Acme Academy statement on evolution
Mon, 23 Sep 1996 08:45:12 EST

Some assistance desired:

Following is a statement on evolution similar to the one I wrote for the
Christian Nature Federation in 1989. It has been adapted for a local Christian
school, but has not yet been presented for approval. Keep in mind that it is
a statement that must be understood by high schoolers, their parents, the
teachers, and the administrators. It also needs to create a level of comfort
for all parties -- most of whom are not scientists, but claim to be Christians
committed to the authority of the Word.

A critique by this forum would certainly be helpful for us. One caution: most
associated with this Academy ("Acme" of course being fictitious) are sceptical
of those who would call themselves "theistic evolutionists." Most who pay
attention to this area are comfortable with Philip Johnson.

Thanks for your help.

Dean Ohlman

Acme Academy Statement on Evolution

Acme Academy believes that the existence of the Creation
cannot be explained apart from the work of a personal God who
created and now sustains the natural realm. Any hypothesis or
theory that denies the necessity of God or speculates the
"spontaneous" origin of matter or man is rejected as contrary to the
Bible, the revealed Word of God.

The great majority of those who call themselves evolutionists
seek to explain origins apart from a personal, superintending God,
and many of their conjectures about origins are based on faith in
their philosophic presuppositions; they are not based on the
scientific method. Therefore these conjectures are not accepted as
fact by the faculty of Acme Academy and will not be
perpetuated in the classroom or in our written materials.

For instance, the scientific method has consistently shown that
there are observable changes within similar classifications of living
things over time -- changes that appear to permit these organisms to
survive longer. This is sometimes called "micro-evolution."
However, to extrapolate from these small changes the whole
framework of natural selection as conjectured by Darwinism is not a
careful scientific judgment; it is a philosophic leap of faith. At Acme
Academy we believe the ability of certain classes of living things to
adapt to a changing environment is a part of the divine design.

On the other hand, Acme Academy will not present as
proven scientific fact Christian speculations about origins that go
beyond the clear, revealed Word of God (even though some of
these speculations may indeed prove to be factual some time in the
future). For example, speculations about the origin and demise of
dinosaurs will remain speculations when discussed and considered
in the classroom.

Many of the positions held by Christians are positions taken on
faith in the Word of God. These positions will not be presented as
proven scientific fact until they are proven so by the proper,
unbiased use of the scientific method. This is not to say, however,
that beliefs based on faith are not true. Some truth -- no doubt the
most significant truth -- lies beyond the naturalistic, finite verification
processes of the scientific method. It is this very acknowledgement
that sets Acme Academy apart from institutions which accept only
naturalistic explanations.

While Acme Academy will not shy away from the continuing
debate on origins, it will always hold that all things have their
ultimate origin in a personal, loving Creator who, in the form of the
Son, created the earth in the past, sustains it in the present, and will
restore it in the future.

We also recognize that the origins debate has resulted in great
conflict within the church and that it has kept many of us from
recognizing the more important biblical fact that we are to be
stewards of the creation gift that has been given to us by God.
Therefore, on the Acme Academy campus far more attention will be
given to creation stewardship than to the origins debate. We are
convinced that at the Judgment God is not going to expect us to
explain how He brought the earth into existence. It is likely,
however, that He will expect us to give an accounting of how we
developed the potentialities of the Creation for His glory.