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Pray Then Like This – A Study of Jesus’s Prayers

Pray Then Like This – A Study of Jesus’s Prayers

Author: David Allen – MS in Organizational Development
Submitted for Publication to The Warrior’s Pen

Introduction

Any study of how Jesus taught the disciples to pray, is by extension a lesson for all believers on how to pray.  There are many examples of Jesus in prayer recorded in scripture. Although the Gospels do not provide a detailed biography of Christ in prayer, they do offer captivating glimpses into His prayer life. “This model prayer is unequalled in any book or prayers.  It is unequalled in beauty and in its comprehensiveness.  It was given not to be repeated verbatim, but to use as a model.  Its design expresses the manner in which one should pray, not a prayer specifically to be use over and over again as the prayer itself” (Green, 1972. 244).

First it will be helpful to answer the question, “Why did Jesus pray?” This is sometimes puzzling for Christians. After all, if Jesus is God, why did Christ need to pray?  Theologically speaking, there are at least three reasons that Jesus prayed.  First, Jesus prayed as an example to his followers, and this is an example believers continue to learn from even today. Second, Christ’s nature was both divine and human.  From His human nature, it was perfectly natural for a Jewish believer such as Christ to pray.  Third, the nature of the Trinity allows for communication between its members.  As God the Son, Jesus could pray to God the Father.  Expanding on the first theologically doctrinal reason, how did Jesus teach his followers to pray?  When asked by those around him to teach them to pray, Jesus gave them a model prayer, known as “The Lord’s Prayer.”  Later as his ministry was about to come to its climatic ending, the disciples saw him engaged in the third theologically doctrinal reason for prayer “The High Priestly Prayer.”  But, when Jesus was in communion with the Father just before his capture in the garden, did Jesus follow the example He gave the followers in “The Lord’s Prayer”, or did He give disciples another example?

 

A Study of “The Lord’s Prayer”

This instruction on how to pray from Jesus, comes as part of a much larger teaching.  The Lord’s Prayer, as it is referred to today, came as a portion of the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus had just taught that He had come to fulfill the law.  He went on to teach about the evils of anger, lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation, and to teach that all who were listening were supposed to love their enemies and to pray for them.  He continues by telling them that, when they pray, they are not to pray as hypocrites.

Jesus must have given this lesson more than once, because in Luke’s account, Jesus repeats his instruction on how to pray.  “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. and lead us not into temptation’” (Luke 11:1–4).  Jesus follows this abbreviated teaching on how to pray with a story, as He was often known to do, illustrating what He had just taught.

Jesus gave a simple six-step pattern to follow, known as the “Lord’s Prayer.”  Jesus didn’t intend for the disciples to simply pray the same words he spoke in Matthew 6:9; He intended it to be an outline for prayer.  The example was to be a guideline to help keep their prayer-time on track.  “Pray, then, in this way”.

Our Father Who Art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy Name

This is the call to praise and worship.  Much as King David lifted his eyes to the Lord in prayer (Psalms 123:1), a lifting of eyes, thoughts, soul, and all  of believer’s heart toward God should be their position as they come before God.  Most people believe God dwells only in the heavens, but Jesus taught that God is ever present and seeks them to worship him, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him” (John 4:23).  Looking back to promises given in the Old Testament God even then expressed his love for all believers, “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands…” (Isaiah 49:16).  What a beautiful description and expression of the personal love God has for all believers.  Jesus was telling those who were listening to His sermon, to take time to honor the Lord and consider His greatness. Time to remember His faithfulness and be encouraged by His promises.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done,

On Earth as It Is in Heaven

No King is a King without a kingdom to rule.  Christ is telling all those listening to align themselves with God’s will; to have their hearts in a position to say, “You, Oh God, our Father, are ruler of heaven and earth, and sovereign over all the universe.  Come establish Your sovereignty in my heart and the hearts of all men, even on the earth itself.” (MaClaren 1877, 96)   As believers pray this, they are proclaiming a desire for God’s will over their life, family, church, the lost, etc. they are to do so, while waiting and allowing the Lord to share His heart and will with them.  The biggest difference between a defeated, dismal, lukewarm Christian and a victorious, vibrant one, is in whether or not God, the Holy Spirit, has control of their life.  Has He taken sovereignty as well as residence in the soul, establishing within them His Kingdom?

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

In a transition, Jesus switches from the majestic will of God to the subject as earthly as bread.  This shows that believers are to pray for daily needs – food, shelter, finances, relationships, etc.  Nothing is too small for them to bring before the Father.  God wants believers to be in complete, daily dependence on him; He will satisfy their needs.  God’s will is that believers walk in His daily provision of health, wisdom, and joy.  Jesus is telling the disciples, and all who hear, that it is not selfish to pray for these things.  Mark expands on the principle by telling believers, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24).  Christians are to ask God for their needs and the needs of others.  Believers should be specific, and ask in faith for anything they know the Lord wants to give them.

And Forgive Us Our Debts,

as We Also Have Forgiven Our Debtors

A Christian should ask God for forgiveness in any areas of known sin, and speak out of forgiveness toward anyone believer has not forgiven.  The problem comes for most Christians with the words in this prayer, ‘as we.’  Christians understand that God wants to forgive them of their sins; He showed that by sending His Son to die for them. They can accept the idea that they are supposed to forgive others, as hard as that may be.  Things get serious when they put in the words ‘as we.’  They are asking, in prayer, for God to forgive them in exactly the same way as they forgive those who wrong them.  “It is impossible to lift our enemies up in the presence of God and at the same time continue to hate them” (Farley, 2007, 135).  Jesus was not setting up a merit system; there is no way a believer’s forgiveness of others could ever earn the forgiveness of God for their sins.  It is only by the grace of God that anyone can ever be forgiven.  What Jesus was doing, was setting up a culture of forgiveness.  His followers are to forgive others because it is the righteous thing to do, and because they had seen this modeled by God himself.

And Do Not Lead Us into Temptation,

But Deliver Us from Evil

Was Jesus saying believers need to ask God not to tempt them?  No, God does not tempt man to sin.  “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God tempts no man” (James 1:13).  God does permit sin, but does not promote it.  God would not tempt man to sin, He cannot allow sin in his presence.  What King would tempt his subjects to break laws that he himself established?  So why, if believers are trying to imitate Jesus, are they taught to pray “lead us not into temptation, (in a different translation, ‘lead us not into the time of trial’) but deliver us from evil”? When Jesus prayed this prayer in the garden, the Father refused his request.  Jesus was delivered into the hands of the evil one.  However, that is precisely why believers can pray this prayer with confidence; Jesus defeated evil on the cross, so that all believers can be delivered.  Christians should ask God for the grace to stand firm in the face of temptation, and resist the schemes of the enemy, remembering to look to Jesus for the way of escape.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power,

and the Glory, Forever. Amen

Some would argue that it is church tradition that added this doxology to the Lord’s Prayer.  After all, Luke did not have the doxology in his version of the prayer.  This issue can easily be explained.  In Luke’s version, Jesus was in prayer, and as he ended the disciples ask him to teach them how to pray.  In Matthew’s version, Jesus was in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus was teaching that the kingdom of heaven belongs to God, the folly of self-glorification; and the laying up of treasures in heaven. It was only natural that He would end the model prayer focused again on the Kingdom of God.

