Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What price credibility?

Dr. Darrel Falk is celebrating the impact of Biologos on the evangelical church. Indeed, he has declared the "dawning of a new day." At the same time he laments the continuing influence of men like Al Mohler and John MacArthur. Dr. Falk will understand, I trust, that there are many of us who do not share his concern over Drs. Mohler and MacArthur. Likewise, many of us do not celebrate the possibility of greater numbers of evangelicals embracing the views of Biologos.

In a recent article Al Mohler points out that Biologos has been advancing far more than the theory of evolution only. Quoting Dr. Falk, Mohler writes:

Will we ever be able to show the followers of Albert Mohler, John MacArthur and others that Christian theology doesn’t stand or fall on how we understand Genesis 1 or the question of whether Adam and Eve were the sole genetic progenitors of the human race? These are extremely critical issues to many and the task of showing in a convincing manner that evangelical theology doesn’t depend on the age of the earth, and it doesn’t depend upon whether Adam was made directly from dust will likely take decades before it will be convincing to all.

So, Dr. Falk sees the task as that of convincing us that evangelical theology “doesn’t depend” upon affirmations about the age of the earth or the historicity of Adam as “made directly from dust” — but Falk envisions this task as lasting decades “before it will be convincing to all.” With all due respect, I think he will need a longer calendar. Most frustratingly, Dr. Falk’s statement does not acknowledge the fact that the arguments published by BioLogos go far beyond even these important concerns. Articles at BioLogos go so far as to suggest that the Apostle Paul was simply wrong to believe that Adam was an historical person. A recent BioLogos essay argues that Adam and Eve were likely “a couple of Neolithic farmers in the Near East” to whom God revealed himself “in a special way.” There is a consistent denial of any possibility that Adam and Eve are the genetic parents of the entire human race. The BioLogos approach also denies the historical nature of the Fall, with all of its cosmic consequences. BioLogos has published explicit calls to deny the inerrancy of the Bible. The concerns do not stop here.

The Bible reveals Adam to be an historical human being, the first human being, and the father of all humanity. Adam is included in biblical genealogies, including the genealogy of Jesus Christ. If the arguments offered thus far by BioLogos for resolving the “theological challenges” associated with “evolutionary creation” are any indication of what is likely to come in the future, Dr. Falk and his colleagues will wait a very long time indeed for evangelicals to join their club.

In his Biologos post, Dr. Falk makes a very telling comment: "Scientific knowledge is not deeply flawed and we cannot allow ourselves to be led down this pathway any longer." Falk likens any opposition to evolution as damaging to the church's witness. He reasons that if the church insists on believing in things like the special creation of Adam and Eve and the historicity of the Fall then the scientific community will not take us seriously. Of course, our cultured despisers do not take Bilogos seriously. After all, they believe in God. For this very reason, Biologos has been mocked by well known atheists. I ask you, what will they think of the church if we embrace Darwin's theory of evolution but insist on holding to other such anti-scientific claims as the virgin birth, deity, atonement, and resurrection of Christ?

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