© 1999 James A. Fowler

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I. The words "evolution" and "evolve" are not used in the English translations of the

II. Defining the word "evolution."

    A. Derived from two Latin words
         1. Prefix e- means "out"
         2. Latin word volvere means "to turn" or "to roll"
    B. The basic meaning to the word "evolve" is therefore to describe "the way things turn out, or
         roll out."

III. Differentiating terminology.

    A. Creation - the active process whereby all that exists, other than the Creator, came into being
         from a self-existent divine source. The existent creation is distinct from the Creator, and does
         not partake of the same essence of the Creator, but is sustained by and contingent upon the
         Creator for its intended function.
    B. Creationism - a system of thought associated with Christian fundamentalism with the
         presupposition of exclusive supernaturalism as the explanation of God's creating all things in
         six twenty-four hour days.
    C. Evolution - the process whereby changes take place within the created order, and the
         explanation of how they thus "turned out, rolled out, or worked out. Those changes may be
         enacted by natural or supernatural processes, either in progressive development or punctuated
         by divine fiat.
    D. Evolutionism - a system of thought that attributes all changes in the universe to progressively
         developed natural causes alone, allowing only for material and physical causes.
    E. Science - derive from the Latin word scientia, meaning "knowledge" or "understanding,"
         science is the disciplined efforts of man to know and understand all that exists around him.
    F. Scientism - a system of thought that is an aberration of true science which isolates and
         absolutizes knowledge within exclusive naturalistic parameters, thus limiting evidence for
         knowledge to empirical observation by sensory perception.

IV. Questions to be considered.

     A. Is the process of evolution contradictory to a Biblical understanding of creation?
     B. Does the Biblical record allow for the process of evolution to have functioned within the
          process of the formation of the created order?

V. Hebrew words used in the Old Testament.

    A. Several words used for formation of created order.
         1. bara
             a. "to create; to shape"
             b. Gen. 1:1,21,27; 2:3,4
             c. Nothing inherent in the word to imply "create out of nothing". Biblical understand is not
                 necessarily ex nihilo, but rather ek theos, cf. Rom. 11:36; I Cor. 8:6.
         2. yatsar
              a. "to form; to fashion" (like a potter)
              b. Gen. 2:7,8,19
         3. asah
              a. "to make; to construct"
              b. Gen. 1:7,16,25,26,31; 2:2,3,4
    B. Hebrew word for "day"
         1. yom
              a. Can indicate 24 hour day, or indefinite period of time.
              b. Approximately 25% of usages are figurative.
              c. Gen. 2:4; Ps. 118:24; Isa. 49:8 (II Cor. 6:2); Joel 2:31 (Acts 2:16-21); II Peter 3:8.
         2. Difference of understanding has created polarization.
              a. Young-earth proponents
                  (1) Bishop Ussher (1581-1656) - from genealogies dated created at 3928 or 4004 B.C.
                  (2) Creationism, fundamentalism
                  (3) Henry Morris, Duane Gish, Institute for Creation Research.
              b. Old-earth proponents
                  (1) Greek philosophers; early church fathers
                  (2) Contemporary science
                      (a) Geology - plate tectonics, continental drift
                      (b) Astrophysics - singularity of commencement, relativity, etc.

VI. Evolution and Charles Darwin.

    A. Traveled on H.M.S. Beagle to Patagonia, Chile, Peru, etc.
    B. Wrote book, On the Origin of Species
         Last sentence: "There is grandeur in this view of life,...having been originally breathed by the
         Creator into a few forms or into one; and from so simple a beginning endless forms most
         beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved."
    C. Has Darwin been misrepresented? Darwin's Forgotten Defenders.
    D. Neo-Darwinian evolutionism - exclusive naturalism for explanation of origin and operation of
         universe, denying the Creator God and all supernaturalism.

VII. The need for a balance.

    A. Unfortunate polarization of either/or thinking, especially between creationism and
    B. Increasing scientific evidence that comes to conclusions that correlate with creation.



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