“Thine is the Kingdom”, All earthly things, the whole fate of man is ruled by him.  At the beginning of the prayer, the coming kingdom is being asked for.  Here Jesus teaches the disciples to declare it is already here. “Thine is the Power” This is a simple truth, deep but clear, that all power comes from God, “Thine is the Glory” God’s glory is the praise that comes from the completion of His perfect will.  The purpose of all creation is to glorify God.  Though initially separated from God by sin; through His sanctification, believers receive salvation as a result of the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  They are once again with God on the correct side of the gulf between God and sin.

More important than simply being a benediction, this part of the prayer is a powerful expression of praise to the Father in heaven.  Just as the prayer opened in an attitude of reverence and honor, with the statement “Hallowed be Thy Name” here it closes with a reaffirmation to the greatness of God.

A Study of “The High Priestly Prayer”

John does not use the term “High Priest” to describe Jesus.  However, in context, Jesus had promised another Advocate; this title of the prayer may have come because of Jesus’ interceding for his disciples and those to come, as Advocate.  “In the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ which He taught His followers to pray, He did not pray himself, for He did not need to pray for the forgiveness of sin.  This one was properly and peculiarly His, and suited Him only as a Mediator, and is a sample of His intercession, and yet is of use to believers both for instruction and encouragement in prayer” (Henry, 2016).  “Up to this time Christ as the One in the bosom of the Father was occupied with declaring God to men; now He turns to God for men” (Feinberg 1939). “This prayer was intercessory, this was personal, the prelude to Calvary” (Sanders 1971. 200).  Everyone that reads can see that Jesus, after both giving praise and asking for praise, spends the remainder of the prayer in an intercessory communion with the Father.  This prayer is the special prayer of the Lord and is the example furnished by John of our Lord’s method of prayer.  The only other place where John gives believers a view of Jesus praying is a lifting of His eye to the Father when He called Lazarus come forth.  The fact that this prayer, while a personal communion, was also done with an audience it also telling.

It was Jesus’ practice to pray often, but scripture records that He would remove himself from others to pray.  He would rise early to commune with the Father, finding time to talk to the Father one on one.  This time He allowed the disciples to be present to hear this very personal prayer.  Jesus wanted the disciples to know they were in God the Father’s hands.  Even when separated from Him, they would still be part of Him.  They were going to suffer persecution because they would proclaim the truth of Christ, and even in that persecution, they were in God’s hands.

John, as he recorded this prayer, shows believers just how personal indeed the union was between Jesus and the Father.  Jesus uses the word “pater,” “Father” to address God.  He began His prayer with the simple address “Father.” Believers have become used to this as a normal Christian way of beginning a prayer, but it was not usual in that day.  The address that was used was one used by a little child in speaking to his parent.  Never would God have been referred to this informally; in fact, when God was addressed, it was usual to add some qualifier.  For example, a praying person might say, “Our Father in heaven.” God was so great and so high that He must not be addressed in the language appropriate for familiar use within the family. But Jesus constantly used this way of speaking to His Heavenly Father.  As believers study this prayer, it would serve them to think of the heart needs of the disciples at the time and, how Jesus was feeling knowing the trying experiences that were awaiting Him in the next few hours.  And yet, His focus was still on glorifying the Father, and interceding for the disciples.

Jesus Prays: Father Glorify Thy Son

Any study of the first section of this prayer must first look at how John begins.  “When Jesus had spoken these words,” John is referring back to the previous chapter and the instruction Jesus had been giving in the upper room.  Where Jesus had been teaching the disciples about, the work of the Holy Spirit, telling the disciples that their sorrow will turn into joy and that He had overcome the world.  Then John points out the position of Jesus: “He lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,” John was an eye witness to the prayer; if John felt it important enough to list here, it might well be something Christians need to heed.

Jesus knows the hour has come that He is to complete His ministry on the earth and to accomplish the mission for which He came. From the first moment Jesus entered His ministry until He said “it is Finished,” His one desire was to glorify the Father and finish the work the Father had given Him to do.  Jesus, knowing pain and agony coming in the hours that lay ahead of Him, was asking the Father to support him on Calvary as this portion of His work was completed.  Jesus continues by acknowledging the power the Father has given him over all creation, this includes the Church.  Jesus had a ministry given to Him by the father at the beginning of time, to carry out the work of redemption and, through His finished work, redeem all the Father had given Him to make up the body of the New Testament Church.  Jesus was the “Lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:19–20).

Jesus Prays for the Disciples

the Father has Given Him

After glorifying God, Jesus now turns His prayer to intercession for the disciples.  Just like in the first portion of the prayer, Jesus brings the communion with the Father to a focus on the finished work.  Jesus has revealed the Father’s name to those the Father gave Him out of this world.  As a result of this revealing work, the disciples received the Father’s word and know Jesus’ identity as the sent Son, the one who received all things from His Father.  Jesus confirms that the disciples have kept His word and they have come to know all that He has is from the Father.  They have come to understand–not yet fully, but to some extent–His incarnation and mission.  Jesus makes it plain that He is praying for those who have heard and believed, not for the world at this point in the prayer. “I am praying on behalf of them. I am not praying on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those you have given me, because they belong to you” (John 17:9). These are the ones that have heard and, upon completion of His work on earth, will have eternal life.

Jesus prays for the disciples to be kept in a way that is true to the attributes of the Father as revealed in Jesus’ ministry.  Jesus did not pray for the Father to take them out of the world, but that the Father would keep them from the evil, because they are no longer of this world, just as Jesus was not of this world. “They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world” (John 17:16).  Jesus continues His intercession by asking the Father to sanctify them through His truth.  Asking the Father to keep them sanctified because they are being sent into the world, much as the Father sent Jesus, Jesus now sends the disciples into the world.  Jesus has spent three years teaching and training the disciples.  He now asks the father to cover them with His power, as they are to be his messengers to the world.  The disciples as representative of  Jesus Christ, are to minister His and the Father’s truth in the world.  They are a separated body, in the sense that their lives and missions are not earthly, but heavenly; but their separation is not isolation from the world.

Jesus Prays for Those Who Believe

through the Disciples’ Word

Having prayed for the disciples, Jesus now prays for the entire Church, for all born again believers.  His prayer is for those who will believe on Him through the preaching of the Word, for all–even for the Church and believer in the 21st century Church.  Much as the disciples gave the message of grace and met the enemy head on, believers ever since then have needed the same sanctifying power and protections Jesus had prayed for the disciples to have.  His prayer, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word…” (John 17:20), is a prayer every believer can claim as a direct connection to Jesus.

