Fundamental Evolution

Interesting thoughts from Jonathan Groover:

This modern view of creationism, held mostly by those within Fundamentalist and conservative circles was not even a view held by those that founded the Fundamentalist movement!  This movement began in 1909 with a series of booklets called “The Fundamentals” led by conservative Presbyterians in the Princeton school.   Some of the contributors were James Orr and B.B. Warfield.  J.G. Machen, while not among them, was one of the leading proponents of conservative Christianity.  Interestingly enough, all three of these scholars, while affirming that there were certain “fundamental” beliefs (such as the Virgin Birth, the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, the reality of Christ’s miracles, and the resurrection of Christ), had no objections to theistic evolution.

According to Dr. Edgar, James Orr “allowed that some form of evolutionary theory was ‘extremely probable’” and spoke positively of the relation of science and faith.  B.B. Warfield  argued that “the question of the antiquity of man has of itself no theological significance.”  As a strict Calvinist he argued that “Calvin’s view of creation allowed ‘not only for evolutionism but pure evolutionism’”.  J.G. Machen believed “that evolution was a conceivable way for God to have created the earth.”

My point is this: holding the view that evolution is antithetical to orthodox Christianity is just not necessary.  The writers of “The Fundamentals”—that spurred Fundamentalism—did not see this as a major obstacle to Christian belief and neither should we.  In fact, it’s when we understand this that we are free to look at the merits (or lack thereof) of evolution on its own terms.   We can be confident that whatever conclusions we come to, evolution has not proved incompatible to the idea of God creating the world—in fact evolution becomes a lot more believable when a Divine origin is factored in.

Love Wins

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