Quote of the Week

Today we hear from Berkhof on theistic evolution, timely in today’s current theological climate.

Other evolutionists advocate what they call theistic evolution. This postulates the existence of God back of the universe, who works in it, as a rule according to the unalterable laws of nature and by physical forces only, but in some cases by direct miraculous intervention, as, for instance, in the case of the absolute beginning, the beginning of life, and the beginning of rational and moral existence. This has often been called derisively a “stop-gap” theory. It is really a child of embarrassment, which calls God in at periodic intervals to help nature over the chasms that yawn at her feet. It is neither the Biblical doctrine of creation, nor a consistent theory of evolution, for evolution is defined as “a series of gradual progressive changes effected by means of resident forces” (Le Conte, emphasis Berkhof’s). In fact, theistic evolution is a contradiction in terms. It is just as destructive of faith in the Biblical doctrine of creation as naturalistic evolution is (emphasis added); and by calling in the creative activity of God time and again it also nullifies the evolutionary hypothesis (Systematic Theology, pp. 139-140).


  1. February 25, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Not sure all theistic evolutionists would be happy with the way Berkhof defines TE. Presumably a Christyian TE would not be happy with a natural law operation with occasional miraculous intervention, but would argue that natural law is God’s ordinary way of working.

    It’s also worth noting Berkhof correctly says (page 139) that ‘evolution cannot be a substitute for creation in the sense of absolute origination, since it presupposes something that evolves’

  2. Chris Schroeder said,

    February 26, 2015 at 4:58 am

    That theistic evolution is also incompatible with the Westminster Standards (as well as with Scripture) has been briefly summarised here:


  3. Trent Whalin said,

    March 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Having followed Biologos for awhile Theistic Evolution quickly ‘devolves’ into Deistic Evolution.

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