Is a teacher who proclaims,
“Adam is a myth!
“Noah’s Flood never happened!”
“The Bible has errors!”
a trustworthy instructor?
Certainly not! That’s heresy. But that’s what people are teaching within Christendom, including within the Christian homeschool movement!
The heretics include respected scholars claiming to be evangelicals. They question the truth of Scripture and undermine the doctrines of the divine inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible.
These false teachers lead people astray concerning Genesis and concerning New Testament teaching based on Genesis, even to the point of subverting the Gospel.
This series of reports focuses on scholars associated with the BioLogos Foundation and in particular on Dr. Peter Enns, Senior Fellow of Biblical Studies at BioLogos. Enns is writing a poisonous Bible curriculum for children and marketing it to homeschoolers (which will be discussed in a subsequent blog post).
Throughout the course of these posts I will show from Enns’ own writings and lectures and from those of other BioLogos leaders and scholars that they teach and promote heresy by demeaning, undermining, and denying Scripture. I will identify departures from Scripture and from historic Christianity by these scholars.
This first post of the series describes the mission of BioLogos and exposes its departure from historic doctrines of Biblical creationism. The heretical implications of these positions will be developed in subsequent blog posts.
BioLogos is committed to the marriage of scientism and Christianity through persuading Christians to accept evolution and billions of years for the age of the earth. BioLogos believes God created the world and all life in it via evolution.
BioLogos works to convince Christians that accepting evolution furthers the Gospel because, in BioLogos’ view, it removes a stumbling block to the Gospel for those who believe in evolutionism. BioLogos opposes Biblical Creationism and Intelligent Design.
Francis Collins is the founder and former president of BioLogos, former director of the Human Genome Project, and currently director of the National Institutes of Health. In a Time magazine interview, Collins said,
“We cannot say that Adam and Eve were formed as acts of special creation. That is a troubling conclusion for many people. … Science can’t be put together with a literalist interpretation of Genesis. For one thing, there are two different versions of the creation story, so right from the start, you’re already in trouble.”
(See Helping Christians Reconcile God with Science, May 2, 2009.)
Time magazine editor and interviewer Amy Sullivan reported that Collins plans to develop a “home-schooling curriculum that can serve as an alternative to the literalist creationism materials widely used by many conservative Evangelical parents.”
In answer to a question about the origin of Cain’s wife, Sullivan reports Collins and his BioLogos colleagues as proposing,
“The scientific evidence suggests a dramatically larger population at this point in history. … Human-like creatures had evolved to the point where they had the mental capacity to reason; God then endowed them to distinguish between good and evil, and in that way they became ‘in the image of God.'”
This explicitly contradicts what chapters 1-5 of Genesis plainly report about the creation of man in the image of God and about earth’s original population. Adam was created in God’s image directly from the earth, and Eve was formed from Adam’s rib on Day 6 of Creation Week. They were not made out existing evolved creatures. The population from which Cain chose his wife consisted of the female descendants of Adam and Eve who had many sons and daughters (Genesis 5:1-5).
In an article for Inside Higher Ed, author Scott Jaschik describes BioLogos as an organization at the forefront of a movement to push Christian colleges to allow professors to teach evolution without fear of losing their jobs. Teaching evolution as scientific fact would violate college statements of faith that prescribe belief in the literal truth of the Bible, including creation of the world in six days.
(“Believing in God and Evolution”, by Scott Jaschik, October 14, 2009.)
The motivation for this push is to gain the world’s approval. Jaschik quoted Professor Richard Colling, formerly of Olivet Nazarene University: “If the colleges don’t change, no one will take us seriously. If we require students to check their intellect at the door of our churches and colleges, they will not come in.” Professors want “to gain more respect within academe” by teaching evolution as scientific fact.
Karl Giberson, professor at Eastern Nazarene College and executive vice-president of BioLogos, told Jaschik,
“We want to help the church and colleges come to terms with Darwin’s theory and not feel threatened by it. It is difficult to the point of impossible to look at the scientific evidence, and believe that creation of the Earth and its creatures took place in six days. The difficulty for many Christian colleges is that they have statements of faith that require such a belief.”
Judson Carlberg, president of Gordon College and a BioLogos Foundation board member, said BioLogos “is a very significant movement within the Christian framework today.” Carlberg told Jaschik,
“If you accept the young earth argument, you have to think that God is trying to trick us [with the geological evidence] and I don’t think He would do that. … For years, Gordon College has stood for the fact that God created the heavens and earth, but he didn’t give us a textbook to tell us how it was done.”
God isn’t tricking people with geological evidence. The issue is how the evidence (the geological strata and fossils) should be interpreted. It’s fallacious to choose an incorrect interpretation and then charge God with trickery. He has told us in Genesis about Noah’s Flood; this is the true explanation for the evidence.
Carlberg’s “textbook” comment is another red herring. Nobody says the Bible is a technical manual covering the details of creation. But when the Bible makes statements concerning history or science, then those statements are true and can be used as a foundation for knowledge and research.
“The Modern Creation Story” (Feb 28, 2011), authored by BioLogos executive vice-president Karl Giberson, presents the BioLogos view of Creation. In Giberson’s account, which truly is a “story” (it is nonfactual), Yahweh is presented as essentially passive, only watching what evolves. It all just accidentally happens over eons of time according to this “story.”
BioLogos also denies a global Flood. In the official BioLogos position paper “How should we interpret the Genesis flood account?”, which Peter Enns helped write, BioLogos argues against a global flood:
“A balanced interpretation of Scripture does not force the reader to believe that the Flood was a worldwide phenomenon. The scientific and historical evidence summarized below supports the idea that the flood was indeed catastrophic, but that it was local, recent and limited in scope. … An informed reading of the Genesis story neither permits nor requires it to be a universal, global flood, and geology does not support a universal reading. ”
For Enns to call the Genesis record of Noah’s Flood a “story” undermines its credibility. And to claim the text does “not permit” an understanding of the account as a global event is deliberately deceptive. The text says the flood covered “all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens” (Gen 7:19) and that Yahweh “blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.” (Gen 7:23) This is just two of the many textual indications that the Flood was universal over the whole earth. The obvious intent of the author throughout the account is to say that the Flood was a global cataclysm.
As for the evidence, what else would you expect from a global flood except to find fossils embedded in sedimentary rock layers laid down by water all over the earth? The evidence of a global flood stares one in the face all over the world.
These quotes from various BioLogos leaders and scholars suffice to indicate the heart and spirit of BioLogos, and it is not in accord with what the Bible plainly teaches about origins and earth history nor what the Christian church has historically taught. Future blog posts will expand on these themes in more detail with more explicit quotations and logical inferences to build the case. Soli Deo Gloria.
Read the sequel in this Fox in the Hen House! series of posts:
2. Fox in the Hen House! – BioLogos Rejects Inerrancy
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Friday April 15, 2011 A.D.
Read my April 2011 Bible-Science column
Is There Alien Life in Space?.
“For My hand made all these thingsl thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. (Isaiah 66:2)