<body>
Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Evolution Evangelists

Ken Ham reports on the visit to their creation museum by "evolutionary evangelist," Michael Dowd. An "evolutionary evangelist? I thought Richard Dawkins, Ken Miller, and public schools were already doing that?

Anyhow...

Dowd and his wife travel the country in a van giving a "spiritualized" evolutionary presentation, mainly to ultra-liberal Unitarian gatherings, called Thank God for Evolution!

The part of Ham's entry that captured my attention was the citation from a Louisville paper reporting how Dowd has a Pentecostal background and graduated from a evangelical college in Missouri. According to Dowd, he was "convinced the devil had infiltrated the school because professors taught about evolution." I went to his site, and sure enough, he graduated from the Assemblies of God college located in Springfield, MO. Not only that, but he graduated summa cum laude. His aversion toward evolution changed when he was introduced to conservative Christians who believed evolution was true and compatible with the Bible because "all truth is God's truth."

Now, apostates with evangelical backgrounds, even being educated in, and graduating with honors from, evangelical schools are a dime-a-dozen. I am not surprised by that admission. I mean, infamous apostate Unitarian, Dan Mages, graduated with honors in biblical studies from The Master's College and I know Master's taught him soundly.

No, what is a bit more bothersome to me is how Dowd says he was convinced of evolution by conservative Christians who believed Darwinian evolution is compatible with the Christian faith because, as they said, "all truth is God's truth." Sadly, I hear this sort of muddled apologetic coming from Greg Koukl, whom I happen to like, Kim Riddlebarger and Ken Samples, and of course Hugh Ross.

To be fair, these guys would be adamantly opposed to Darwinianism in the pure, naturalistic description, but their compromise with the idea of billion year ages, their acceptance of evolutionary cosmology, like how Ross advocates the big bang, and their allegorical hermeneutics, specifically promoted by Riddlebarger and Samples, creates a theological apologetic incubator where theistic evolution, or full on Darwinianism of the atheistic variety, can comfortably thrive in churches.

Interestingly, Dowd wrote excitedly about a progressive evangelical (a fancy title for apostate liberals) and emerging church conference that took place in the Bahamas this past October. N.T. Wright was one of the key note speakers.

Labels:

8 Comments:

Blogger steve said...

No, what is a bit more bothersome to me is how Dowd says he was convinced of evolution by conservative Christians who believed Darwinian evolution is compatible with the Christian faith because, as they said, "all truth is God's truth."

***********************************************

Well, Fred, perhaps the problem is that more Christians need to be taught the flip side of this slogan. If all truth is God's truth, then all lies are Satan's lies! Along with the unity of truth is the unity of falsehood.

12:20 PM, December 05, 2007  
Blogger Jeremy Weaver said...

Let me say first of all that I agree with your main point.

BUT...
Maybe you should research your claims concerning Kim Riddlebarger and Ken Samples further.

12:35 PM, December 06, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I knew that when I mentioned Riddlebarger and Samples it would stir a stink with some of my reformed oriented folks who enjoy Riddlebarger's amillennial apologetics in particular. I am not sure if you fall into that camp or not, but I have many acquaintances who do.

However, Samples is on Ross's Reason's to Believe ministry board and I have heard he and Riddlebarger argue this way. Samples on Stand to Reason's radio program, and both of them as well as Hank's BAM program when dealing with creationism, the age of the earth and how Christianity is to interact with alleged conclusions of secular science. I believe their allegorism of Genesis in understanding the "days" of creation is directly tied to their allegorism of eschatology.

12:49 PM, December 06, 2007  
Blogger The Seeking Disciple said...

Michael Dowd and others like him once again show why we must defend the authority, suffiency, and inerrancy of Scripture. Had he been taught from the authority of the Bible and the Bible being the inerrant Word of God that is sufficient for all our needs then its possible he might not have turned away from his background. While I know that Satan is a master at deception, it is sad to see that the Church is not willing to hold fast to the Word of God for all it teaches including science.

9:20 AM, December 12, 2007  
Blogger Kenneth Samples said...

Dear Mr. Fred Butler:

Greetings in Christ's name.

I must respond to some of the statements that you made in your blog article "The Evolution Evangelists."

First, Professor Greg Koukl, Dr. Kim Riddlebarger, Dr. Hugh Ross (my colleagues and friends), and myself affirm "Old Earth Creationism" (OEC) not "Theistic Evolution" (TE). These two positions are distinct theological perspectives and should not be simplistically conflated.

