Re: Methodological naturalism

Paul A. Nelson (
Mon, 30 Mar 1998 11:38:01 -0600 (CST)

Allan Harvey asked:

>Paul Nelson, are you willing to make such a statement? Does the
>theory of evolution, if true, negate Christianity, or not? It seems
>like such a simple question to be dodged so many times.

In November last year, I lectured at Whitworth College in Spokane.
During my visit, Steve Meyer showed me a paper written by a former
student of his, now studying at Fuller Seminary under the tutelage
of Nancey Murphy.

The subject of the paper was how Christians need to reconcile the
doctrine of original sin with neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory.
The author argued that neo-Darwinism is true, and that whatever is
true cannot contradict the Bible. Therefore the doctrine of original
sin, he said, needs a thorough-going revision.

Which this young man then provided. In their natural state, he wrote,
humans are good and capable of perfection, because a holy God would
not have employed an evolutionary process which was intrinsically evil.
Only by not living up to our full evolutionary potential do we "commit
sin," and indeed this is what it means to "fall short of the glory of God."

How does that strike you, Allan? Does the theory of evolution, if true,
negate Christianity, or not?

Paul Nelson