December 17, 2017

Theistic Evolution: Tolerable or Treacherous? (3)

Joseph L. Henson

This article first appeared as the lead article in the first issue of the magazine, Faith for the Family, published March/April, 1973. It is reproduced here by permission.

Part OnePart Two

If you are serious in defending theistic evolution, in all likelihood you will feel that man originated in several places on the earth at various times. There are many faith-for-the-familyreferences in the Bible to the fact that all men are descended from Adam and Eve. These include Genesis 3:20, “And Adam called his wife’s name- Eve; because she was the mother of all living,” as well as our Lord’s observation in Mark 10:6, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” Was Christ mistaken’? That is an intolerable position for a fundamental Christian. In John 1:3, Christ is presented as the Creator. Here in Mark, the Creator is telling us something about the creation. There can be no more authoritative information than this. What the Lord is actually saying in this verse is, “But from the beginning of the creation, I made them male and woman.” The Greek word for female actually denotes a human female. The Bible states over and over that all people are descended from Adam and Eve. Accept the Scriptural statements or not, but the meaning is too clear to be misunderstood.

There is also a problem involving how long you can stretch Biblical history. Evolutionists demand up to a million years or more for man to have been on the earth. One ambitious anthropologist claimed recently to have human remains which he was dating at 19 million years. A thorough study of this problem would take us rather far afield but some observations are necessary. Does the Bible demand an old earth? The answer is a rather obvious, “no.” Does the Bible allow for an old earth? In my opinion the answer is an equally obvious, “no.” At this point I am reminded of Dr. John Raymond Hand’s amusing discussion of the condition of people on the earth, if we had been here for even 50,000 years, in his pamphlet, Why I Accept the Genesis Account of Creation. If man has been on the earth for any lengthy period of time then the problems which concern the Zero Population Growth people now would have been plaguing man many millennia ago unless primitive man had better birth control methods than we have today.

We find many believers taking refuge in Biblically unwise or untrue devices such as the gap theory, long days of creation, or theistic evolution in order to try to accommodate God’s Word to man’s ideas. There is a rather interesting comment in Jude 14, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam…” The obvious conclusion is that Jude is telling us that Enoch was the seventh man from Adam as we read in Genesis 5. This decimates the idea that it is possible to have an unlimited period of time from Adam to Noah. It would be well for believers to do some serious thinking about the basis of the need for an old earth.

There is also a difficulty in harmonizing the Bible with theistic evolution when it comes to accomplishments of early man, that is, Adam and his immediate offspring. Evolutionists would have us believe that early man was some kind of stoop-shouldered, shaggy creature that could scratch his knees without bending over, who usually was found swinging around through the trees and occasionally delighting himself with such discoveries as fire and the wheel. If we limit ourselves to the findings of archeology and the information in Genesis 4, this is very definitely not the view of man which emerges. In Genesis 4 we find a record of cattle raising, farming, cities, music, and metalworking. This is not dissimilar from the findings of archeology. If you wish to entertain the evolutionist’s view of early man, it must be in spite of the facts and not because of them.


Dr. Joseph L. Henson is the chairman of the division of Pure and Applied Science and head of the Biology department at Bob Jones University. He holds a bachelor of science degree from BJU and a master of science degree from Clemson University. His doctor of philosophy degree is also from Clemson. He has gathered one of the largest personal collections of insects in the southeastern United States. Currently over 10,000 specimens make up the collection, which is used regularly for study and demonstration in his entomology classes.

The preceding biography is as it appeared in the original publication of this article. Dr. Henson is now retired.


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