Views of Genesis and Personal Salvation
There are a number of men who would affirm an infallible and inerrant Bible who would also hold to a compromised view of Genesis. Their views of Genesis fall any where between theistic evolution to progressive creationism. We noted three such men in a recent blog, though I would imagine only Bruce Waltke would be more in line with the idea of an infallible and inerrant Bible.
A handful of commenters believe Waltke's views are reflective of an unregenerate nature. That all three of these men, and I would imagine everyone else who adhere to similar views on Genesis, are unsaved and not even Christians.
I think such language is way over the top and I wrote a response to such speech I thought I would share here:
Let me preface my comments by affirming the fact I believe how we understand Genesis has significant ramifications on how we understand the rest of the Bible, how we do gospel apologetics and evangelism, and how we engage our culture at large. I would be the first one to confront any synchronistic compromise on behalf of believers who want to weave our understanding of the creation week as outlined in Genesis 1 and 2 with evolutionary deep time ideas. The Christian's handling of Genesis is majorly important, hence the reason why Grace to You has chosen to do a series of blog articles on the topic.
Now, with that stated, to begin our criticisms of our opponents who have an alternative view of Genesis by calling them unregenerate, is way over the top and treading in areas of judgment where we do not have the full knowledge to tread. I hope you all understand the seriousness of accusing someone of being "unregenerate." To call someone unregenerate cannot be a flippant accusation made so lightly. When we say a person is "unregenerate" we are in essence saying a person is unsaved and guilty of hell fire, and that is a rather heart sobering accusation to make against another person who says he names Christ as his Lord. It is an accusation that should never be made in haste but after much reflection and confrontation with the person.
In all honesty, there is an ungracious spirit with your all's words. In fact, many of the comments smack of the sort of bigoted fundamentalism that regrettably turns people away from hearing the truth or even desiring to discuss the issues. This kind of rhetoric should not be. One of the first objectives we must pursue when we offer a defense of the faith (and this would include defending the proper understanding of Genesis), is to offer our response with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15). Immediately labeling a person an unregenerate hell bound sinner is not responding with meekness and fear.
We have no knowledge as to why a man like Bruce Waltke takes the view that he does on Genesis. There could be any number of reasons why people gravitate toward compromised views of Genesis and embrace theistic evolution and progressive creationism. Perhaps they don't understand the implications of their position, or maybe they are ignorant of the evidence against evolutionary Darwinianism. My experience with engaging theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists is that they believe the so called evidence for long ages and evolution is undeniable; that it is self-defining in its scope. In other words, that all so-called scientific evidence is what it is and if we don't believe what science tells us about the evidence, we are denying truth. Thus, these men don't want to challenge the "evidence" because they believe they are unqualified to do so, plus, it is denying reality. In their thinking, to be a Christian faithful to truth, they must re-consider how we understand Genesis in light of these "facts."
Whatever, the case, as much as I would be the first to say such ideas are gross error and these people need to review their positions, saying a man is in error is a far distance from saying his beliefs are a product of an unregenerate heart. Believe me, Bruce Waltke is just one notable evangelical who holds to this position on Genesis. Other men did as well, sadly. Fine men like the late James Montgomery Boice, E.J. Young, and Francis Schaeffer, to name a few. Are these individuals as equally unregenerate in your all's book?
I truly hope you all reconsider the rhetoric you utilize when engaging this discussion with others who may disagree with you sharply. Certainly their views may stem from an unregenerate heart, but that is not everyone for sure, and it shouldn't be the first thing we conclude about them.