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What is evolutionary creationism?

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Evolutionary creationism attempts to harmonize the theological teachings of evangelical Christianity with evolution. It is distinct from other endeavors that have tried to conjoin God and evolution in that evolutionary creationism is not deistic in nature. Instead, adherents believe that God created all things and that He is actively involved in His creation, while insisting that evolution is the best scientific explanation for the diversity and similarities of all life on Earth.

Evolutionary creationists reject atheistic evolutionism and, on the surface, purport to affirm the key doctrines of Christianity (e.g., the Trinity, Christ’s divinity, His resurrection, the authority of Scripture, salvation by grace, etc.) That said, several key Christian doctrines lose their footing in evolutionary creationism.

The movement teaches that all living things—including human beings—are descended from a common ancestor over many generations. This being the case, evolutionary creationists wrestle with what the Bible means when it says humanity is made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27). Moreover, some in the movement affirm a historical Adam and Eve, while others do not. This then leads to differences in the area of hamartiology (the study of sin), with some evolutionary creationists repudiating a historical fall into sin as described in Genesis 3 and rejecting the concept that the sin nature was passed down from Adam (Romans 5:12–14).

Biblical inerrancy is another doctrine not well-defined in evolutionary creationism; some evolutionary creationists support important documents on the subject such as the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, and others disaffirm it. On one hand, evolutionary creationism insists that the Bible is true in what it teaches and that the cultural and theological contexts of Scripture should be used in interpreting what the Bible means. On the other hand, evolutionary creationism leans toward heavily allegorizing portions of Scripture, especially those dealing with anthropology and the pathology of sin.

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This page last updated: January 4, 2022