To The REVIEW:
Dr. Jason Lief’s letter in the Aug. 17 REVIEW claims that his words from his book, “Jesus Loves You and Evolution is True,” were taken out of context and that he indeed does believe that Christ came to die for sins which he calls the penal theory.
For example on page 47 of his book he wrote “I am not suggesting that everyone who holds to this view” (that Christ came to bear God’s wrath on sin) “has a negative view of their humanity, nor am I suggesting that every part of this approach should be rejected. There are aspects of the satisfaction and penal theories that are biblical.”
But while page 47 is in the book, he denies or diminishes this teaching 13 times. And while he says “Aspects of the satisfaction or penal theories are biblical,” not once does he quote the Bible to back this up. What drives his push to de-emphasize Christ’s death as sin-bearer in favor of Christ’s incarnation to legitimize our creature-ness, our materiality? Clearly it is evolution.
Since the book denies a real Adam and Eve in Chapter 3, hence denies original sin as the cause of the suffering and death in the world, it logically has to diminish Christ’s coming as substitute. “Evolution sees change and death as part of the creative process. It’s not bad; it’s merely the way the natural world works.” Thus theistic evolution is a cancer that eats away at the Bible, even at its root.
What drives such thinking is 1) a lower view of God’s holiness and omnipotence compared to the Bible’s view, and 2) a mistaken view of authority because the book assumes that evolutionary science is of higher authority for knowing origins than the Bible. But science cannot explain miracle. Science cannot explain water turning to wine, feeding five thousand from a few loaves, walking on water, the raising of Lazarus. Nor can it explain the miracle of creation. It is out of the bounds of science, because creation cannot be repeated nor observed.
So we must take the Word of the One who did observe it. Jesus, who was there and created it, says in Mark 10:6 “From the beginning of creation God made them male and female.” Theistic evolution teaches the opposite, because it believes that he made — rather evolved — them male and female at the end of “creation,” that is at the end of 13.5 billion years of slow struggle and death. Since the earth is young, therefore evolution is impossible.
An atheistic evolutionist says the following about theistic evolution: “The problem that biological evolution poses for theistic evolutionists is the sort of God that a Darwinian version of evolution implies . . . The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror. Whatever the God implied by evolutionary theory and the data of natural history may be like, he is not a loving God who cares about his productions. He is not even the awful God portrayed in the book of Job. The God of the Galapagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.” David Hull, review of Phillip Johnson’s “Darwin on Trial,” “The God of the Galapagos,” Nature 352, Aug. 8, 1991, pages 485-486.
Thus the book, “Jesus Loves You and Evolution is True,” will drive students away from God not toward Him.
I have been studying and lecturing on the scientific questions intently for 60 years and have concluded that Genesis 1-11 is history, and that the scientific case against evolution is overwhelming.
To present refutations of arguments of Dr. Sara Sybesma Tolsma, who authored the book with Dr. Lief, would take dozens of pages, so I recommend you read my response on www.facebook.com/SiouxlandReformationSociety/.
Gary Vander Hart, Sioux Center