Dear Brother and Sisters,
Greetings in the Lord Jesus! It has come to my ears the great zeal that you have for the Lord and desire to spread forth his Gospel. Striving hard for the faith you attempt to remove any offense of the Gospel that is not organically derived from its core message of Christ crucified for sinners. Whole heartily my applause is with you and I share your concerns for the foolish shame that many Christians bring to the gospel through their poor theories and knowledge of how this world works. Students of science have a right to critique many Christians for their ignorant but proud understanding of how the universe functions, and I do agree with you that these Christians do bring shame to the Gospel because the secular scientists doubt the Gospel message because the Christians can’t even get science right. Doubtfully there is error in judging one’s position on the Gospel based on one’s position on science, but we are sympathetic to the concern. If a doctor told us he believed that the sum of two plus two equaled five, we would not readily concern ourselves with his opinion on the health of our liver. With you I agree that we should work hard on removing all offense to the Gospel, but the Gospel itself.
Deep in my bones I fear you have stumbled upon a great error in your zeal and too have brought undo condemnation on the Christian faith, birthed confusion among the brothers, and have distracted all from the primacy of the Gospel. To your error I call you to repent and consider a better way. My humble goal is to show you your error and hope for your repentance.
As your heart beats I know you are sincere in your passion and love for Jesus, but your passion for removing obstacles has stumbled you into a great pit of confusion, error, and poor judgement. Flashing your sword of truth you seek to cut down any unnecessary offense to the Gospel, but I fear you have sought to sheath your sword in the wrong scabbard of science. Jesus cautioned us to not bind ourselves to idols or this world, and mistakenly you have done so.
Please forgive my persistence and my “calling” you out, but I have good intentions in doing so: protecting the Gospel in correcting you. May I simply state that your first error is in your name? By calling yourself an “evolutionist,” no matter what word you proceed it with, already defeats your Gospel purposes. Rightfully one could argue that your title is no different that combining “theistic” with “New Age” or “Materialist”. There is already a popular understanding of what “evolution” means, and that is simply naturalism. Besides the point that, in the public’s ear, “Theistic evolutionist” is a contradiction (how could God and Naturalism both be true), it entails too vague of terms. Clarity of definition is not a component of either term in the public’s ear, for on the first word the public immediately supposes some conservative Christianity, perhaps even Creationism, while upon the second word the public’s mind considers materialistic naturalism and how either should work with the other is entirely confusing.
To make matters worse, like with every person who holds a strong view, the strongest view in a person will win out. Of course from your perspective, as a Christian, when you see the terms next to each other you believe that the “evolution” side must give way to the Gospel, that is the Gospel cannot be compromised no matter what although you do believe certain “pet” views of Christianity, like Creationism, can be negotiated (if this isn’t your view than I fear you are not a Christian), so you always consider evolution able to be bent to your desires (that is to conform to the Gospel truth), thus you place on top of it the idea that God uses “evolution” for His purposes. I am not hear to critique your view directly, but how can God use an unguided process without making it guided, which then would make you at least an “Intelligent designer”? Returning back to my point, I am simply pointing out that the Evolutionist is not going to be like you. His or her deep conviction, that cannot be moved or negotiated, is their commitment to humanistic materialism or naturalism. Opposed to you, when they see the two terms together they believe that the “Theistic” side must be compromised and with it potentially the Gospel. Clearly other Christians see the same problem as I for your view has cased no small dispute over Scripture, interpretation, and Christian orthodoxy among the brethren (they see you willing to compromise the Gospel in order to protect “evolution”).
Weaving words together throughout this letter brings me finally to my main point: although you desire to remove offense from the Gospel and desire to build bridges among the naturalist scientists, you actually are leaving yourself no option with them but to compromise the Gospel. As I said before the naturalist evolutionist is not willing to compromise their naturalism; so no matter what bridges you think you are building you are not changing their naturalism, and thus the only thing you are gaining is what they think is, a stamp of approval on their compromise of the Gospel. I can hear them now: “wow look even these Christian scientists are conceding that Evolution is true, sense they have been wrong on that for so long and now just realized it we know it is only a matter of time that they give up the Christian thing too”. Unless you address their naturalism, no matter what “concessions” you give them in science, you are not bringing them any closer to the truth and are only making their anti-Gospel position stronger!
Contrary to some critiques of you I do believe in your good intentions but I want to ask you a question. Are you aware that many leaders in “evolutionary” theory are questioning the theory, just as you are embracing it, and are looking for new models to explain what they think the old (your) theory is inadequate to explain? It seems to me that you are jumping on the train, as many who you are seeking to build bridges with, are jumping off. Is it your zeal that has caused you to overlook the fact that the very model you claim God used is being heavily modified or abandoned by many of the leaders in Science (I’m speaking of humanistic naturalists)? You are very close to repeating the same history that Creationists have written: holding to a view that soon no mainstream scientist will hold. History may look down in one hundred years and place you and Creationists in the same category as silly theists who have outdated and ignorant theories how the world works.
In you passion to build bridges you picked a name for your models and theories that only creates confusion and harm. Zealous pride might have caused you to miss the fact that almost every “evolutionist” holds a philosophical world view that both demands naturalistic theories and will outright reject any type of supernatural input even if the majority of evidence leads to it. By agreeing with their evolutionary theory, they take it as an agreement to their naturalism, and it actually gets you no closer to dissuading them of their naturalism, bringing them into supernaturalism, and therefore presenting them the Gospel. Your final mistake is jumping on the bandwagon of evolution (as understood by the neo-evolutionists), when many of them are moving away from that theory to a newer revision. If Darwin was evolution 1.0, and Neo is 2.0, than they are now moving to 3.0.
Life and truth come from the Spirit, and the World hates the Spirit, because He convicts them of their wickedness. The Gospel is offensive to the world. You are correct that we should not seek to add offense to the Gospel, but you are ignorant of how much the world hates the Gospel, and I fear this ignorance has led you down a path where Gospel compromise is the only outcome. You have conceded evolution, you could give them every theory they hold as true and they will still reject the Gospel. Do not forget that the natural man (unregenerate) will use any excuse (even bad ones) to not believe the Gospel. Dear Christian, call your self an evolutionist and they will reject the Gospel because you don’t celebrate homosexuality. Celebrate homosexuality and they will reject the Gospel because you think men and women were created differently. Adhere to the complete “equality” of the sexes and they will reject your stance on sex outside of marriage. Fornicate and they will reject your belief in the supernatural resurrection of Jesus. Reject the supernatural resurrection of Jesus and you will gain the evolutionist as your friend and Jesus as your enemy. Ultimately you need to decide whom you will serve, and what you really want to gain because in the end they will not be satisfied until you reject the resurrection of Christ and gain hell with them!