Evolution and the Character of God

The theory of evolution directly attacks the character of God. Many Christians think that evolutionary theory can be reconciled with the Bible and that Christian faith and evolutionary belief can be embraced harmoniously, but this is simply not true. If the theory of evolution is true, then we have a major problem with the character of God, because evolutionary theory involves millions of years of death and suffering prior to the appearance of mankind.

Evolutionary theory proposes that the gradual evolution of biological life on earth came about as a direct result of the rise and fall, life and death, of individual lifeforms and whole species over many millions of years. Death and suffering were supposedly an intrinsic part of the world from the very beginning – long before humans appeared. But this is in direct contradiction to the Bible which teaches that death only entered the world when the first humans, Adam and Eve, sinned. Death only entered the world as a result of mankind’s rebellion and the curse that immediately followed:

“Cursed you are … for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19)

Indeed, Romans 5 is very clear that death only entered the world AFTER and AS A RESULT OF Adam’s sin:

“Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way, death came to all … Death reigned from the time of Adam …” (Romans 5:12-14).

There was no death in the world before Adam’s sin. None! No animals died. There was no carnage. No species rising and falling. No individual animals being eaten by others, because all God’s creatures were herbivorous in the beginning:

“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.”” (Genesis 1:29-30)

Some Christians try to explain away the clear teaching of Romans 5 (that death entered the world only as a result of mankind’s sin) by claiming that it is only talking about death among humans. They claim that death and suffering were part of the animal kingdom prior to this but Adam’s sin introduced death to humans as well. But this ignores the clear teaching of Romans chapters 5 and 8. In Romans 5:12 we are clearly told that “death entered the WORLD through one man”. In other words, death entered the WHOLE WORLD; it did not merely enter humans. Furthermore, Romans 8 is very clear and graphic in depicting the fact the “the whole of creation is groaning” (v.22) and is “subject to decay” (v.20) because of mankind’s sin.

Make no mistake about it, death was not part of creation before Adam and Eve sinned. Prior to the fall, creation was perfect. No one and nothing died.

This is not just a minor inconsistency. It is a huge and irreconcilable discrepancy between the evolutionary world view and the biblical worldview. Evolution paints a picture of millions of years of death and suffering and carnage before mankind’s arrival, whereas the Bible describes a world of health and peace and perfection at the time of mankind’s creation. Christian’s who maintain that God created life via the supposed processes of evolution effectively make God the creator of a horrible, violent world of death and suffering. Instead of mankind being the spoiler of God’s good creation, with death coming into the whole world only after Adam and Eve’s sin, Christian evolutionists make God the deliberate designer of a world of carnage. Anyone who thinks that God would design such a world and then declare it to be “good” and “very good” (Genesis 1:24 and 31) must have an extremely warped definition of ‘good’.

In contrast to the evolutionary view of God, which supposes that death was an intentional part of his creation from the beginning (making God out to be incredibly cruel), 1 Corinthians 15 describes death as an “enemy” and “intruder” into God’s once-perfect creation which will be one day “abolished” (1 Corinthians 15:20-28):

“The last enemy to be destroyed will be death” (1 Cor 15:26)

Death is an “enemy” to God’s original perfect creation which he will one day eradicate for good! Death was NOT part of his original design.

Evolutionists understand this irreconcilable dichotomy better than most Christians. While evolutionary believers cling naively to the view that they can somehow reconcile evolutionary theory with biblical truth, atheistic evolutionists point out how foolish this viewpoint is. Outspoken atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have consistently pointed out that if God exists, he must be incredibly cruel to have created a world of death and suffering and carnage which has gone on for millions of years. They point out that if there is a God who lies behind the supposed evolutionary processes, he is a God who is clearly malevolent, cruel and uncaring – he is not a God that they want anything to do with.

I agree! He would not be a God whom I would want to worship either!

But the Bible paints a very different picture of the origin of life on our planet. It is a picture of a perfect world created by a perfectly good and loving God, unfortunately spoiled by the sin and rebellion of the first humans.

We simply cannot reconcile the theory of evolution with the biblical narrative. The former makes God out to be a cruel deity while that latter portrays him as the good and loving God who created the world perfect in the beginning and promises to one day restore it to its original perfection. Which God will you choose to believe in?