Nazarenes Exploring Evolution Part Four

Thane Ury

THE ARMINIAN MAGAZINE. Issue 35. Spring 2017. Volume 35.
Posted May, 2017

It's truly amazing that in nearly 400 pages of "exploring evolution," nary a peep is heard from the 60+ authors of evolution's corrosive influence on theology. Instead, evolution with it's extinctions and our common ancestry with brutes "honors" God. Not one mention is made of any weaknesses in current evolutionary thought. Not a single mention is made of all the mistakes and retractions made in the last century in the name of evolutionary dogma. And unless I overlooked something in my few sweeps through the volume, I don't recall any reference to actual scientific evidence for the neo-Darwinian synthesis; no paradigm confirming data that YEC and Intelligent Design are allegedly denying.

NEE sets out to give COTN a rationale for embracing evolutionary creationism; assuring the reader that matters of faith and practice are unscathed, and Biblical authority is not impacted. But sifting through the mountain of mere assertions, this reviewer was struck by the truly low view of Scripture that some (not all) NEE authors seem to have; and equally bowled over by the complete confidence most have in the main rubrics of modern evolutionary thought. Absent is any rigorous Scriptural argument.

Wesley held that the Bible was "the only standard for truth," adding "My ground is the Bible. Yea, I am a Bible bigot. I follow it in all things, both great and small." Conservatives who hold to a special creation viewpoint might also be likened as "Bible bigots," but in this age of untiring capitulation to modernity such is a backhanded compliment. We won't be shamed into compromise any more than theistic evolutionists will be shamed into orthodoxy. NEE tries to offer us Genesis without tears but only ends up giving us tears without Genesis. By being too accommodational and trendy in recent decades, COTN will have no easy task extricating itself from the present quagmire. In surrendering at such a foundational level as Genesis we are on a very slippery slope—the authority of the Second Adam [John 5:46-47] wobbles, the perspicuity of Scripture is dimmed, a sustainable exegetical method is wanting, and the fall will never rise above a "poetic construct." How can a strong evangelical voice be maintained on the vital issues of our day if we become apologists for a worldview that has shipwrecked the faith of so many in the past? How exactly do we

BioLogos is stealth syncretism, an "evangelical Trojan horse" of a different color, according to Phil Johnson. Since Biologos funded NEE, it is perhaps not too unfair to think that Johnson's word directed at Biologos, are also for the most part descriptive of NEE also. He writes:

In every conflict that pits contemporary "scientific" skepticism against the historic faith of the church, BioLogos has defended the skeptical point of view. BioLogos's contributors consistently give preference to modern ideology over biblical revelation. Although the BioLogos PR machine relentlessly portrays the organization as equally committed to science and the Scriptures (and there's a lot of talk about "bridge-building" and reconciliation), the drift of the organization is decidedly just one way.

All NEE contributors come across as very sincere. I don't doubt that every brother and sister is very nice. But niceness does not mean a free pass on theological scrutiny and accountability. Real 18 and 19 year old kids are sitting in their classes.

Convictions don't erode overnight. Princeton Theological Seminary's path to liberalism can be trace to when it's staunchest apologist were too accommodating to evolutionary philosophy. Oswald Skov wrote that as Darwin's theory gained traction, the Church "put up a storm of protest for a while, but by 1900 the liberals had made it acceptable. A failure to plug this hole caused the dam of conservative theology to burst with a flood of all kinds of denials of Biblical truth."

The tragedy of once-Christian institutions forgetting why they were even founded is a familiar one. James Burtchaell's The Dying of the Light, and George Marsden's, The Soul of the American University plot how former Christian schools have slouched toward modernity. The common denominator in all these shifts from conservative theology to full-blown secularism, is the half-way house of liberal theology. A denomination comfortable with open theism, errancy, and full-throated Darwinism should not be surprised when the transgender, polygamist, annihilationist, and "double belonging" chickens eventually come home to roost.

Dr. Ury's entire review is available at