Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Professor Resigns Over Anti-Evolution Policy

Dr. Jim Stump, a writer for BioLogos and their content manager, has resigned his post at Christian Bethel College, in Mishawaka, Indiana after the college adopted a strict non-evolutionary statement regarding evolution as it pertained to Adam.  Christianity Today tells us:
Dr Jim Stump, an award-winning teacher who has worked at Bethel since 1998 and specialises in philosophy of science, said he had resigned of his own choice because he did not wish to remain under the new creationist policy and bring "tension" to the college.
The policy?
The new "philosophy of origins" policy was adopted by the college trustees last month and includes the statement: "We believe that the first man, Adam, was created by an immediate act of God and not by a process of evolution." This is an article of the Missionary Church which, until the change in policy, faculty staff did not have to sign up to.
This is similar to the problem that occurred not far from me, at Bryan College, in Dayton, Tennessee, a few months back.

Stump, who is a philosophy professor, evidently felt that he could not continue at the institution and keep his academic integrity.  There was a short mention of BioLogos:
President Deborah Haarsma said in a blog post: "We at BioLogos are disheartened by this decision. It put Jim in the painful situation of having to choose between the scholarship to which he feels called and the academic community to which he has belonged for decades."

She called for Christian colleges to encourage their scholars to engage the scientific evidence that humans evolved, and acknowledge that this can be done without letting go of biblical authority.
As readers of this blog know, I write for BioLogos, in the area of human origins. While I recognize the traditions of the church with regard to Adam, alternative explanations such as those embraced by John Walton, Dennis Venema, Francis Collins and others should be entertained freely within the Christian community. To foist such a policy on all faculty is, as was the case at Bryan, short-sighted and unnecessarily controversial.  Especially given that there is now a mountain of data, both genetic and palaeontological, that supports the evolution of humans. 


  1. "... created by an immediate act of God and not by a process of evolution." Like saying rain is created by an immediate act of God and not by a process of evaporation.

  2. This is the crux of Howard Van Till's objections: that even if God is the ultimate creator, there has to be some mechanism for him to do so. Babies don't just appear out of thin air. They are created by God through men and women by means of sex, gestation and birth.