In His intercession, Jesus prayed very specifically for preservation (v11), joy (v13), protection (v15), sanctification (v17), unification (v21), believers might be with Him in glory (v24), and that believers might behold His glory (v24).  Jesus made these petitions on behalf of believers because all believers are His Church, a gift from the Father.  Throughout His intercession, Jesus consistently emphasizes the relationship between Himself and the Father, as well as His relationship between Himself and the disciples and the believers that would follow.

Jesus prayed this prayer in the looming darkness of Calvary.  He looked forward to that hour, not for the darkness it would bring as He accepted the sin of man, but for the glory He saw on the other side.  He was already looking forward to His reign on earth with the knowledge of the fact that sin was already defeated.

Comparing the Two Prayers

The Lord’s Prayer includes adoration; supplication for the Kingdom, for personal needs, for forgiveness, and for deliverance from temptation; and the ascription of glory.  It is both a prayer for individuals to use as a model and a universal model for the Church.  It sets the recognition of divine things first and clearly asserts sin nature and the need for forgiveness in relations of life.  As Jesus addressed the need to pray in the sermon on the mount, at this time it was not only the disciples that were present; Jesus was addressing all who would hear.  Much as Jesus had always done, Jesus gave a model of how prayer was to be.  However, this model was not a blueprint.  He intended those that heard Him to find a place in their relationship with the Father allowing them to come to the Father with adoration, intercession, and longing for the Father’s glory.

The High Priestly Prayer begins with expression of profound communion between the Son and the Father, followed by Jesus praying for His disciples, to whom He has revealed Himself and His relation to God.  Jesus continues His prayer–showing His relationship ultimately to the Church.  He seeks unity with the Church; not an external unity, but the deep, spiritual unity found by the indwelling of Christ in them and God in Christ.  This prayer is unique among the prayers of Jesus.  While it is distinctly a petition, it is at the same time a communion.  Jesus had to this point been directed towards His disciples on the earth, now He lifts His eyes to heaven as He addresses His Father.  The hour was come to glorify the Son, in order that from that glory He might glorify the Father.

Conclusion

Most believers know what it is to hear a true man or woman of God deep in prayer; there is something holy and awesome about it.  Far beyond all that, was the prayer Jesus prayed unto God, His Father (John 17). This is the only long, continuous prayer of Jesus recorded in the Gospels.  Jim Cecy quoting Melanchthon said, “The sentences are simple, but the ideas are deep, moving, and meaningful.  There is no voice which has ever been heard, either in heaven or in earth, more exalted, more holy, more fruitful, more sublime, than the prayer offered up by the Son to God Himself.”  (Cecy, 2016)

Genuine prayer often reveals a person’s innermost being.  John 17 is a unique opportunity to see the nature and heart of Jesus.  In this prayer, Jesus touches on many of these themes of His teachings recorded by John throughout his Gospel.  The glory of God and the glory of Jesus.  Jesus having been sent by the Father on a mission given to Him at the beginning of time.  The sanctification of the disciples as His messengers to the world’s believers. The love and unification of those that would believe because of the message the disciples would spread throughout the world.

Many of the same theological themes in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) are in the High Priestly Prayer.  They may be in a different order but the concerns are present.  There are other examples of when Jesus taught those around him how to pray.  These are just two of the more well-known prayers.

Jesus after his resurrection continued to make known the name of God during the forty days He remained on the earth before His ascension, after He ascended He continued to make known the name of God through the Holy Spirit as the apostles preached the word.  His will making the known His name today by the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word of God by men called and anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach the truth, and this will continue until Jesus returned to receive His own. (Green, 1967, 196)

Christians often ask the question, did Jesus follow the example (model) He gave in the Lord’s Prayer” in the “High Priestly Prayer given in John 17?  The answer would have to be yes, but, that answer is qualified by saying, though the components of the “Lord’s Prayer” are in the “High Priestly Prayer”: the “High Priestly Prayer” is an extremely personal prayer.  Jesus allows the disciples (all believers) to hear not the teachings of Christ with man, but to hear the desires of His heart when He pours it out to His Father for the blessing of those that are His own.

References

Cecy, Jim. Dr. 2016. When God Prays: We Listen, Campus Bible Church, Accessed Oct 17, 2016.  http://campusbiblechurch.com/sermonnotes/071606.

Evans, Craig. 2003. The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Matthew ~ Luke. Colorado Springs. Cook Communications

Farley, Julie. 2007. 30 Minutes Changed Forever. Northville, MI. Nelson Publishing

Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry Bible Commentary. Accessed Oct 20, 2016 http://www.christianity.com/bible/commentary.

Feinberg, Charles. 1939. Prayer in Its Relation to the Three Persons of the Godhead. Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra. BSAC 096:383. Accessed Apr 6, 2017. Theological Journals by Galaxie Software

Green, Oliver. 1967. The Gospel According to John Vol. 3, Greenville, The Gospel Hour Inc.

Green, Oliver. 1972. The Gospel According to Matthew Vol. 2, Greenville, The Gospel Hour Inc.

Longman, Tremper and Garland, David. eds.2007. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke ~ Acts. Grand Rapids. Zondervans.

Longman, Tremper and Garland, David. eds. 2010. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew & Mark. Grand Rapids. Zondervans.

MaClaren, Alexander. 1877. Week-day evening address. London. MacMillan & Co.

Nolland, John. 2005. The Gospel of Matthew: A commentary on the Greek text. Grand Rapids. Eerdmans Publishing

Sanders, J Oswald. 1971. The Incomparable Christ. Chicago. Moody Publishings

Out of Scarcity, Abundance – A Reflection on Mark 12:41-44

Out of Scarcity, Abundance – A Reflection on Mark 12:41-44

Out of Scarcity, Abundance

Dr. Joaquim Braga, PhD
Biblical Counseling Interim Department Chair

There are many reasons why Christianity doesn’t make sense to me. A righteous, all-good, all-powerful being that allows the existence of suffering and evil. A chosen nation, supposed to be a channel of spiritual blessings to all other nations, that is engrossed in worshiping a golden statue shortly after being miraculously delivered from the most powerful nation of the time. A Creator-King who is born as a helpless baby in a stable, literally in the middle of nowhere, destined to become the Redeemer and Savior of all. A divine kingdom supposed to change the world that is entrusted to twelve (make that eleven) unimpressive, mostly uneducated men with all sorts of spiritual blindness. An eternal being who experiences death for the sake of creatures who do not want to have anything to do with him in the first place. My list could go on and on.

I am making my way through the Gospel of Mark, and the other day I read a passage that reminded me, yet again, of how upside-down kingdom logic is when compared to the ways of this world.

“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on’.” (Mark 12:41-44)

If you stop and think about it, there are several things about this passage that are upside-down. Take a closer look at who Jesus is using as an example of spiritual discernment and worship. This unlikely model that we are supposed to emulate has three fundamental things going against her according to society: she’s a woman, she’s a widow, and she’s poor! Both in Jesus’ times as well as in ours, these are traits that would encourage the elite to ignore and even despise this woman. Her gender makes her inferior and voiceless, her marital status makes her helpless and needy, while her poverty makes her empty-handed and devoid of anything good to offer.

