Darwinian Evolution has been established by government and academic voices as the dominant paradigm for understanding human existence on planet earth. The Christian Church, having its own answer and finding that answer challenged as irrelevant, is working for the cause of uniting “science and faith.” However, the friction between science and faith is setting the steeples on fire and the water of intellectual compromise called Theistic Evolution will not quench the fire and save the church from burning away into the ash heap of irrelevancy.
Darwin’s pet theory persists because it is audacious enough to answer some of humanity’s most profound questions. Who is man? How did he get here? Why? The answer, according to Evolutionary paradigm, is that man is the genetic product of a long process of traits, heredity, chance and natural selection. As for purpose, there is no purpose, other than the fulfillment of the evolutionary process.
The evolution of man, though, goes beyond a mere scientific theory of origins. It insinuates the producing of man without God from nothing. Man did not exist. Evolutionary processes took place. Man exists. This natural process produced man, with all his abilities and capacities, autonomously without need for a supernatural agent.
The Christian paradigm is that God directly created man, that created man fell into a state of depravity and redemption was offered by God through an act of overwhelming charity. This paradigm states that a transcendent being of infinite intelligence and ability brought man into existence through a direct and supernatural act. Man did not exist. God created man and give him life. Man does exist. This leaves man dependent on God for his past, present and future.
Within Evolution, it is reasonable to conclude that if the fundamental process that brought man into existence, and has brought man to his current place in the world, did so without need for a supernatural agent then man can safely get along without a supernatural agent. Man is not dependent on God. He may exist, but such existence, while comforting and meaningful, is ultimately irrelevant.
Faced with this, the church is threatened with its own irrelevancy. Man, not needing God, does not need the church. In response, large segments of the church have begun to go beyond developing a rational and thought-out set of doctrines based on a biblical paradigm to adapting those doctrines to the paradigm of Evolution.
These schools of thought walk a path of pseudo-biblical doctrine. They persist in proclaiming the fall and redemption of Christian orthodoxy, but accept human evolution and reject a direct creation of man. The complicated, systematic and ambiguous efforts to answer the obvious problems with a paradigm of Evolution, Fall and Redemption makes for fascinating and interesting theology, but inevitably avoids the obvious progression of rejection of the entire Christian paradigm. Here, atheists and agnostics practice a greater measure of intellectual clarity than Christian theologians.
It would be better if the church would simply and humbly hold to the traditional doctrine of scripture. Man was created by God, fell into separation from God and can find redemption through God, the narrative of Creation, Fall and Redemption. Christianity losing relevancy in an increasingly secular culture is not as disastrous as Christianity losing its very identity.