Do Romans and Job Support Evolution?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, October 6, 2022 1 comments

by Steve Risner

I’ve been walking us through some Scripture references that a theistic evolutionist told me supported his beliefs in evolution and deep time and were difficult if not impossible for creationists to rectify with their position. We looked at Genesis 1:11-12 and 24 (here) as well as 2 Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4 (here) and found not only is there no support for the theistic evolutionist’s beliefs here but there is pretty good support for the Biblical creationist.

As I continue to review this list of Scriptures that is supposed to be supportive of deep time and universal common descent and bad for Biblical creationists, it becomes more and more disappointing to me. I was hoping for something that would at least be remotely interesting or a challenge. The only challenge I’ve run into, honestly, is how to connect these passages to the theistic evolutionist’s beliefs. It’s a stretch for most to say the least.

This week, I’ll be looking at two more passages together because they, like the previous posts, have a similar theme. Rather than write two blog posts on the same theme, I thought this might be easier for us all. Today we’ll talk about these two passages:

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” - Romans 1:20
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” - Job 12:7-10

My assumption is that these passages are being used to show us that God wants us to ask nature about Him and allow it to tell us things about the nature of God. While I believe we can glean a great deal from nature about our awesome Creator, I don’t believe either of these passages can be used this way if we care about context and proper application. This is strikingly reminiscent of the previous posts on this topic. Context is generally ignored.

This verse from Romans is often used by Christians to explain to the unbeliever that he is without excuse for his unbelief. Atheists and other unbelievers will say they find no evidence for the existence of our Creator. But the reality is the evidence is all around us—creation itself is the evidence for our Creator. The universe is overflowing with an abundance of evidence for a Creator and, more specifically, the God who left us His written Word—the Bible. The complex and specific information found in each of our cells demands an unimaginably intelligent mind to have brought it about; any other explanation is naïve and silly. The fine tuning of the universe for us to live right here on this earth is another example. The sophistication and remarkable adaptive abilities of life and the earth itself are great examples. The amazing bodies we find in space and their breathtaking beauty… the list goes on and on.

I am always in awe of the world around me. I love looking at landscapes, animals, and plants whenever I travel. My children think I’m weird because I take note of interesting looking trees and even photograph them just because they look cool. Maybe I am weird, but I see the work of His hands all around me all the time and I take a minute to appreciate it. Human beings are certainly without excuse if they do not know in their hearts that they have a Creator. How this helps the evolutionist, I can’t say, and no other explanation was offered.

When taken in context, looking at the previous verses in Romans, we find that this verse is exactly what I’m saying it is—a statement by the Lord on how no man or woman has a reason to reject Him since they can see the evidence for Him all around the world. These verses are not saying we can know ALL there is to know about God by looking at nature. That’s obvious, I would hope. But we can at least see He is the Creator, He enjoys order, He has instituted laws that the universe operates by, and His power is eternally unlimited. In other words, by looking at the things we can see around us, we can understand some things about the invisible or the unseen. Paul is here exclaiming the awesome and magnificent power of Almighty God and how necessary it is for Him to have created with such eternal power.

If we look at Matthew 7:7-8 and consider it with this passage from Romans, we find that God doesn’t expect us to gather all we know of Him from nature. Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Here we see Jesus Himself telling us that if we ask God, He will reveal Himself to us. He doesn’t say, “Look at the universe and ask the stars how old they are. Talk to rocks and see what they’ll say about the origins of life.” We don’t need to do that. God Himself has revealed such things to us in His Word. Nature can add to our understanding, but it is far from the source of our understanding.

The bottom line with this passage is that if an unbeliever claims there is no God, they are willfully ignorant. There is no connection to universal common descent, deep time, or even science.

The passage in Job, they will say, is another example of God telling—even commanding—us to use science to explain things about God. While I think you can learn from nature quite a lot, I find His Word to be the most revealing and most easily understood communication from the Lord about who He is and what He’s done. But the major issue with using this passage as a source for truth at all is that Job is speaking here. This is simply a quote from a man who is trying to figure out why he is suffering so much and why is God allowing so much tragedy. He’s responding to a friend who made some claims that Job found so elementary and so obvious. He’s going to suggest that even the dumb animals can tell him better than this friend, and/or he’s saying God is the One responsible for all that happens—good or bad—in our lives. Either way, there is no way to connect this passage to the topic of origins. Since we’re just quoting Job speaking here, we can’t even say his words are true or wise. Job, a man, could be wrong. God’s response to him shows us that’s most likely the case in a great many things.

Here’s the deal with allowing our study of nature to trump the clear teaching of the Word of God: science is the study of the world around us. We can learn a great deal of things from these studies. We can learn how electricity works, how atoms work, how to clean a grease stain, how to build a sturdy structure, how to find water, how to build an internal combustion engine, etc. We can learn a lot from studying the world around us. However, we’re not talking about science in its true sense when we’re discussing origins. Origins is a worldview topic. Science cannot tell you where the earth came from; it’s impossible. Science cannot tell you when the world was formed; it’s impossible. Science cannot tell us how or where the first life forms existed on earth; there is no way to determine this. These are all things we will believe based on our worldview.

The fact is that what we “know” today because of science will change tomorrow. What we think is right at the moment will likely change in the future. What evolutionists like to do is say “science” when they mean universal common descent or some other unfounded, unprovable imagining. They want universal common descent and deep time to be settled and unquestionable so they can act like you’re a fool or some sort of “science denier” if you want to think for yourself. But this isn’t true at all. They believe whatever it is that they believe at the moment, and they think you’re a moron for disagreeing with them because, you know, “all scientists agree” but won’t bat an eye when 10 years down the road they think something completely different. They then believe that someone is some sort of idiot because a person believes what the evolutionist believed 10 years ago. It’s a rather odd thing to watch. But the currently popular belief on origins from a secular standpoint is hardly a thing I would put my faith in. In fact, since I know what they believe now about origins will likely change in the future, I’m not sure what the point is. I rest on God’s unfailing and unchanging Word. It tells us things like how the world was created, how and when life was made, and a whole variety of other things that I find convincing and important.

All this is to say that neither of these passages confirms universal common descent or deep time. In fact, neither of these passages has any connection to the topic at all. Next time, we’ll look at more Scriptures that were told to me to be evidence from the Bible supporting universal common descent and deep time. So far, it’s been underwhelming.

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Shepherd Heath said...

Thanks again, Steve ...I look forward to reading your blogs, and I can read them without the immediate insulting comments by those who somehow are offended by what you say. Yet, though we all may not agree on everything, we have a common friend in Jesus, and if everything we say gets rejected, it's likely because there has been much rejection of Him.(John 15:18)

Thanks again & take care.