Q&A: Evolution and the Bible

Evolution and the Bible

Question

With all the media attention about where we came from, whether it be from apes or a molecule from the sea, where does God come into the picture? Is this what we believe in the Bible, or did God create man as we are today. I used to believe that we evolved from apes, but today I am not sure. And why didn't all the apes evolve, and why are some people still black and some white, etc.? I am a bit stumped as to what to believe anymore.

Answer

Christians actually hold a variety of views on this subject. A few believe that we evolved from lower life forms, but that God sovereignly directed and controlled this evolution. The difference between this view and Darwinistic evolution is that Darwinistic evolution states that evolution was not sovereignly directed and controlled by God, but rather took place by random mutation and was governed by the rule of the survival of those forms or mutations that were able to survive and reproduce most successfully.

Most Christians, however, believe that God created the first man (Adam) and woman (Eve) as adults without parents. The accounts of their creation can be found in Genesis 1 and 2, with Genesis 2 being quite a bit more detailed. Most Christians understand these chapters to teach that God himself sovereignly and miraculously brought these two individuals into existence, and that they were human just as we are today, not some lower life form (such as Australopithecus). This is also the view we affirm at Third Millennium.

The reason we believe the biblical accounts to be actual records of the creation of man is first that we judge the genre of the literature in especially Genesis 2 to be historical narrative. It appears to us that Moses (the author) intended to affirm that the creation story was actual history, and on that basis to persuade the Israelites to follow him to the Promised Land. Admittedly, this purpose is not immediately evident to readers who are unfamilier with ancient Near Eastern literature such as Genesis. However, we believe that based on comparisons with other ancient Near Eastern creation accounts and other biblical literature that this is indeed the intended meaning and function of the story.

We believe that Genesis 1 functioned in a very similar way to Genesis 2, though it contains fewer details of the creation of man. Also, it does appear that Genesis 1 is stylistically different from Genesis 2. On this basis, some have argued that it is not precisely historical narrative. However, our determination, based again on comparisons with other ancient Near Eastern literature and on corroborating biblical evidence (e.g. 1 Chr. 1:1; Luke 3:38; 1 Cor. 15:45; 1 Tim. 2:13), is that Genesis 1 is intended to convey true history (again in order to move the Israelites toward the Promised Land), even though it may do so in a more stylized way than does Genesis 2.

Because we believe the Bible to be absolutely truthful, we accept its presentations and assumptions as factual. Also, we believe that evolutionary explanations leave many important questions unanswered (such as those you have asked), and that they provide less than satisfactory explanations of much of the data they interpret.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.