About a year and half ago I commented that evangelical theologians seem hesitant to engage in the science / faith dialogue. Chiding them as “timid”, I asked:
If we [evangelicals] cannot speak to the issues of the day, how can we expect others to be interested in the gospel? If we aren’t answering the questions that are being asked, why are we surprised when people (including our youth) look elsewhere for answers?A few months later, I indicated that I might have been too harsh, and that evangelical theologians were indeed re-evaluating their reluctance to consider the implications of an evolving creation. In a post on the relationship between the leading evangelical scientific organization (the ASA) and the leading evangelical theological organization (the ETS), I shared how Bruce Waltke, a former president of the ETS, had come to accept evolution. I ended this essay by chiding myself and some of my fellow ECs with the remark that:
Evangelical theologians: This is not so much a complaint as a request for help.
Maybe we just need to be patient and let [evangelical theologians] think this [science / faith topic] through for awhile.By “awhile”, I was thinking years, if not decades.
Well, maybe evangelical theologians are much, much further along in this process than many of us had ever imagined. In a survey that Waltke conducted for Biologos, he found that almost half (46%) of evangelical theologians that responded to his survey accept that God created through the process of evolution. (HT: David Opderbeck)
You read that right: 46% of evangelical theologians that participated in Waltke’s survey, accept that God created through the process of evolution.
I think there are some legitimate questions that can be asked about the methodological rigour of this survey. But even if the 46% number is somewhat inflated (and I suspect this is probably the case), evangelical theologians are not even close to being predominantly opposed to evolution.
Now if only some of this theological thinking would translate into more theological discussion and theological action ….
Patience, Steve, patience.