Evolution vs. evolutionism: One of these precludes a Savior.
Back in September of 2012 it was reported that Paul C. Broun, U.S. representative for the 10th congressional district in Georgia, had made a very curious claim during a campaign speech at the 2012 Sportsman’s Banquet in Hartwell, Georgia, a claim which garnered him a great deal of critical attention.
“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang theory,” Broun proclaimed, “all that is lies straight from the pit of hell.”
And it’s lies to try to keep me, and all the folks who were taught that, from understanding that they need a Savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says. 
I am going to try and ignore as best I can the fact that a physician with a medical degree actually regarded embryology as not only a lie but one straight from the pit of hell, as well as the fact that he serves on the House Committee on Science and Technology even though he believes that our planet did not exist until more than four thousand years after the Clovis people had already begun inhabiting the Americas. The reason for why I am going to ignore that low hanging fruit is because I want to just briefly address his remark that these things keep people from understanding that they need a Savior, which is a comment I hear quite frequently when it comes to the creation versus evolution debates.
In that campaign speech Broun never identified exactly how it is that believing the universe to be expanding from an initial big bang or that life evolved from common ancestry is supposed to keep people from understanding that they need a Savior, but presumably he has in mind an idea similar to that of Richard Peachey, vice-president of the Creation Science Association of British Columbia, who said that “in evolution there is no fall from perfection, no sin and no necessity for a Saviour,” and therefore evolution “strikes at the very heart of our Christian faith.” 
So is that true? Well, yes and no. You see, it depends very much on what is meant by the term evolution—as is nearly always the case—for it is not as if it is somehow this one monolithic and univocal idea. When it comes to the evolutionary view that people are taught in Western public education systems, I would agree that they are probably not hearing about Adam and Eve as real people in history, about their covenant relationship with God, their fall from grace, and the reality of mankind’s now sinful condition in Adam and need for a Savior, the promise of whom was first heard by Adam and Eve. I would almost be willing to guarantee that they are not hearing about these things, and I suspect that in rare cases they may be hearing that these are simply religious myths or fictions. This is because what is being taught presupposes a methodological naturalism that results in an evolutionary view that is at once godless and dysteleological.  As John Haldane (1882-1964) is reported to have said, “Teleology is like a mistress to a biologist: he cannot live without her but he’s unwilling to be seen with her in public.” 
But this implicates the point I wish to make, namely, that there are evolutionary views out there which are not embarrassed to be seen with her in public; in fact they are proud to be seen with her and wish for people to understand that teleology is not a mistress but a lawfully wedded wife. Maybe that analogy is being pushed too far. What I mean to say is that there are evolutionary views out there which are self-consciously God-centered and teleological. Such evolutionary views reject and repudiate notions of dysteleological natural selection in favor of teleological divine selection, whereby creation accomplishes what God intends it to accomplish in Christ.  The relationship between Christian faith and scientific understanding is approached by viewing it through a theology of the cross, wherein all of life is seen in the context of redemptive history predicated on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ,  taking seriously the historical reality of Adam and Eve and the dawn of redemptive history in the garden of Eden, their fall into sin and mankind’s desperate need of a Savior—all quite contrary to the remarks of Broun and Peachey.
Which brings me to my final point. There is a tendency and fear that acceptance of scientific ideas of evolution must lead inexorably to the philosophical ideas of evolutionism. Tim Keller described the fear this way: “If you believe human life was formed through evolutionary biological processes . . . you must therefore believe in the Grand Theory of Evolution” or the philosophical world view of evolutionism, a plausibility structure which entails that “all features of human life have a natural, scientifically explicable cause.”  Keller believes that Christian pastors, theologians, and scientists who want to argue for evolution as a suite of scientific biological theories must therefore at the same time put a great deal of emphasis on repudiating and arguing against evolutionism as a controlling philosophical world view. The scientific ideas of evolution do not entail philosophical ideas of evolutionism which, as a world view plausibility structure, keeps people from understanding that they need a Savior, denying there was a fall into sin and a necessity for a Savior, thereby striking at the very heart of our Christian faith. Scientific biological theories of evolution have nothing to say about these things and are consistent with a Christian faith.
 BridgeProject21, “Rep. Broun: Evolution, Embryology, Big Bang Theory Are ‘Lies Straight From The Pit Of Hell’,” YouTube video [1:25], posted October 10, 2012 (accessed February 4, 2013). From a speech given at the 2012 Sportsman’s Banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia, on September 27, 2012.
 See the “About Us” section of the Creation Science Association of British Columbia web site (accessed February 7, 2013). I am assuming here that Richard Peachey is the author since his name appears on practically every single article on that site.
 To refer to something as dysteleological is to say that it has no telos or final cause from purposeful design; it is the negation of teleological (purposeful).
 As quoted by Professor Pittendrigh in a letter to Ernst Mayr dated February 26, 1970. See Ernst Mayr, “Teleological and teleonomic: A new analysis,” Methodological and Historical Essays in the Natural and Social Sciences, eds. Robert S. Cohen and Marx W. Wartofsky, Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 14 (D. Reidel Publishing, 1974), 115.
 See Robert C. Bishop, “Recovering the Doctrine of Creation,” BioLogos Foundation (2011). See also the outstanding and helpful embryology-evolution illustration that Denis Lamoureux uses in his “Evolutionary creation: A Christian approach to evolution,” BioLogos Foundation (2011), 2.
 See for example George Murphy, “Human Evolution in Theological Context,” BioLogos Foundation (2011).
 Tim Keller, “Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople,” BioLogos Foundation (2011), 6. Keller writes that evolutionism as a philosophical world view “is fast becoming what Peter Berger calls a ‘plausibility structure’. It is a set of beliefs considered so basic, and with so much support from authoritative figures and institutions, that it is becoming impossible for individuals to publicly question them. A plausibility structure is a ‘given’ supported by enormous social pressure. The writings of the new atheists here are important to observe because their attitudes are more powerful than their arguments. The disdain and refusal to show any respect to opponents is not actually an effort to refute them logically, but to ostracize them socially and turn their own views into a plausibility structure. They are well on their way.”