Karl W. Giberson is vice president of The BioLogos Foundation, and has recently written a provocative piece on how Jesus would believe in evolution, and “so should you.” This is because Jesus claimed to be the Truth, and since evolution is true, darn it, our acceptance of whatever He “would have held” would seem to follow. Giberson gets out there on the skinny branches, and he gets to swinging. Christians have long been committed to “preserving, expanding and sharing truth,” and this necessitates them accepting the truth of evolution. “‘What would Jesus believe about origins?” And the answer? Jesus would believe evolution, of course. He cares for the Truth.”
But alas, many Christians continue to maintain, in the face of this compelling feat of imagination, that Jesus didn’t believe in evolution at all. He believed in a literal Adam and Eve, as evidenced by his treatment of their son, Abel, as an historical figure (Matt. 23:35), the first righteous person to be murdered for the faith.
But Giberson isn’t having any.
“But when it comes to the truth of evolution, many Christians feel compelled to look the other way. They hold on to a particular interpretation of an ancient story in Genesis that they have fashioned into a modern account of origins – a story that began as an oral tradition for a wandering tribe of Jews thousands of years ago.”
That’s us! Holding on to a particular interpretation of an ancient story, one that began as a oral tradition of a wandering tribe. Oh, and they were Jews. Don’t leave that out.
“While Genesis contains wonderful insights into the relationship between God and the creation, it simply does not contain scientific ideas about the origin of the universe, the age of the earth or the development of life.”
As grateful as we are for the acknowledgement that Genesis contains “wonderful insights” into the relationship of God and the creation, we should not be overly grateful. For he does not specify what any of these “wonderful insights” might be, and one gets the feeling that any one of these wonderful insights will be thrown overboard the instant the assured results of modern scholarship require it, or if holding to one of these wonderful insights will get us laughed at in a faculty meeting, whichever comes first.
And of course, we do not maintain that the Bible contains “scientific ideas” about the origin of the universe, the age of the earth, or the development of life. We simply maintain that it contains some true statements about these things. And because they are true statements, then it must be possible to harmonize them with any true scientific constructions about origins that are fashioned later. If I were to say that Tommy Jones was born in 2003 in the state of Wyoming, and I solemnly affirm that this statement is true, I am advancing no scientific hypothesis, and using no scientific jargon. But to the extent that I believe it to be true, I am bound to reject any theories, however decked out they may be in the latest lingo of the scientific journals, that maintain as the consensus of “all real scientists” that Wyoming never existed, and that Tommy Jones was therefore a fragment of sky-god thunder myth.
Whenever people appeal glibly to Galileo’s “two books,” it usually becomes obvious that they don’t believe one of them.
“We now know that the human race began millions of years ago in Africa – not thousands of years ago in the Middle East, as the story in Genesis suggests.”
Translated, this means that Giberson believes the account in Genesis to be wrong.
But to his credit, when Giberson steps out, he does so in a fashion that is high, wide, and handsome. The truths of evolution “are not ‘opinions’ that can be set aside if you don’t like them.” “Anyone who values truth must take these ideas seriously, for they have been established as true beyond any reasonable doubt.” The truth of evolution is “a ‘sacred fact’ that Christians must embrace in the name of truth. And they should embrace this truth with enthusiasm, for this is the world that God created.”
But the reverence he shows for the sacred world of Science is not extended to those poor saps and cornpones who were the original recipients of God’s revelation. For the Bible is “that ancient book.” The inspired message was given to “ancient and uncomprehending scribes,” and to say that God gave the shiny scientific truth to them “is to distort the biblical message beyond recognition.” Of course, Giberson doesn’t say why it would be bad to distort the biblical message beyond recognition, being, as it is, the ham-handed work of ancient and uncomprehending scribes.