A Michigan research foundation is urging Christian churches to embrace something called "evolutionary creation" that they say will improve the way Christians are seen by a science-loving culture.
BioLogos, a Grand Rapids, Michigan organization funded by $9 million in donations, offers grants to church, parachurch, and academic leaders that promote this new "compromise" in understanding evolution.
BioLogos president Deb Haarsma, former chair of Grand Rapids' Calvin Physics and Astronomy department, says that churches that support evolutionary creation will be more effective witnesses and "will help college students avoid a crisis of faith when biology professors argue for evolution."
"Christians and secularists alike are in danger of treating 'Darwin vs the Bible' as just another battlefront in the polarized 'culture wars'," according to a quote on the BioLogos website by N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham. "This grossly misrepresents both science and faith. The BioLogos Foundation not only shows that there is an alternative, but actually models it. God's world and God's word go together in a rich, living harmony."
The foundation is currently funding 37 projects in the United States and worldwide to help bridge the gap between traditional Christian beliefs on Intelligent Design and modern theories of evolution.
But, according to the site, this isn't just a ploy to convince Christians to believe in evolution as the sole creator of the universe. "We at BioLogos believe that God used the process of evolution to create all the life on earth today. While we accept the science of evolution, we emphatically reject evolutionism. Evolutionism is the atheistic worldview that says life developed without God and without purpose. Instead, we agree with Christians who adhere to Intelligent Design and Creationism that the God of the Bible created the universe and all life. Christians disagree, however, on how God created."
Some of the foundation's projects include a book by Eastern University biology professor David Wilcox who is using his grant to explain how Adam was the chieftain of an ancient tribe that developed original sin over time. Another grant recipient, Fuller Theological Seminary professor Oliver Crisp has a different theory on Adam and Eve. "Maybe God implants in this pair a moral awareness and a likeness to God that was not present in other hominids."
The foundation's president states that it doesn't have a set position on Adam and Eve and is currently researching and discussing various possibilities to determine if the couple were actual historical individuals or symbolic.
But of course, interpretations like this go against what it says in the Bible, and the Word of God is certainly not something that most Christians would be willing to stretch or reinterpret for the sake of social convenience.
Jack Collins, a professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis and author of "Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?" explains to WORLD News Service that "The actual historicity of Adam and Eve is extremely important as a fundamental Christian doctrine. Christian doctrine is best understood as the true story of who we are and how we got to be where we are. It will come apart if we don't tell the story with the proper beginning."