(By the way, we could also assume this woman is also advanced in age since she’s a widow. But since she already has plenty going against her, let’s not add this one more thing to our list. We can safely say we have at least three significant strikes against her.)

Everything about this person screams of scarcity. Not enoughto give. Not enoughto matter. Not enoughto make an impact. Not enoughto be noticed. Not enoughto be special or significant. Not enoughto justify her existence.

And yet… Jesus draws our attention to this unlikely heroine of faith.

Jesus sees her. He notices her. He finds her example so moving that he draws the attention of the disciples to her, this unimpressive embodiment of scarcity who only had a few measly coins to give.

Yes. Christianity doesn’t make a whole lot of sense according to the ways of this world. And that, my friends, gives me great hope and consolation.

I am not that different from this poor middle-eastern widow who lived thousands of years ago. I constantly find myself caught between two equally undesirable places: feeling like too much(I’m a burden, carrying on myself too much guilt, too much shame, too many mistakes, too many flaws) while also feeling like not enough at the same time (not enough faith, not enough discipline, not enough commitment, not enough accomplishments… my list could go on and on). Let me tell you: feeling like too much and not enough all at once is a maddening way to exist.

Too much bad stuff and not enough good stuff. That’s how I often feel about myself when my spiritual gaze drifts off of Jesus, which it often tends to do.

And I’ll say one more time: AND YET!

And yet Jesus sees me. Jesus tells me that I don’t have to have an abundance of anything the world deems worthy in order to please him, in order to be noticed, in order to matter, in order to make a difference, in order to be loved. Jesus tells me that he took upon Himself on the cross both my abundance of bad stuff as well as my scarcity of good stuff.  Jesus tells me that in Him I am made anew. Jesus tells me that whatever little, unimpressive things I have to offer (ultimately myself) matters greatly to Him!

The truth is this: Whenever I give Jesus my two little coins from a place of trust and love, I put a smile on His face. And He looks at me and reminds me yet again: “Son, it’s not your two coins that I am after. It’s you that I want, scarcity and all.”

Christianity does not make a whole lot of sense.

And that’s good news.

Is Biologos’s “Evolutionary Creation” A Biblical Position?

Is Biologos’s “Evolutionary Creation” A Biblical Position?

BioLogos’s Evolutionary Creation—New Theology with Old Roots

Mr. Thomas Crank – Pursuing Master of Arts in Bible and Theology

Charles Kingsley, priest at Eversley, Hampshire, wrote a letter to Charles Darwin in 1859, thanking him for a copy of On the Origin of Speciesand penning words that Darwin would later immortalize in the conclusion of the second edition of his book: “I have gradually learnt to see that it is just as noble a conception of Deity, to believe that he created primal forms capable of self development […] as to believe that He required a fresh act of intervention […]. I question whether the former be not the loftier thought.”[1]With these words, Kingsley set the precedent for the acceptance of Darwin’s theory as a theology for Biblical interpretation of creation. Since Kingsley’s time, the church has widely accepted theistic evolution, the belief that God used evolution to work “‘in and through’ nature,”[2]but was Kingsley right? Should the Biblical scholar “give up much that [they] have believed,”[3]as Kingsley did, using theistic evolution as the foundation for a Biblical worldview?

BioLogos,[4]a leading Christian ministry dedicated to harmonizing evolution and Biblical faith, would answer “yes” to this question—but with qualifiers: though it accepts evolution, BioLogos rejects the term “theistic evolution,” arguing for a new and better creation theology called evolutionary creation.[5]When BioLogos’s complete worldview is compared to the Biblical worldview, however, it is neither new nor better and is ultimately untenable.

BioLogos claims to hold to a Biblical worldview, viewing the Bible as the Christian’s inspired authority;[6]however, many of its claims seem to run counter to the Biblical worldview. Thus, a test is needed to measure BioLogos’s claims with Biblical truth. The dialogue between creation and evolution so often focuses on individual arguments for one specific issue (e.g. the age of the earth, the legitimacy of ape men, the Big Bang, etc.), but since ideas have consequences, these individual arguments fit within a larger worldview that, when fully assembled, reveal its guiding philosophy. For the Christian, this philosophy comes from Christ, rather than according to the “empty philosophy”[7]of the world. Since the Biblical worldview’s philosophy must come from Christ, the Bible should provide a coherent philosophy by which the Christian can build a complete worldview. If BioLogos’s worldview consistently follows the philosophy from Christ as measured against the truth in the Bible in each of the four categories of a worldview, then it is a Biblical position.

Comparing the Biblical and Evolutionary Creation Worldviews

Biblical Epistemology

The first key component of a worldview is epistemology, the study of knowledge. Knowledge comes from a source of authority, but that authority must be interpreted rightly. In the Biblical worldview, the source of authority is God who has revealed himself through creation,[8]the Bible,[9]and Jesus.[10]Wisdom starts with God; therefore, any knowledge of anything must start with God.[11]The Bible presupposes God’s existence, but creation reveals God’s glory, eternal power, and divine nature.[12]The Bible is the main source for understanding God because creation is limited.[13]The Apostle Paul teaches that scripture is God breathed[14]and sufficient for teaching within the church.[15]Lest this appear to be circular reasoning, God adorned human flesh and stepped into creation as a human, Jesus. Jesus affirmed creation as presented in Genesis,[16]and he is God’s word in these “last days.”[17]

In order to understand the Bible clearly, a literal grammatical historical hermeneutic is needed. When Paul writes that all Scripture is “profitable” and “adequate,”[18]he assumes it is sufficient. Not only is Scripture the source of authority[19]according to this passage, but it also provides insight into the interpretation method for the Bible. Paul assumes that Scripture can be rightly understood because it is “profitable,” which presupposes that it is an adequate vehicle for communicating knowledge. Furthermore, the way the Jesus and the New Testament writers interpret the Old Testament provides a clear model for interpreting the Bible.[20]They quote passages literally, only interpreting something figuratively when the text itself is figurative.[21]This method is consistent throughout scripture. As God speaks through Genesis, for example, his hearers respond to him as if they clearly understand his thoughts in a logical, literal manner.[22]

Evolutionary Creation’s Epistemology

BioLogos’s website professes that the “Bible is the inspired and authoritative word of God.”[23]On the surface, God would seem to be Evoltionary Creation’s source of authority, just as in the Biblical worldview; however, further analysis shows that this is not the case. Denis Lamoureux, who coined the term “evolutionary creation,” writes that this view “fully embraces both the religious beliefs of Biblical Christianity and the scientific theories of cosmological, geological, and biological evolution.”[24]This statement combines the Biblical worldview with another completely different worldview. Other statements on BioLogos’s website confirm this duality.[25]Lamoureux makes the belief plainest when he says, “Evolutionary creation embraces the time-honored belief that divine revelation flows from two major sources—the Book of God’s Words and the Book of God’s Works. This position supports a complementary relationship between the scripture and science in understanding origins.”[26]He further explains that the Bible is incomplete without this “Book of God’s Works.”[27]A presupposition emerges in these statements. God is not the source of authority in evolutionary creation—evolutionary science is the primary source. In fact, Lamoureux praises evolutionary creation’s ability to reveal more of God over time as research develops.[28]

If evolutionary creation’s source of authority is the “Two Books” that reveal God, then the hermeneutic actually becomes a theological one by definition. If evolution is accepted as one of the primary means of understanding God, then this presupposition is used to interpret the Bible. Evolutionary creation’s hermeneutic, however, becomes even more complicated when researchers exercise it. In “Human Evolution in Theological Context,” for example, George Murphy says, “I want to take both scripture and science into account [when building a theology],” but then he argues that “God is concealed from direct observation,”[29]citing Isaiah 45:15[30]for support. His conclusion is that the “regularity of natural processes” allows humanity to understand the world “on its own terms.”[31]The Bible is rejected as the source of authority, as natural processes are much easier to understand.

