Thursday, April 15, 2010

BioLogos Post on Bruce Waltke

Here is BioLogos' post on Bruce Waltke and evolution in which the video in which he strongly suggested that the church needed to come to grips with evolution is discussed. One paragraph, in particular, stands out:
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, 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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  1. I was raised in a radically conservative (non-reformed) church. It is my experience that what we are seeing is to be expected ... and probably can't happen any other way that it is. It is one of the things that comes with change.

    In other words, any significant change (and this one is a several orders of magnitude on the change scale for the people involved) is going to result in fracture.

    It's sad but inevitable given the last 200 years of thought and teaching among American Christians (both reformed and non-reformed).

  2. Jim,
    You might be interested in a post from earlier today at the Internet Monk website by Chaplain Mike in response to the Waltke affair.
    It's an interesting post in that it really goes after the dishonest and disingenuous behavior of the YEC leaders. Pretty blunt but I think he's right.

  3. Irenicum. Thanks. That is a devastating post by pastor Mike. I am truly afraid that this is coming to a head and that I will find myself on the other side of the fence, if I am not careful. I will soon have to identify myself not as an "evangelical Christian," but simply as a "Christian" to avoid identification with the modern evangelical movement. What Dr. Waltke said about it seeming like a cult is becoming more true every day.