Reformed Academic has replied to my post Reformed Academic Endorses Evolution (see the comments at that post for their full reply). Here is my response:
1. RA: "You say Reformed Academic endorses evolution. This is simply not the case; we instead simply insist upon space for the discussion of evolution, and point out that such space exists within the bounds of the Reformed confessions."
JB: Not true. This debate is not about simply discussing evolution. Nobody--least of all myself--disputes that the Reformed Confessions allows space for the discussion of evolution. After all, the Belgic Confession (Art.7) urges us to the test the spirits in the light of Scripture, "rejecting with all our hearts whatever does not agree with this infallible rule." Hence we should discuss what evolution is, examine whether it passes the Scriptural test, and act accordingly.
The debate is about whether evolution is in fact consistent with the Bible.
I maintain that evolution clearly contradicts the Bible.
Reformed Academic, on the other hand, asserts:
"Theistic evolution is accepted, however, among an increasing number of Bible-believing, orthodox Christians."
"It is not Darwinian evolution which is “the enemy,” opposed to Christianity, but evolutionism"
"Theistic evolution is not outside the boundaries of the TFU (i.e., Three Forms of Unity)".
Note the last statement--it says explicitly that evolution itself , not just the discussion of it, is deemed to be within the Reformed boundaries.
What other conclusion can one draw but that Reformed Academic wants space not just to discuss evolution but to approve it as Biblical and Reformed?
2. RA: "Neither “Ten Reasons” nor our response to it is a critique of evolution. Our response is largely a clarification of the distinctions between the biological theory of evolution and the philosophical worldview of evolutionism."
JB: Not true. Many of the “Ten Reasons” (1,2,4,7,9,10) are in fact a critique of how evolution contradicts the Bible in its account of past history; your response defends evolution against the traditional reading of Gen.1-11. Nowhere in your response--or in this reply--do you ever say anything against evolution. Indeed, Dr vanderMeer has posted three papers on your blog in which he argues for evolution, including animal ancestry for man; none of you have given any detailed rebuttals. What else is all this but a further endorsement of evolution?
3. RA: "There are no atheistic or theistic versions of evolution, any more than there are atheistic or theistic versions of the theory of gravity. There are instead different perspectives upon, or ways to see, or grand worldview packages into which one places, the biological theory of evolution. For example, some consider that the theory provides evidence against Christianity,...."
JB: Sorry, but I don't quite follow you. It is my understanding that Darwinian evolution holds that all earthly life evolved from one initial cell via purely natural, undirected processes. Theistic evolution, on the other hand, holds that God somehow guided evolution, possibly using also supernatural events in such special events as the formation of man.
Are you now saying that your theistic evolution is actually the same as Darwinian evolution--that only natural causes play a role in evolution? Is that what you mean with your claim (see above) that "Darwinian evolution" is not “the enemy,” opposed to Christianity"?
4. RA: "Finally, we do not endorse the views of Alexander, Lamoureux, or Collins. We simply suggested that these are examples of Christians who “fully affirm that the creation of man is a special creative act of God...."
JB: If you do not endorse the views of Denis Alexander, why is your blog "highly recommending" that our pastors attend his upcoming speeches at Regent College?
As to Collins, as I pointed out already, what he actually says is:"We cannot say that Adam and Eve were formed as acts of special creation." This is the exact opposite of what you claim he says.
Further, how can you object to such views when these are merely the logical conclusions of embracing evolution, which you deem to be Biblical and Reformed?
Finally, a word of concern. The evolutionary views you are promoting clearly contradict God's Word. This is bound to undermine the faith of not just yourselves, but also those whom you reach and teach. Remember, "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness" (James 3:1).
I thus urge you to prayerfully reconsider your erroneous teachings.