The theological hermeneutic of evolutionary creation does not work alone, however. Evolutionary creationists also add a genre hermeneutic, arguing that Genesis 1–11 is “special type of literature,” a “unique genre,” set apart from the rest of Genesis.[32]

Biblical Metaphysics

Metaphysics describes what exists. It includes ontology, axiology, teleology, and eschatology. Ontology deals with what exists and how it exists. Biblical ontology defines God as the creator, creating the universe in six, literal, twenty-four-hour days.[33]It demonstrates that God works supernaturally through miracles, and it teaches that a spiritual realm exists.[34]Finally, it teaches that man was created in the image of God.[35]

Axiology studies values, answering questions such as, “What is good?” or “What is beauty?” The Bible teaches that all things come from God[36]and are defined by God[37]—this includes good and evil.

Teleology, another sub-discipline of metaphysics, studies the purpose and design of things that exist. Biblical ontology shows God’s creation of time, space, and matter and the time it took for this to happen. Teleology explains that God created personally and directly in creation.[38]It also teaches that creation was originally created “very good”[39]but is fallen through Adam’s sin.[40]Christ’s death and resurrection redeems those who believe.[41]Biblical teleology further teaches that man was created originally to rule over the world as God’s representative[42]and that all things were under his feet, but when he fell, his rule failed.[43]Christ now rules.[44]

In Biblical eschatology, the area of metaphysics that studies things to come, all things will ultimately bring glory to God.[45]Christ will reign on the earth, fulfilling his promise to Israel and completing his work as the second Adam.[46]Creation will be destroyed,[47]and a new one will be created.[48]

Evolutionary Creation’s Metaphysics

Evolutionary creation’s ontology teaches that God started creation billions of years ago.[49]God does, however, periodically use miracles to affect his creation.[50]Though atheistic evolution denies the spiritual realm, it does exist in evolutionary creation.[51]One interesting issue evolutionary creation has to deal with is man evolving through natural processes. This means that being created in the image of God is a questionable belief. Lamoureux says, “… humans evolved from pre-human ancestors, and over a period of time the Image of God and human sin were gradually and mysteriously manifested.”[52]This means a new model for understanding Adam and Eve is required. Denis Alexander explains this “homo divinus” model, describing how God breathing into Adam was actually God revealing himself to Neolithic farmers. Alexander says, “God in his grace chose a couple of Neolithic farmers in the Near East, or maybe a community of farmers, to whom he chose to reveal himself in a special way, calling them into fellowship with himself.”[53]

Axiology in evolutionary creation follows a somewhat Darwinian model. Evolutionary creationists do believe the Bible contains good eternal truths, depending on the culture.[54]Good and evil have come about naturally, however. Murphy says, “Biologically, we have selfish tendencies that result from natural selection. In addition, we are born and nurtured as members of a tribe estranged from God.”[55]Charles Darwin’s views were a little more extreme, but similar. In The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, Darwin argues that emotions, and appreciation of beauty have been observed in animals; thus, morality, good, and evil came about naturally. Darwin says:

The taste for the beautiful … differs widely in the different races of man, and is not quite the same even in the different nations of the same race. Judging from the hideous ornaments, and the equally hideous music admired by most savages, it might be urged that their aesthetic faculty was not so highly developed as in certain animals, for instance, as in birds.[56]

According to Darwin, some people groups are considered less evolved because they have a lower appreciation for beauty than some birds. Darwin’s axiology is beauty comes from complexity. He makes a similar argument for morality, which will be picked up in the section on ethics. Suffice to say, good and evil, beauty and ugliness are all natural concepts under Darwinian evolution. The only difference between Darwinian evolution’s axiology and the evolutionary creationist is that the evolutionary creationist asserts God as the director of evolution.[57]

Teleology in the evolutionary creation model has God starting all the natural evolutionary mechanisms.[58]Evolutionary creation teaches that God “sustains the world”, “works outside of natural law in supernatural events”, and that “God continues to be directly involved in creation and in human history.”[59]It rejects materialism and scientism, keeping God in the picture, and it also reject deism, which claims that God started the universe and walked away.[60]Furthermore, it rejects that evolution is a “purposeless process”; instead, it is “God-ordained.”[61]Sin, death, and suffering are natural parts of the world, part of God’s design for evolution. Murphy explains:

… natural selection, the critical factor in evolution that Darwin and Wallace identified, means that some amount of selfish behavior in our ancestors would have been favored. There would have been deception, theft, sexual promiscuity, and violence, and those tendencies would have been passed on to us. Nor is this only theoretical: the behaviors of our closest surviving relatives among the great apes confirms this picture.[62]

Part of God’s purpose in evolutionary creation was to get genetic information to “be fruitful and multiply,” as it were, so he used “sin” to get this to happen. Murphy goes on to argue that it technically is not sin if God had not yet instituted a law. Murphy also points out that God created man as “very good,” not “perfect.”[63]God evolved humans with the purpose of growing in a relationship with him, Murphy continues. Redemption is simply God working to get humans back on course, the ultimate act being Christ on the cross.[64]Aside from this redemption, humans are one part of a complex creation controlled by God, not even fully unique.[65]As more highly-evolved forms, however, humans may have the purpose of stewardship over creation—building God’s kingdom on earth.[66]

As for eschatology, evolutionary creationists seem to borrow heavily from atheistic evolutionists. They rely on natural laws, which show the world is slowly decaying according to law of entropy, the universe eventually ending in heat death according to the same law—as Stephen Hawking put it, “The increase of disorder or entropy … [gives] direction to time.”[67]Evolutionary creationists also believe that humanity will continue to evolve and learn better ways to relate to God and creation.[68]Some overlap does exist between the Biblical worldview and that of evolutionary creation in a belief that Christ will return.[69]

