The first theistic evolutionist?
|June 26, 2016||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, theistic evolution|
June 23 is the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist, whose father Zacharias, a priest, may have been the first theistic evolutionist, somewhere around 4 BC.. As Luke tells the story,
10And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering. 11And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. 13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. 14“You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. 16“And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17“It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” 19The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20“And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.” (Luke 1:10-19)
No wonder the angel was frosted! The founding couple of the Jewish religion in which Zacharias had served all his life were Abraham and Sarah, and Sarah had conceived in old age.
Zacharias didn’t dispute that there was a God; he just didn’t believe that God could have any influence on nature. He’d have plenty of company today.
See also: Wayne Rossiter: Theistic evolution empties theism of meaning