To our readers:

I have always supported, in broad terms, what BioLogos has been trying to do on the science and religion front.  Their attempt to bring together good science and belief in biblical inspiration is admirable.  However, I have felt strongly that they tend too far in the direction of what I call deistic evolution.  This is a view of evolution that proposes God did not intervene at all in the evolution of species.  He created the scientific parameters by which, once life was created, it evolved by a fully random “natural” process from the simplest life form to produce all the species in nature today, including human beings.   This view has God involved in initiating evolution but completely hands-off in the process of change over time.  In fact, many at BioLogos have even supported the idea that life itself was created by random processes rather than by supernatural creation–a view which I believe is scientifically unsupportable.

I have always taught that the process of evolution is not purely random, but that it is directed by God, certainly in small and subtle ways, but probably also by fairly significant interventions, such as creating entirely new genes or species.  I have taught this, both because I believe the evidence supports it and because it is consistent with what we know about God from a theological perspective. Because of his love, God gives us free will, yet he does not leave us alone.  He intervenes for our benefit.  He does not force our hand, but, on the other hand, “he determines the times set for them and the exact places where they should live” (Acts 17:26).  God does not control us, but he also does not leave us alone.   The same is true of history.  God does not manipulate political leaders like a puppet on a string, but he does occasionally intervene in history to bring about his will to save us–for example in Egypt to free the Israelites.   I believe that, similarly, God gives nature “free will,” yet does not hesitate, albeit rarely, to bring about his will in evolution to produce us!  God allows random processes such as mutation and natural selection to cause change over time, but without his intervention, the incredibly complex and even intelligent life would not have emerged by purely random change.  Scientific evidence supports this interventional view in the Cambrian Explosion, but also in the improbability of purely random processes producing such complex creatures.   This view was presented by myself in an ARS-sponsored debate titled “Four Christian Views of Evolution” (available at

I am pleased to report that BioLogos has published a series of articles by Robin Collins which brilliantly presents this view, with solid support from both a scientific and a biblical view.  I encourage our readers to look at this series at BioLogos.  Here is a link.

John Oakes

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