One can affirm an ancient earth and cosmos without affirming that man evolved. To see the important differences between OEC and TE, I suggest you consult the fair and balanced book THREE VIEWS ON CREATION AND EVOLUTION edited by Moreland and Reynolds.

Second, as orthodox Protestants Koukl, Riddlebarger, Ross, and myself reject the position of theistic evolution outright. One can affirm the Belgic Confession's "Two Books Theory" (Article 2) and the Reformation position of Sola Scriptura without affirming a God-guided view of evolution. All four of us affirm that God created Adam and Eve in a direct and special way (without evolution) and that they were actual historical persons.

Third, as Old Earth Creationists Koukl, Riddlebarger, Ross, and I take different positions as to how the creation days of Genesis are to be best understood (day-age view, analogical day view, framework view, etc.). My position on these issues is virtually identical to such Reformed theologians as Vern Poythress (Westminster Seminary) and Jack Collins (Covenant Seminary).

To see how these positions on the creation days differ with the "calendar day" view, I suggest that you consult the book THE GENESIS DEBATE edited by David Hagopian.

Fourth, my three friends and myself hold different eschatological positions. We differ over the nature of the millennium (some premillennial, others amillennial) and we certainly have different ideas about the value and appropriateness of the "allegorical" interpretation of certain passages of Scripture.

Mr. Butler you certainly have the right to criticize the theological positions of people who differ with your own (even designating them as "muddled"). However, as a Christian, you don't have the right to misrepresent the views of others or to make misleading statements about the doctrinal views of your brothers in Christ.

The four of us categorically reject the positions of naturalistic and theistic evolution. Furthermore your opinion that our theological viewpoints provide a "breading ground for theistic evolution" is uninformed, speculative, and totally without merit.

If you are going to publicly state that some of your fellow believers are "evolution evangelists" then you had better have done your homework. As president John Adams once stated: "Facts are stubborn things."

With all due respect (and I do consider you a brother in Christ), I think your blog article reflects a theologically limited, imprecise, and even muddled perspective.

If you would like to publicly discuss the theological issues you have written about in a Christian forum (with Dr. Ross and myself), I invite you to appear as a guest on Reasons To Believe's weekly webcast "Creation Update." You can contact RTB by telephone at 626/335-1480.

If you would like to publicly dialogue with Greg Koukl and Kim Riddlebarger, then I would encourage you to call the "Stand To Reason" and "White Horse Inn" radio programs respectively.

Sincerely in Christ,

Kenneth Richard Samples
RTB Senior Scholar
Christ Reformed Church Instructor

1:03 AM, June 28, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Ken,

I respond here

5:18 PM, June 28, 2008  
Blogger Kenneth Samples said...

Dear Mr. Fred Butler:

Greetings again in Christ's name.

Because of my heavy work load this will have to be my final response to you.

I read your response and reread your original post but I still insist that a fair reading of your article implies that my colleagues and I were to be included in the category of "the evolution evangelists."

Therefore I assert again that your article was intellectually muddled (or at least sloppily composed) and involves misleading implications about your brothers in Christ.

Maybe you did not intent to imply that my colleagues and I affirm or approve of "theistic evolution," but the emotive title and the paragraph below shows that you did indeed imply it:

"specifically promoted by Riddlebarger and Samples, creates a theological apologetic incubator where theistic evolution, or full on Darwinianism of the atheistic variety, can comfortably thrive in churches."

As a Christian apologist with a website on the Internet, I urge you to be more careful about the things that you say and imply about your brothers in Christ.

Words, arguments, and implications really matter, and this is especially true before the Lord.

I am sure that you agree that the Christian apologetic enterprise ought to be conducted with "gentleness and respect" and motivated by a "clear conscience" (1 Peter 3:15-17).

Sincerely in Christ,

Kenneth Samples

10:43 AM, June 29, 2008  
Blogger Ktisophilos said...

Kenneth Samples says:

"I suggest you consult the fair and balanced book THREE VIEWS ON CREATION AND EVOLUTION edited by Moreland and Reynolds."

LOL! It's "fair and balanced" only if you think that this means inviting well-known advocates for OEC and TE to put their case, but selecting wimpy YEC philosophers (rather than scientists or exegetes) who are virtual unknowns in the YEC movement. It's like selecting heavyweights boxers for Canada and lightweights for America, and Canadin fans claiming it's "fair and balanced".

4:02 AM, July 21, 2008  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home