Biblical Ethics

Ethics discusses how people ought to live. If good and evil exist, then what does good living look like? Man can do nothing good apart from God.[70]Only by believing in Christ can man come to God.[71]Then, through the Spirit, man can produce good fruit.[72]Ethics, then, directly connects to God and can only be lived rightly by the Spirit, who helps the believer do the will of God. When unbelievers do good things, they actually demonstrate God’s law written on their hearts,[73]a part of the image of God, but their works are still worthless in God’s sight because they do not come from Christ.[74]

Evolutionary Creation’s Ethics

Within evolutionary creation, ethics become dependent on time, culture, and interpretation. Biblical truths depend on culture, so different cultures will have different ethics.[75]Walking with God is a higher path that people should follow, but this path is possible only through Christ.[76]

Biblical Socio-Political

The final component of a worldview, socio-political, deals with how societies and governments should interact.Scripture teaches that God places the governing authorities in power.[77]Christians should be subject to them.[78]Christians should also love the church,[79]love their neighbors,[80]and serve in the community.[81]

Evolutionary Creation’s Socio-Political

Under evolutionary creation, society and politics are a part of evolution—a sort of symbiotic relationship.[82]God, however, is still sovereign over this process. Other parts of the socio-political are identical to the Biblical worldview because these are often the general truths that remain when genre hermeneutics dissect the Scriptures.

Summary of the Biblical and Evolutionary Creation Worldviews

The following chart provides a side-by-side comparison of the two worldviews. Notice how evolutionary creation contains some identical components within the categories of socio-political and ethics. The similarity is superficial because evolutionary creation is built on different presuppositions and starts with a different epistemology.

Biblical Worldview Evolutionary Creation
Epistemology
Source of Authority God, who revealed himself through creation, the Bible, and Christ. Science, which reveals more about God over time.
Interpretation Method Literal Grammatical Historical Hermeneutic applied to the Bible. “Two Books” (Creation and the Bible) interpreted through a Theology/Genre hermeneutic.
Metaphysics
Ontology God supernaturally created the universe in six literal twenty-four-hour days.

The spiritual and the miraculous exist.

God created man in his image.

God started creation billions of years ago.

God periodically uses miracles to affect his creation. The spiritual realm exists.

Man evolved through natural processes and the image of God mysteriously manifested.

Axiology All things come from God and are defined by God. The Bible contains good eternal truths, depending on the culture. Good and evil have come about naturally.
Teleology God created all things personally.

All creation was created “very good” but is fallen through Adam’s sin. Christ’s death and resurrection redeemed those who believe.

Man was created to rule over the world, but he failed. Christ reigns.

God started all the natural evolutionary mechanisms. God directs evolution’s path.

Sin, death, and suffering are natural parts of the world. Redemption is God working to get humans back on course, the ultimate act being Christ on the cross.

Humans are one part of a complex creation controlled by God, not even fully unique. As more highly-evolved forms, however, humans may have the purpose of stewardship over creation—building God’s kingdom on earth.

Eschatology All things will ultimately bring glory to God. Christ will reign on the earth. Creation will be destroyed and a new one will be created. The world will slowly decay according to law of entropy. The universe will eventually end in heat death according to the same law. Humanity will continue to evolve and learn better ways to relate to God and creation.

The Theology/Genre hermeneutic leads to a non-literal view of Revelation, which would see the theme of Revelation as good triumphing over evil.

Ethics Man can do nothing good apart from God. Only by believing in Christ can man come to God. Then, through the Spirit, man can produce good fruit. Humanity can experience God’s love and presence in his its life.

Biblical truths depend on culture, so different cultures will have different ethics. Culture defines morality.

Walking with God is a higher path that should be followed, and this is possible only through Christ.

Socio-Political God places the governing authorities in power. Christians should be subject to them. Christians should love the church, love their neighbors, and serve in the community. Society and politics are a part of evolution—a sort of symbiotic relationship. God, however, is sovereign over this process.

Christians should be subject to the government, should love the church, love their neighbors, and serve in the community.

 

Argument for the Biblical Worldview

Evolutionary creation ultimately fails to be a Biblical worldview due to an unbiblical source of authority and a problematic hermeneutic. Many other problems exist in the worldview,[83]but if a worldview’s epistemology is off track, the entire worldview is suspect. Thus, the argument in this paper focuses on problems with evolutionary creation’s core presuppositions, source of authority, and hermeneutic.

Evolutionary Creation’s Faulty Presuppositions

Evolutionary creation holds two major presuppositions that render it a faulty worldview. First, it presupposes that the Bible contains false science. Lamoureux says, “[The science in the Bible] is the science-of-the-day a few thousand years ago in the ancient Near East. And like most science over time, it is improved, if not completely replaced, with a better understanding of nature.”[84]Lamoureux goes on to argue that the word “earth” appears over 2,500 times in the Old Testament and over 250 times in the New Testament—and never is referred to as spherical or round. However, Psalm 19:4, Psalm 104:2, and Isaiah 40:22 compare the universe to a tent and the earth to the floor.[85]Lamoureux continues to point out various “phenomenological perspectives”[86]in the Bible, but the presuppositional error Lamoureux makes is plain enough in his first example. Lamoureux assumes a “phenomenological perspective.” His argument for how the world was understood by Hebrews is circumstantial, pulled by applying his study of Near Eastern culture back into the text. He says, “Figure 1 presents the world as conceived by ancient Near Eastern peoples [(a three-tiered universe)], including God’s chosen people, the Hebrews.”[87]Moreover, he applies his evolutionary theology to the text, assuming that ancient peoples were not as smart as modern humanity when much evidence to the contrary exists.[88]

A second faulty presupposition is that evolution itself can be compatible with the Bible. That is, of course, the mission of BioLogos, helping Christians understand that it iscompatible. The problem with this position, however, is that key figures in mainstream evolutionary science deny that the Bible and evolution are compatible. Atheist literature seems to see theistic evolution as a pseudoscience. One atheist blog, for example, calls theistic evolution “an orthodoxy that tells laypeople what to think, based on shallow science.”[89] Another atheist attempted to persuade an audience that theistic evolution was a hopeless endeavor, explaining that “Attempts to join evolution with God are futile.”[90]But the strongest critiques come from more recognizable names. Stephen Hawking, for example, in A Brief History of Timeoften wrestles with the idea of a creator starting the universe, but he hypothesizes that the universe is without border; thus, “What place, then, for a creator?”[91]Finally, Richard Dawkins said in a TV interview, “Evangelical Christians have sort of got it right in seeing evolution as an enemy … [theistic evolutionists] are deluded.”[92]

Evolutionary creation, therefore, is based on two faulty presuppositions: 1) the Bible contains false science and 2) Evolution is compatible with the Bible. These faulty presuppositions provide a shaky foundation for belief in evolutionary creation, but coupled with evolutionary creation’s unbiblical source of authority, the position is completely untenable.

