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Memo to BioLogos: Most Protestant pastors diss Darwin

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Some interesting figures from Ed Stetzer (“studying church, culture, and ministry”) at Lifeway (January 9, 2012) on where Protestant pastors stand on human origins here:

While Protestant pastors overwhelmingly believe that God did not use evolution to create humans (and think Adam and Eve were literal people), other topics do not have the same level of agreement.

When asked to respond to the statement, “I believe God used evolution to create people,” 72 percent of the 1,000 American protestant pastors disagreed while 24 percent agreed.

In response to the statement, “I believe Adam and Eve were literal people,” 82 percent agreed while just 17 percent disagreed.

On those two issues, Protestant pastors overwhelmingly agree (evangelicals more, mainliners less). Yet, also asked about the age of the earth. The “old earth” vs. “new earth” view was split 46-43 in favor of a “new earth.” From my view, I was surprised and intrigued that so many Protestant pastors hold a young earth view. There are always more evangelicals that mainliners in such a sample, but the number is still surprising to me.

Yes, and on the other end, we’re surprised that so many establishment science figures believe in the Multiverse, knowing it will destroy science. Thoughts anyone?

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11 Replies to “Memo to BioLogos: Most Protestant pastors diss Darwin

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    If one believes the bible is true and the origin for Christian ideas then how can one easily or at all believe in evolution or other ideas directly opposed in scripture.
    How?

  2. 2
    EvilSnack says:

    For those whose belief in the Bible is sincere, then no, it’s impossible.

    But for those whose “belief” in the Bible is in fact acceptance of a subset of the Bible’s ideas, then all sorts of man-made religion, masquerading as Christianity, are possible.

  3. 3
    champignon says:

    Almost all Christians, including those who consider themselves literalists, accept some biblical ideas and reject others. For example, how many Christians consider themselves bound by Leviticus 19:19?

  4. 4
    Joe says:

    Exactly- Take Genesis and the command to only eat plants , fruits and seeds, ie be a vegetarian, vegan even- how many Christians feel bound by that?

  5. 5
    ScottAndrews2 says:

    The covenant to obey the law given to Moses was between God and the nation of Israel. It was established by the first century that Christians were no longer required to obey that law.
    It could be compared to teaching your child that they can’t cross the street without holding your hand. It serves a purpose at the time, but it isn’t a moral standard and later you release them from that requirement.

    Having said all that, you’re quite right. In the 4th century the Roman emperors begin asserting new doctrines. Obviously this would conflict with the Bible. So authority was transferred from the Bible to men known as “church fathers.” At that point church teachings were no longer anchored to the Bible. Just as the Pharisees placed the teachings of rabbis over the law, now the church placed the teachings of men influenced by Greek philosophy over the scriptures. Teachings which directly contradicted the Bible could be supported by citing prominent men.

    I don’t know why I went off on that tangent. But it’s part of the reason for the observation that Christians pick and choose what to take from the Bible.

  6. 6
    champignon says:

    The covenant to obey the law given to Moses was between God and the nation of Israel. It was established by the first century that Christians were no longer required to obey that law.

    Most Christians would disagree with that. They believe that the ten commandments are still binding, for example.

    There have been attempts to establish criteria to identify which laws still apply, the most famous being the Westminster Confession’s division of the law into the three categories of ‘moral’, ‘ceremonial’, and ‘civil’, with the ‘moral’ category being the only one still binding. However, the Bible itself does not draw this distinction.

  7. 7
    ScottAndrews2 says:

    When asked which of the two commandments were the greatest, Jesus quoted one of the ten and one of the other several hundred. He made no distinction.
    God also said that the sabbath was a sign between him and the sons of Israel.

    But that’s just me expressing my belief. As you say, many believe differently. Of those who believe that we must keep the sabbath, how many actually do it? (Or honor their parents or refrain from envy or avoid using images in worship?) That’s another story.

    You’re right to point out that the practice and beliefs vary from one denomination, church, and individual to the next. If that seems odd then perhaps it is. Acts chapter 15 details how differences were handled so that all came to a unanimous conclusion rather than splintering into different religions.

  8. 8
    champignon says:

    Anyway, the issue is apparently not at all important to God, since he made the Bible so ambiguous that sincere believers can’t agree on it.

  9. 9
    tjguy says:

    “Exactly- Take Genesis and the command to only eat plants , fruits and seeds, ie be a vegetarian, vegan even- how many Christians feel bound by that?”

    You guys don’t understand much about the Bible do you?

    Yes, in the beginning, Adam and Eve were commanded to be vegans as you say. When sin entered the world, things changed. And after the flood, God gave animals to man for food as well. Read Genesis 9:3-5.

    “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.”

  10. 10
    Robert Byers says:

    As another poster said after the flood our diet changed to allow meat.
    In fact probably this change in diet is the origin for our need to lose our wisdom teeth. the change forced other teeth to a greater dominance and the wisdom ones no longer were needed so much .
    I understand some peoples who eat little meat have less need for wisdom teeth removal.
    The bible again can explain a common problem.

  11. 11
    Ken_M says:

    Yes, if you believe in the literal interpretation of the bible, then you can’t believe in evolution. But, if I have a choice between believing in something that has no support in evidence or fact, or something that has yet to have any piece of evidence, observation or experimentation that casts doubt on it, I will pick the latter.

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