Evolution and Christianity Impossible to Reconcile, Says Evangelical Theologian
A widely respected evangelical Christian theologian said that while some Christians try to reconcile evolution with their faith, Christianity and Darwinian evolution are incompatible.
"If you understand Christianity or even Theism – the belief of a sovereign creator God – and evolutionary theory in its dominant form, I find it impossible to reconcile the two," Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on his radio program Thursday, the 200th birthday anniversary of Charles Darwin.
While the Bible doesn't explain all the mechanisms God used to create the world, it gives believers many non-negotiables about what that creation is, who is behind it, and for what purpose it was created, said Mohler on "The Albert Mohler Program".
The seminary head went on to explain how the "originating mechanism of creation" is where theism runs right into collision with where modern evolutionary theory is.
Whereas the Biblical account of creation accepts the role of a Creator, the theory of evolution "suggests that natural selection is indeed the mechanism and that it is entirely natural and in no case supernatural," said the theologian.
"There is no way for God to intervene in the process and for it to remain natural," he asserted.
Adding to the debate amid bicentenary celebrations of Darwin's birth, the Vatican also weighed in on the topic of evolution but claimed that the theory of the late evolutionary biologist is compatible with Christianity.
Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said last week that the idea of evolution could be traced to St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, according to the Telegraph in London. Both theologians had observed that big fish eat smaller fish and that forms of life had been transformed slowly over time.
The Catholic Church accepts theistic evolution, which asserts that evolution occurred but was a process created and planned by God.
Although Mohler said he rejected evolution as a way to explain the origin of all things, he acknowledged that there are changes in animals that take place over time.
"No Conservative Christian should deny there is a process of change that is evident within the animal kingdom. And there is even a process of natural selection that appears at least to be natural," he said, adding all one has to do is look at a herd of cattle to find evidence of adaptation and a competition of genes.
However, he firmly rejected theistic evolution.
"God was not merely fashioning the creation of what was already pre-existent, nor was He merely working with a process in order to guide it in some generalized way, nor was He waiting to see how it would turn out," said Mohler.
"As Genesis indicates, He created the world in order that the world might be the theater of His glory for the demonstration of the Gospel of Christ and He created human beings as the only beings made in His image, as His covenant partner," the Protestant theologian explained.
A Gallup poll released on Feb. 11 found that 200 years after Darwin most Americans still don't believe in evolution, with only 4 out of 10 Americans saying they accepted the theory.
"I believe the reason why they cannot believe in evolution is because when they look in the mirror they cannot see an accident," remarked Mohler.
Next month, the Vatican will include discussion of intelligent design in a conference marking the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," according to an announcement Tuesday.
Intelligent design suggests that life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone, and that a higher power has had a hand in changes among species over time.