
the spirit (or soul) to this modified-to-be-human creature. You'll not find that in the
- They claim that evolution is false, yet they use evolutionary time
lines, evolutionary interpretations of evidence, and evolution as applied to
the universe (the Big Bang). Clearly their primary concern is inclusion of
evolutionary ideas; not fidelity to the biblical account.
And now the chart:
(Click to Enlarge)
Creation, Evolution, Theistic Evolution, Progressive Creation
||Agrees with Creation
||Agrees with Evolution
||Doesn't agree with either -Evolution
(Click to Enlarge)
As you can see from the chart above, Theistic Evolution is pure evolution
with 2 minor bones thrown to accommodate their Christian faith. Progressive evolution is
also mostly evolution, with the much more dangerous aspect of syncretistic
to it. Their approach is "we believe in special creation, but..." and then
add evolutionary doctrine. Neither of these positions is what the bible
As noted above, both of these doctrines
undermine biblical Christian faith. Could this be why so many people are falling away from the faith: Christian
leaders who refuse to stand firm in their faith? This is a call, particularly to
Christian leaders, to return to, and stand firm in the faith "once
and all entrusted to the saints." (Jude 3). Perhaps the warning
God gave to Ahaz, king of Judah by the prophet Isaiah is appropriate for the
church in this age:
"If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all."
Could these two compromises be part of
the reason for the coming apostasy?
Duane Caldwell | posted 3/19/2015
1 For details on this, see Ken Ham “The Relevance of Creation”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFn46VSOXj4 at about 20 minutes
2 see "Darwin's Arguments against God", Russell Grieg, CMI, accessed ()
3 see "Were they real? The Scientific Case for Adam and Eve, Fazale
Rana, RTB 10/1/2010
4 Lilith as mother of the demons of seduction - (Succubi, singular
succubus), see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succubus
5 Darwin stole the idea of Natural Selection from the Edward Blythe, a
Christian who believed in what is now called special creation.
6 for More on the Big Bang order of events, see: "Big Bang Time Line",
accessed 3/15/2015, http://patrickgrant.com/BBTL.htm
7 For more on the Biblical order of creation see:
John G. Hartnett, "The Big Bang is not a Reason to Believe", Creation Ministries International,
Jason Lisle, "Does the Big Bang Fit with the Bible?", Answers In Genesis,
8 Ross identifies Neanderthals as one of the pre-human Hominids (http://www.reasons.org/rtb-101/hominids\),
but modern geneticists now say Neanderthals could and did interbreed with humans,
making them the same species - human. This supports the Biblical concept of
Kinds, making Neanderthals the same "kind" as Adam and Eve and thus ancestors of
Adam and Eve as far as evolutionists are concerned. The Biblical account has it the other way around however,
with Adam and Eve first, and thus the ancestors and progenitors of all humans -
including Neanderthals - which geneticists now consider human.
On species see:
On Neanderthals Interbreeding with modern humans:
"...we have a little bit of Neanderthal ancestry in modern human
Ed Green, geneticist
University of California
"What we have shown clearly is that we [modern humans] could
interbreed with them [Neanderthals], and we could have fertile
children. And at least some of these children became incorporated in
the human community and reproduced and contributed to present day
Svante Paabo, geneticist
Max Planck Institute, Leipzig
Nova "Decoding Neanderthals", WGBH Documentary, 2013
9 See note 7 for the Biblical order of events
10 See note 6 for the Big Bang order of events
11 The is a necessary conclusion based on the fact they reject that Adam and
Eve actually existed; and thus could not be the recipients of the original
breath of life from God.
12 Hugh Ross and his Reasons to Believe organization
unabashedly teaches the Bible supports the Big Bang, with no explanation of why
the events are so radically different.
13 "In particular, in progressive creation, God came down and took two
hominids and literally breathed a soul into them, to create Adam and Eve."
"Progressive Creation" RationalWiki, 11/29/2019
14 For more see, "Hominids", Reasons To Believe, accessed 3/14/2015,