Evolutionary Creation’s Unbiblical Source of Authority

Evolutionary creation claims to hold the Bible as authoritative, and to some extent this is true in action. Evolutionary creation makes the Bible one of two books of revelation, creation being the other, complementary one.[93]In practice, however, the Bible does not hold any authority for the evolutionary creationist; it is consistently reinterpreted in light of “The Book of God’s Works” (nature) rather than used to interpret nature. Lamoureux, for example, assumes the Bible is filled with scientific errors because he views “The Book of God’s Works” through an evolutionary theological hermeneutic. Lam makes a similar error when he uses the fact that archeology has discovered other ancient Near Eastern Creation myths as proof for a faulty Genesis creation account.[94]“The Book of God’s Works (creation as seen through evolution), then, becomes the more authoritative source of authority, which puts the whole position at odds with the Biblical worldview. It also opens up the Bible for constant reinterpretation because science is always changing and improving.[95]

Furthermore, holding to creation as the primary source of authority contradicts the Biblical worldview as outlined in scripture. God has revealed himself through creation, but Romans 1:20 provides a qualifier: “His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made …” Creation provides some revelation about God, but it is not a full revelation. Not only is creation limited, but wisdom starts with God,[96]not nature. Finally, the author of Hebrews says that God has spoken to man in these last days through his son,[97]not nature.

Evolutionary Creation’s Hermeneutic Creates More Problems Than It Solves

Evolutionary creation is built on two faulty presuppositions and contradicts scripture’s view of epistemology, but this unbiblical epistemology has deeper consequences. The evolutionary theological and genre hermeneutic brings unwritten creation narratives into the creation of man. Evolution needs man to evolve over millions of years. Evolutionary creationists have to add this history to the text with elaborate models.[98]Furthermore, seeing Genesis 1–11 as figurative creates a slippery slope—where does the text actually mean what it says?

The Biblical Worldview is Stronger

Evolutionary creation is not a new theory—it is theistic evolution with new clothes, but it makes the same fundamental mistakes that Charles Kingsley did in his letter to Darwin—denying the ultimate source of authority (God) and inserting the philosophy of man in its place. The Biblical worldview from a literal grammatical historical hermeneutic is far stronger, based on solid presuppositions and consistent with Biblical teaching.

Bibliography

Books

Darwin, Charles. The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. London: John Murray, 1871.

Darwin, Charles. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or, the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. London: J. Murray, 1859.

Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.

Lamoureux, Denis. Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2008.

Witham, Larry.Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Hawking, Stephen, A Brief History of Time.(Bantam Books, 1998), Chapter nine.

Electronic Sources

“About Us.” biologos.org/about-us Accessed 8 April 2018.

Alexander, Denis, “How Does a BioLogos Model Need to Address the Theological Issues Associated with an Adam Who Was Not the Sole Genetic Progenitor of Humankind?” biologos.org/projects/scholar-essays Accessed 8 April, 2018.

“Common Questions” biologos.org/common-questions Accessed 8 April, 2018.

Conder, Howard. Interview with Richard Dawkins. Revelation TV Interview with Richard Dawkins. Revelation TV. 2011.

Klinghoffer, David. “Trouble in Paradise? At BioLogos Theistic Evolutionists Fall Out Amongst Themselves.” evolutionnews.org Accessed 8 April, 2018.

“Letter no. 2534.” https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2534 Accessed 16 April 2018.

Lam, Joseph. “The Biblical Creation in its Ancient Near Eastern Context.” biologos.org/projects/scholar-essays Accessed 8 April, 2018.

Lamoureux, Denis. “Evolutionary Creation: Beyond the Evolution vs. Creation Debate.” https://biologos.org/ resources/scholarly-articles/evolutionary-creation-a-christian-approach-to-evolution Accessed 8 April 2018.

Murphy, George L. “Human Evolution in Theological Context.” biologos.org/projects/scholar-essays Accessed 8 April 2018.

Wiseman, Jennifer. “Science as an Instrument of Worship: Can Recent Scientific Discovery Inform and Inspire Our Worship and Service?” biologos.org/files/modules/wiseman_white_paper.pdf Accessed 8 April, 2018.

Additional Resources in the BioLogos Debate

Cosner, Lita. “Evolutionary syncretism: a critique of BioLogos.” https://creation.com/biologos-evolutionary-syncretism Accessed 5 June, 2018.

“Evangelicals, Evolution, and the BioLogos Disaster.” Grace to You. https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/GTY136/evangelicals-evolution-and-the-biologos-disaster Accessed 8 April, 2018.

Fangrad, Richard. “BioLogos, theistic evolution and the Pelagian heresy.” https://creation.com/biologos-pelagian-heresy Accessed 5 June, 2018.

Institute for Creation Research. Search “biologos” http://www.icr.org/homepage/.

“The BioLogos Foundation.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_BioLogos_ Foundation Accessed 5 June, 2018. (See “Response”)

UpChurch, John. “The Danger of BioLogos: Blurring the Line Between Creation and Evolution.” https://answersingenesis.org/theistic-evolution/the-danger-of-biologos/ Accessed 8 April, 2018.

End Notes

[1]“Letter no. 2534.” https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2534Accessed 16 April 2018.

[2]Witham, Larry. Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America(Oxford University Press, 2002), 47.

[3]“Letter no. 2534.”

[4]BioLogos is debated frequently in a number of Biblical creation groups, such as Creation Ministries International, Northwest Creation Network, and resources from John McArthur’s ministry, Grace to You. The Institute for Creation Research has also been active in writing against BioLogos, penning over a dozen articles warning against its errors. BioLogos was founded in 2007 by Dr. Francis Collins, who was then the director of the Human Genome Project. Former President Barack Obama later appointed Dr. Collins as head of the National Institutes of Health. BioLogos has thus had a weighty voice in influencing Christians in creation doctrine. In fact, they provide a wealth of resources for churches, youth groups, educators, and homeschoolers.

[5]Lamoureux, Denis. “Evolutionary Creation: Beyond the Evolution vs. Creation Debate,” https://biologos.org/ resources/scholarly-articles/evolutionary-creation-a-christian-approach-to-evolutionAccessed 8 April 2018.

[6]“About Us.” biologos.org/about-usAccessed 8 April 2018.

[7]Col 2:8. Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations in this study are taken from the NASB, © 1999 Zondervan.

[8]Ps 19:1, Rom 1:20

[9]2 Tim 3:16–17

[10]Heb 1:1–2

[11]Prov 1:7

[12]Ps 19:1, Rom 1:20

[13]Creation declares God’s glory (Ps 19:1) and invisible attributes, divine nature, and eternal power (Rom 1:20), but it does not explain, for example, how God has worked to redeem the world.

[14]2 Tim 3:16–17

[15]Ibid.

[16]Matt 19:4–6

[17]Heb 1:1–2. This passage also supports the Bible being God’s source of revelation, specifically supporting the Old Testament.

[18]2 Tim 3:16–17

[19]Source of authority for knowing God, who is the ultimate source of authority.

[20]Jesus answers the Pharisees with statements such as “Have you not read …?” (Examples include Matt 12:3, 5; Matt 19:4; and Mark 12:10, 26). In each case, Jesus assumes a clear, literal interpretation of the passage he quotes.

