Progressive Creationism Versus Theistic Evolution as a Christian Worldview -- By: Hollis D. Tidmore

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 17:3 (Summer 2000)
Article: Progressive Creationism Versus Theistic Evolution as a Christian Worldview
Author: Hollis D. Tidmore

Progressive Creationism Versus Theistic Evolution as a Christian Worldview

Hollis D. Tidmore

M.Div. Student
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587

Introduction and Definition of Terms

Evolution (at least microevolution) must be taken as a fairly certain theory or even a law of science. It is observable in all varieties of life around us and can be observed in action on a daily basis. Problems arise over definitions of terms such as: macroevolution, microevolution, natural selection, genetic drift, and punctuated equilibrium. To avoid any confusion, I will define the terms as they will be used in this paper. Evolution is specified as microevolution and macroevolution. Macroevolution is the theory that all life developed from inorganic molecules into organic molecules, cells, and eventually into complex organisms by natural means and chance directive forces. It postulates that each new organism developed from pre-existing life forms by variations that increased their survivability and reproducibility. Thus, there should be intermediates between “kinds.” Microevolution is a theory of small genetic variations and changes that occur from generation to generation within “kinds,” but they are not large enough changes to constitute a new “kind.”1 An example of this is the fact that twenty-year-old American men in the Civil War were on the average 5 feet 5 inches tall, and the small toes were just 4 millimeters shorter than the great toes. In 1998, the average height for the same population is 5 feet 10 inches, and the small toe is 10 millimeters shorter than the great toe.2

Theistic Evolution is the theory that the mechanism causing the macro-evolution is God’s divine direction. God brought the first organism into existence and has worked internally in nature through macroevolution, with a few supernatural interventions along the way, to create man. Thus, while man’s physical body macroevolved, the creation of his soul was a divine intervention. Progressive Creationism is the theory that God created afresh and “de novo” many times and at widely separated intervals. Each is a new creation that did not involve using pre-existing “kinds.” After each “kind” is created, microevolution allows for intrakind variations. Fiat Creationism is the traditional Christian view that God created every living thing as it is now, in one instance, from nothing (ex nihilo).3 Natural selection is the driving force behind macroevolution. This is the

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