The Third Way is a Christian magazine published in Great Britain. As its name implies, it attempts to take a theological approach somewhere between conservatism and liberalism. Recently, the magazine published an article by Denis Alexander, a biologist who advised Christians to celebrate evolution.
Doctor Alexander is a supporter of theistic evolution or the view that God used evolution as His method of Creation. He dislikes the creationists’ attempt to persuade other Christians to resist evolution. He feels that they are conducting a crusade against Darwinists. Alexander points out that for instance Benjamin Warfield, James Orr and many other late 19th century and early 20th century Christian leaders accepted evolution. He suggests that opposing Darwinism is a recent phenomenon.
Alexander's facts seem to be somewhat deficient. In reality, some well-known scientists such as Lord Kelvin and many clergymen already resisted Darwinism in the 1850s.
Alexander's article Viva la evolution quotes famous atheists. According to Daniel Dennett, “Evolution is not a process that was designed to produce us". Evolution thus destroys the basic reason and purpose for our existence. Richard Dawkins says, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist. "
Doctor Alexander nevertheless says that we should not let atheists hijack the theory of evolution. He thinks that it simply explains how diversity in nature came into being. He claims that evolution is not in conflict with the biblical doctrine of creation since the Bible merely explains why everything exists.
Basically, evolution is an attempt to make God superfluous. It is thus not surprising than atheists are fond of it. What is more surprising is that supporters of theistic evolution do not seem to understand the basic ideology that evolution is based on.
Alexander regards the opening chapters of Genesis as a profound theological essay. In his view, although the account of the creation of Adam and Eve is figurative language, we would not understand the rest of the Bible without it.
Alexander's interpretation is diametrically opposed to the view of Jesus and the New Testament writers. Jesus taught that for instance Adam, Abel and Noah were real people and that the global flood of Noah's day was a historical event.
The year 2009 is a very special year for evolutionists. It will be the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species and 200 years since his birth. Alexander thinks that Christians should also take part in the celebrations.
Some of them are already doing so - in their own way. For instance, Creation Ministries International is preparing a documentary on Charles Darwin and his travels. The film shows that Darwin was wrong.
There is no such thing as the gospel according to evolution. Neo-Darwinian evolution is a great story in which there is no room for sin and salvation. Regardless of what theistic evolutionists believe, the almighty God has no place in this story. As the Bible says, He created everything by His Word. He did not need such a wasteful and cruel method as evolution.
Joel Kontinen is a translator and novelist currently living in Finland. His background includes an MA in translation studies and a BA in Bible and Theology. He likes to keep up-to-date on science news and often comments on creation/evolution and origins issues.