The Bible and Evolution -- By: Charles C. Ryrie

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 124:493 (Jan 1967)
Article: The Bible and Evolution
Author: Charles C. Ryrie

The Bible and Evolution

Charles C. Ryrie

[Charles C. Ryrie, Dean, Graduate School, Professor, Systematic Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary.]

Some Alternatives

In the attempt to reconcile the teachings of evolution with those of the Bible, four alternatives have been suggested to ease the tension and resolve the difficulties that exist between them.

First, there are those who accept the apparent contradictions between evolution and the Bible as real and attempt to believe both viewpoints. Although this would seem to be a logical impossibility, it is essentially the position of theistic evolution which holds that God created all things through the processes of evolution. Actually, this viewpoint is not acceptable either to the Bible-believing Christian or to the evolutionist. The Bible states clearly that man was created out of the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7). This could not refer to or include a former animal ancestry, since it is to dust that man returns—and this is not a return to an animal state (Gen 3:19). Furthermore, the first man of the Bible was made in the image of God and thus bears no resemblance to evolution’s first men.

Evolutionists, too, are dissatisfied with the idea of theistic evolution, since to admit supernaturalism at any point is to counter directly their theory. Charles Darwin, himself, wrote: “I would give absolutely nothing for the theory of natural selection if it requires miraculous additions at any one stage of descent.”1 More recently, Julian Huxley affirms that supernaturalism “runs counter to the whole of our scientific knowledge…. To postulate a divine interference with these exchanges of matter and energy at a particular moment in the earth’s history is both unnecessary and illogical.”2

Second, there is a very popular solution today which accepts evolution but allegorizes the Bible. This approach seemingly allows one to accept the conclusions of evolution and still retain the “thrust” of the Bible. The allegorizing always involves the first eleven chapters of Genesis, but soon it also includes other parts of the Bible, especially the miraculous. The general ideas of Genesis 111 are accepted but the factual details are rejected. Admittedly, there are many Bible “scholars” who follow this line of thinking; notwithstanding, it is unacceptable for several important reasons.

First, it is purely subjecti...

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