[21]Hebrews provides a good case study here. The writer of Hebrews begins his text by making an argument for the supremacy of Christ. He supports his argument with key quotations from a number of Old Testament passages. Each one is taken literally to directly and literally support his point. In chapter 2, he then turns his attention to a passage from Psalm 8:4­–6 where he points out that we do not literally see this passage fulfilled (Heb 2:8). In the very next verse, however, he still takes a literal interpretation by applying it to Christ who will literally fulfill the promise.

[22]In Gen 3:9, for example, God asks Adam, “Where are you?” to which Adam replies “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” He could have interpreted God figuratively here: Where are you emotionally/spiritually?But he answers God’s literal question.

[23]biologos.org/about-us.

[24]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 1.

[25]“Common Questions” biologos.org/common-questionsAccessed 8 April, 2018: “We fully affirm that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative word of God. We alsoaccept the science of evolution as the best description for how God brought about the diversity of life on earth” (emphasis mine). Another statement says, “… both [are] means of God’s revelation of himself to us, they must work together towards an ultimate harmony.”

[26]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 9.

[27]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 10.

[28]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 2.

[29]Murphy, George L, “Human Evolution in Theological Context.” biologos.org/projects/scholar-essaysAccessed 8 April 2018.

[30]The passage is quoted in his article as follows: “Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.”

[31]Murphy, “Human Evolution in Theological Context,” 1.

[32]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 3.

[33]Within the text itself, the following indicate literal, twenty-four-hour periods: 1) Day/night cycle established first (Gen 1:3–5), 2) Ordinal numbers given for each day, 3) The words “evening and morning” accompanying each day of creation.

[34]Eph 6:12

[35]Gen 1:26

[36]God created all things (Gen 1). Goodness comes from God (Gen 1, Rom 12:2, James 1:17). God created evil and the not good (Gen 2:18, Isa 45:7). God is the creator and sustainer of all things (Heb 1:3).

[37]God creates all the categories of matter, time and energy in Gen 1. He defines male and female. He gives commandments to his creation in Gen 1 and 2. His commandments given to Moses include the word shall, a word that implies a perfect standard, defined by God himself.

[38]God speaks and things are created and organized, but he forms man and breathes into him—much more personal.

[39]Gen 1:30

[40]Rom 5:12

[41]Rom 3:24, Eph 1:7–14, Eph 2:1–9

[42]Gen 1:26–33

[43]Heb 2:5–8

[44]Ibid.

[45]Rom 14:11. Here gentiles are called to glorify God by honoring Him as God, which they cannot do apart from Jesus because no one can come to the Father but through Jesus (John 14:6).

[46]Rom 5:12–21

[47]2 Pet 2:10–13

[48]Rev 22:21

[49]biologos.org/about-us

[50]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 1.

[51]biologos.org/common-questions

[52]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 1.

[53]Alexander, Denis, “How Does a BioLogos Model Need to Address the Theological Issues Associated with an Adam Who Was Not the Sole Genetic Progenitor of Humankind?” biologos.org/projects/scholar-essaysAccessed 8 April, 2018. 6.

[54]Lam, Joseph, “The Biblical Creation in its Ancient Near Eastern Context.” biologos.org/projects/scholar-essaysAccessed 8 April, 2018, 1. The evolutionary creationist has to treat truth somewhat relative because they take an evolutionary theology and a genre hermeneutic. Eternal truths become relative to time and culture, which makes them somewhat un-eternal.

[55]Murphy, “Human Evolution in Theological Context,” 4.

[56]Darwin, Charles, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. (John Murray, 1871), 93.

[57]Which Darwin actually allows in the conclusion of Origin of Speciesand even in passing in The Descent of Manwhen he introduces the chapter on Mental Power within which lies the quoted material in this section.

[58]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 1. The author here actually uses the word teleological.

[59]biologos.org/about-us

[60]Ibid.

[61]Ibid.

[62]Murphy, “Human Evolution in Theological Context,” 3.

[63]Murphy, “Human Evolution in Theological Context,” 4.

[64]Murphy, “Human Evolution in Theological Context,” 1 and 7.

[65]Wiseman, Jennifer. “Science as an Instrument of Worship: Can Recent Scientific Discovery Inform and Inspire Our Worship and Service?” biologos.org/files/modules/wiseman_white_paper.pdfAccessed 8 April, 2018. 9.

[66]Wiseman, “Science as an Instrument of Worship,” 6.

[67]Hawking, Stephen, A Brief History of Time.(Bantam Books, 1998), Chapter nine.

[68]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 2.

[69]Wiseman, “Science as an Instrument of Worship,” 6.

[70]Isa 64:6

[71]John 14:6

[72]Rom 7:4

[73]Rom 2:15

[74]Isa 64:6 seen in light of John 14:6.

[75]This argument is constructed by synthesizing several articles that teach that Genesis 1–11 is best seen within the scientifically illiterate Near Eastern culture of early human history. These articles all use a genre hermeneutic to pull general truths from Genesis 1–11, rather than actual history and specific truths. The genre approach is too arbitrary if applied only to Genesis 1–11; it is easily and often used elsewhere, leading to a highly relative hermeneutic. Thus, different times, different cultures, and different interpretations will arrive at different general truths. Articles used: Alexander, “How Does a BioLogos Model Need to Address Adam?”; Lam, “The Biblical Creation in its Ancient Near Eastern Context”; Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation”; and Murphy, “Human Evolution in Theological Context”.

[76]Murphy, “Human Evolution in Theological Context,” 1–7.

[77]Rom 13:1–6

[78]Ibid.

[79]Rom 13:8–10

[80]Ibid.

[81]Gal 6:10

[82]  Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006). Chapter 6. Dawkins references Darwin often in this chapter, drawing from both Origins and Descent. His main point is that ethics and morality have evolved in like symbiosis in nature, which provides a working reason why family groups stay together for mutual benefit.

[83]See Bibliography for a list of additional sources that debate BioLogos and the theory of evolution itself.

[84]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 3.

[85]Ibid.

[86]Describing observations by appearance alone.

[87]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 4.

[88]One interesting resource on this subject can be accessed here: https://creation.com/m/how-smart-was-ancient-man-creation-magazine-live-3-03

[89]Klinghoffer, David. “Trouble in Paradise? At BioLogos Theistic Evolutionists Fall Out Amongst Themselves,” evolutionnews.orgAccessed 8 April, 2018.

[90]Witham, Larry. Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America(Oxford University Press, 2002). 5.

[91]Hawking, Stephen, A Brief History of Time, Chapter eight.

[92]Conder, Howard. Interview with Richard Dawkins. Revelation TV Interview with Richard Dawkins. Revelation TV. 2011.

[93]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 10.

[94]Lam, Joseph, “The Biblical Creation in its Ancient Near Eastern Context.” biologos.org/projects/scholar-essays,1. Lam says that because Genesis is not unique in creation myths, how can we trust it?

[95]Lamoureux, “Evolutionary Creation,” 2.

[96]Prov 1:7

[97]Heb 1:3

[98]See Alexander and Murphy.

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