Evolutionary Syncretism: A Critique of BioLogos | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

BioLogos, founded in 2007 and funded with a grant from the theistic evolutionary Templeton foundation, declares on its home page that it “explores, promotes and celebrates the integration of science and Christian faith.” But by their own admission, they do not offer anything specifically Christian; their article ‘On what grounds can one claim that the Christian God is the Creator?’ says: “The creation story of BioLogos is compatible with many faith traditions. Muslims, Jews and Christians alike can align their faith with the BioLogos account of our origins, and there is no way to give a scientific proof for one monotheistic faith over another.”

Indeed, they succeed in their quest for non-specificity; on the whole site, there are very few articles that are specifically Christian, and most of those are from outside contributors. But they claim that all of their members are Christian theistic evolutionists, so in that sense they are a professing Christian group. But their embrace of evolutionary science and some of its logical effects on Christian theology is such that they, in effect, become syncretists—rather like the way the Gnostics syncretized Christianity and Greek philosophy, and the Roman Catholic Church in Galileo’s day did with Aristotelian physics.

BioLogos’s view of Scripture is probably best summed up by this quote from a paper by professing evangelical contributor Peter Enns,: “Most Christians understand that, even though the Bible assumes a certain way of looking at the cosmos, from a scientific point of view the Bible is wrong. And that is perfectly fine….Enns had previously left (or was dismissed from) Westminster Theological Seminary over his book Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament which attacked  biblical inerrancy. 

In the case of Christ there was human parentage but the Holy Spirit overshadowed the event (Luke:1:35), ensuring a sinless Christ; in the case of the Scriptures there was human authorship but the Holy Spirit superintended the writers (2 Peter 1:21), ensuring an inerrant word.—Paul (not Peter!) Enns

And the people at BioLogos are very aware that it is not just Genesis 1–11 that is at stake. “For Paul, Adam certainly seems to be the first person created from dust, and Eve was formed from him.” I.e. creationists have been right all along about what the New Testament teaches about Genesis. But “[i]gnoring the scientific and archaeological evidence is not an option” in their mind, so Paul was simply wrong. In fact, Enns says that rejecting Christianity is a more viable option than taking the Bible’s account of creation at face value! He says that a true synthesis of Christianity and science “calls for a reorientation of what informed readers of the Bible expect from Genesis or Paul on the question of origins.”

This is not a problem for the Christian, they argue, because Scripture, like Jesus, is both human and divine. The orthodox Christian believer would agree that Jesus is human and divine, and the believer can believe much the same thing about Scripture having divine and human components, but BioLogos uses this as a sort of doublespeak—a way of ‘excusing’ Jesus’ alleged mistakes in science by implying that the human part of Him was fallible. The comparison between Christ and Scripture is right, but they draw a conclusion 180° away from the truth. l teachings. More than that, its spiritual teachings depend on the statements about history being true.

But since Biologos draws the wrong conclusions, they argue that the Bible is wrong about origins, then chalk it up to the ignorant Bronze Age culture of the time that couldn’t possibly be expected to know that the earth is actually billions of years old and that we actually evolved from ape-like ancestors who were themselves ultimately descended from the primordial ooze.

Jesus was in error!—BioLogos

’If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, John wrote Scripture without error. Rather, we are wise to assume that the biblical authors expressed themselves as human beings writing from the perspectives of their own finite, broken horizons.’—Professing Evangelical Kenton Sparks, BioLogos.

But when they finally do talk about Jesus, it’s to say that if we want to avoid Docetism [Christ did not have a real or natural body during his life on earth but only an apparent or phantom one] we have to acknowledge that He didn’t have perfect knowledge; He was just a man of His time. And they have the same view of Scripture: “If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, John wrote Scripture without error. Rather, we are wise to assume that the biblical authors expressed themselves as human beings writing from the perspectives of their own finite, broken horizons.”

But BioLogos makes the equal error of Ebionitism, which denied the deity of Christ; their view is essentially an Ebionite view of Scripture. Of course, Jesus was certainly fully human, but He was the unique sinless human who was also fully divine.

And therein lies the problem—Jesus said, “If I have spoken to you about earthly things and you do not believe, then how will you believe if I speak to you about heavenly things?” (John:3:12) So it’s not surprising that BioLogos criticizes biblical morality as well as biblical history. Yet Jesus commended even ‘harsh’ sections of the Law: “If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him” (Leviticus:20:9). And Jesus commended many of the Old Testament teachings that skeptics love to mock

Some of the most revealing comments about BioLogos came from atheist blogs: "The real issue is that BioLogos doesn’t have a bright line stance on science versus religion, saying that science and sound and tested evidence trump religion where the two conflict. Such a position is the only consistent scientific position to take, but it puts both biblical literalists and “moderates” in the same basket, since it opposes impossible virgin births and impossible re-revivification of corpses as much as it opposes a 6,000 year-old earth. Thus, BioLogos has no actual principle to stand on when they oppose a literal reading of Genesis but support a literal reading of a story of a virgin birth.”

BioLogos shows the logical end of compromise regarding origins; ‘progressive creationists’ and theistic evolutionists should take BioLogos as a warning of where such thinking can end up.