The fact that Dr. Waltke felt he was unable to leave the video in place, despite the fact that he still agrees with its contents, is an extremely important statement about the culture of fear within evangelicalism in today’s world. Leading evangelicals who support evolution are rightly fearful of personal attacks on the integrity of their faith and character. Even when they believe that scientific data must be taken seriously, and that science has revealed the ways in which God created the world, they are more willing to be associated with those who are clearly wrong about God’s truth as revealed within His World, and who are thereby also wrong about how they understand His Word. How will the Church ever come to discern truth and falsehood if academic discourse is neutered for fears of public perception? This situation, before us, more than any that we are familiar with in the one year history of biologos.org, poignantly demonstrates the importance of the task we all have.Sadly, a few days after this was written, Dr. Waltke was asked by the Reformed Theological Seminary to resign his position. As it has been so many times in the past, the evangelical church is now at a crossroads. While there are many organizations that seek to unite the church with modern scientific teaching, there is an increasing radicalization of the evangelical church due to the influence of fundamentalist doctrine. Purveyors of this influence have completely rejected everything that modern science has to offer, instituting, instead, a doctrine that, scientifically, dates to the early 1600s. Such a doctrine is manifestly at odds with both a traditional understanding of creation and what God has revealed to us through the world that He created. This view is doing serious harm to the Christian message and to our ability to speak to the world about Jesus. As such, it cannot go unchallenged. I think this is our wake-up call.
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