The original question was:  How are evolutionists making their theory so popular among theologians and in churches while at the same time creationists have so successfully exposed its major errors?

Answer by Garry Chiang

As the evidence supporting evolution continues to crumble under the weight of each new scientific discovery, what can atheistic evolutionists do to affirm their belief in evolution? They can enlist the help of the Christian who also believes in evolution, i.e. the theistic evolutionist. Many Christians who promote theistic evolution, or “evolutionary creationism”, believe that this theory makes the Gospel more appealing to an atheist. They are quite unaware that Theistic Evolution (TE) supports the foundation upon which atheism is based, and as such, has become an effective weapon to counter the truth of the Gospel, and to deny the scientific evidence for creation.

Young-earth creationism (YEC) has often been questioned by Christian academics, but never to the extent that it is today. The belief in TE has become so strong in Christian higher education that YEC is dismissed as nonsense in practically every Christian college or university, and is even discouraged in many churches. TE has become a juggernaut, a mercilessly relentless unstoppable force. How did this come about?

I have taught biology in a Christian university since 1990, and have witnessed, first hand, the recent growth of TE among Christian academics. TE may be traced to Victorian England when Darwin first published The Origins, but its recent rise to the level of an intellectual obligation can be attributed to the efforts of a powerful and wealthy philanthropic organisation, the John Templeton Foundation. This organisation awards the Templeton Prize which “honours a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.” Although known mainly for this prize, John Templeton Foundation’s most effective strategy for promoting TE has been The Science and Religion Course Program that it funded from 1995 to 2002.

This course contest awarded funds to teach faith and science courses, but of all the courses selected to receive this award, only those courses which promoted evolution and an ancient earth were successful. Courses proposed by a known young-earth creationist, or courses which questioned evolution in any way, were excluded. As a result, whole cohorts of students have been taught by Christian faculty in Christian institutions that Genesis contains truth but is not historically true (it is a fable or metaphor), that over a period of millions of years species arose by God-directed natural selection (a contradiction in terms), that Adam and Eve represent tribes or nations of people (Adam and Eve did not really exist), and that Moses compiled the Genesis creation account from origin legends prevalent in the cultures of his day.

For more information about the promotion of theistic evolution, and how Christians can respond to it, read Gary Chiang’s article:
The Rise of Theistic Evolution in Christian Higher Education: A Report from the Trenches. PDF here.

Gary Chiang is director of the Arthur Custance Centre for Science and Christianity, and his books and videos can be found at www.custance.org. For more information, email Gary at: custancecentre@redeemer.ca

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About The Contributor

Gary Chiang