The following points illustrate, albeit briefly, how Christian theism & evolution interact with each other and where debate is prevalent among Christians.
1. Many Christians believe in evolution.
As science has revealed the workings of the natural world more & more Christians embrace some form of theistic evolution. Theistic evolution, although not claimed to be a scientific theory, houses several views about how evolution relates to religious beliefs in contrast to special creation views. Many prominent Christian thinkers hold to some form of theistic evolution, for example, Francis Collins, Tim Keller, N.T. Wright, and Pope Francis to name a few. The Catholic Church likewise believes in the compatibility of evolution & Christian theism (4).
2. Many Christian scientists believe in evolution.
A report of study suggests that “Scientists almost unanimously accept Darwinian evolution over millions of years as the source of human origins. But 40% of biologists, mathematicians, physicians, and astronomers include God in the process” (1).
This is affirmed by the ministry of Francis Collins (2). Collins is a geneticist noted for his discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project. He has a ministry called Biologos & he is also the author of the book The Language of God where he writes about the compatibility between Darwinian evolution and Christianity. God of Evolution is a further website dedicated to the interaction between evolution & Christianity.
3. It’s debated.
To many Christians evolution is controversial and they would argue that it is antithetical to Christianity and/or the Bible. This group is divided with some of them believing in Young Earth Creationism (the belief that the Earth is less than 10 000 years old) & Old Earth Creationism (that the Earth is 4 billion years old). Since around 40% (3) of Americans believe the Earth to be only 10 000 years then conflict with other Christians holding to theistic evolution or Old Earth Creationism is inevitable. It’s also unfortunate that there is a lot of intolerance from Young Earth proponents to those who interpret the Genesis creation account differently (although both sides can be blamed here). This conflict is also unfortunate because it takes so much attention away from where Christianity is strongest: the historical resurrection of Jesus.
4. It’s mostly limited to Genesis.
Perceived conflict that evolution has with the Bible is more or less limited to the Genesis creation account (although some of Paul’s letters in the New Testament may be of interest here). For example, questions arise: Were Adam & Eve the first humans? Or did Adam & Eve evolve from apelike ancestors?
Another theological question may come from the Apostle Paul who writes that sin entered into the universe through one man, Adam (Rom. 5:12). But evolution says humans could not have descended from a single pair of humans, Adam & Eve. If so, then how did sin spread to all of mankind? Although certain creation ministries propound that evolution is incompatible with Christian theism as a result of this, other Christian think tanks have forwarded theories of how evolution and original sin are compatible (4).
1. Witham, L. 1997. Many Scientists See God’s Hand in Evolution. Available.
2. About Biologos, “What We Believe.” Available.
3. Ghose, T. 2014. 4 in 10 Americans Believe God Created Earth 10,000 Years Ago. Available.
4. Murphy, G. 2015. Evolution and the “Original Sins” (Part 1). Available.
5. Catholic Answers. 2004. Adam, Eve, and Evolution. Available.