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Can a Person Believe in God and Evolution?

by Daryl E. Witmer


Yes , certainly it’s possible for someone to affirm faith in God and evolution.

I know many who do. But in order to do so, one must circumvent the traditional

definition of the term ‘God’ or ‘evolution’ or both. Which makes taking this

position a mistake.


Now I’m assuming for the purposes of this article that ‘God’ means the God

of the Bible and that ‘evolution’ means macroevolution – the system or process

that involves the descent of increasingly complex and developed organisms

(and even kinds) from ancestor organisms over long periods of time by natural



But the God of the Bible is referred to in the Bible (Genesis 1:1, Isaiah

43:1, Romans 1:25, etc.) as Creator of all that is, not developer of some system

that eventually produces all that is. To create by fiat (Genesis 1) implies

the act of bringing something into existence directly and purposefully, not

eventually and by chance.


Evolutionary theory (i.e. Darwinianism), on the other hand, has always been

based on naturalism and has never postulated a role of any sort for the Creator

God of the Bible. So believing in both the God of the Bible and

macroevolutionary theory necessarily involves a very awkward redefining

of terms, and an anomalous merging of concepts. The resulting

hybrid views are variously referred to today as Deistic evolution, theistic

evolution, progressive creationism, BioLogos, Framework interpretation,

Day-Age and Gap theories. All such views are rejected by proponents of

literal Biblical creationism AND naturalistic evolution – with good reason.


Intellectually sharp scientific minds (past and present) such as Assimov,

Sagan, Dawkins, and Provine have all been absolutely consistent in saying that if

an impersonal, inanimate  evolutionary system can rearrange molecules and

chemicals in such a way as to have produced all that is, then there is certainly

no need or place for God and religious myth in this world.


The National Academy of Sciences is strongly committed to Darwinian

evolutionary theory – and only 7% of its members claim to believe in a

personal God. So they are also logically consistent within their worldview

and in regard to the historic definition of terms. I admire that, although I

certainly do not share their worldview.


Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says it

this way: ‘I…couldn’t disagree more with their premise [but] I think their

self-analysis is correct. You cannot coherently affirm the Christian truth claim

and the dominant model of evolutionary theory at the same time.’


Respected Christian apologist Greg Koukl ( says: “If you are an

evolutionist, you are not a theist in the sense that your theism has anything to do

with the real world. If you want to believe in God and believe in evolution,

fine, go ahead and do that, but don’t act like your belief in God has anything

to do with the real world.


It doesn’t. Your belief about the real world is evolution, and that means

time and chance. If you believe that God has something to do with the real
world, then you can’t be an evolutionist because evolution is run by chance,
not by God, by definition.”


But if all of this is true, how do we explain why sincere Christian scholars,

scientists, and theologians from St. Augustine to Hugh Ross to Francis

Collins have opted for some form of theistic evolutionary doctrine?


Author Nancy Pearcey explains: ‘Theistic evolution has enormous appeal.

It seems to offer the best of both worlds. It offers the comfort and fulfillment of

believing in God, and at the same time the security of fitting in with the major

scientific consensus.’ But the ‘concept of creation is fundamental to the

Christian worldview,” she insists. ‘In accepting evolution…theologians reject

a number of key Christian beliefs.’ It’s an unfortunate compromise.


And an unnecessary one. Because good and sufficient evidence abounds

for a strictly creationist view of origins. And the evidence is both scientific

and Biblical.


AIIA Resource Associate Wayne Frair, Ph.D., is a credentialed scientist and

book author. He says, ‘Yes, you can [believe in both God and evolution], but

when you study the evidence carefully, you discover that God did not do it

that way.’


John MacArthur, in The Battle for the Beginning: ‘Absolutely nothing in the

text of Genesis 1:1 – 2:3 speaks of evolution or long geologic ages in creation

process. The text itself is in fact a straightforward refutation of all evolutionary

principles. Theistic evolution, billion-year-old-earth theories, and ‘progressive

creationism’ are all refuted if we simply take the statements of Genesis

at face value.’


The foundational concepts of macro-evolutionary theory and the Biblical

Creator God are mutually exclusive.


For further study see this excellent ETS paper: