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#1858 - Wed Mar 26, 2003 12:44 PM BB Warfield and Evolution?  
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li0scc0 Offline
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I have quite a bit of respect for BB Warfield and his writings. However, recently on the internet I saw some comments linking Warfield and a belief in evolution. I don't know enough about Warfield to comment (I have only read a limited portion of his works), hence I have......a couple of questions:<br>1) Did Warfield completely support Darwinian evolution? If not, to what extent?<br>2) How did he (Warfield) reconcile any belief in evolution with his high regard for Scripture?<br>3) Did he thus have an allegorical view of the first chapters of Genesis?<br>4) Did his belief affect or taint any of his other writings (subjective question, I know)?<br>5) Did his belief affect any who considered him their mentor?<br><br>Steve


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#1859 - Wed Mar 26, 2003 1:35 PM Re: BB Warfield and Evolution? [Re: li0scc0]  
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There is a book called Evolution, Science, and Scripture, edited by Mark Noll (Wheaton College) and David Livingston (Queen's University) that lists some of Warfield's views on this. It is over 300 pages and thus a little hard to totally summarize on such a huge issue. Additionally, I put this book on the back burner about a year ago and have not returned to it, thus I can not fully answer your remaining questions. I can state from what little I read in this book, that Warfield drew what he thought were "reasonable distinctions" among Darwinism, Charles Darwin, and evolution. He accepted the probability of evolution while denying the implications of "full-blown" Darwinism. Additionally, he held to an inerrant view of Scripture.


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#1860 - Wed Mar 26, 2003 1:41 PM Re: BB Warfield and Evolution? [Re: J_Edwards]  
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Thanks, Joe. It was my understanding of Warfield's view of Scripture that made any support of his for evolution seem, well, strange. I will have to read that book that you mention.<br>Steve


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#1861 - Wed Mar 26, 2003 1:57 PM Re: BB Warfield and Evolution? [Re: li0scc0]  
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Yes, it was strange enough for me to put the book down and read some others [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif" alt="laugh" title="laugh[/img].

Warfield also presented John Calvin's view of creation in his writings (which are his own beliefs as well). Here is a quote, "All that has come into being since [the original creation of the world-stuff]--except the souls of men alone--has arisen as a modification of this original world-stuff by means of interaction of its intrinsic forces......[These modifications] find their account proximately in second causes, and this is not only evolutionism but pure evolutionism." (Calvin's Doctrine of Evolution, BB Warfield.)


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#1862 - Wed Mar 26, 2003 3:33 PM Re: BB Warfield and Evolution? [Re: li0scc0]  
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Steve,

You might find this link comparing Hodge and Warfield re evolution to be of interest:

http://www.modernreformation.org/mr98/mayjun/mr9803darwinism.html

Although it may not answer your specific questions, perhaps the background information will be helpful.

Theo

#1863 - Wed Mar 26, 2003 6:40 PM Re: BB Warfield and Evolution? [Re: li0scc0]  

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Here is an article by B.B. Warfield critiquing Darwin's Theory of Evolution

Darwin's Arguments Against Christianity & Religion


Here also is a book review of the Title that Joe had mentioned:

The Evolving Debate over OriginsScience and Scripture, Selected Writings

Warfield's evidentialist apologetics made him susceptible to theistic evolution views.

In the book, Darwin's Forgotten Defenders, there is a citation from Warfield's 1888 Lectures on Anthropology that goes:

"The upshot of the whole matter is that there is no necessary antagonism of Christianity to evolution, provided that we do not hold to too extreme a form of evolution. To adopt any form that does not permit God freely to work apart from law and which does not allow miraculous intervention (in the giving of the soul, in creating Eve, etc.) will entail a great reconstruction of Christian doctrine, and a very great lowering of the detailed authority of the Bible. But if we condition the theory by allowing the constant oversight of God in the whole process, and his occasional supernatural interference for the production of new beginnings by an actual output of creative force, producing something new i.e., something not included even in posse in the preceding conditions,‹we may hold to the modified theory of evolution and be Christians in the ordinary orthodox sense." (p. 119)

In 1911, B. B. Warfield said that, while evolution is not a substitute for creation, it can "supply a theory of the method of divine providence". Biblical and Theological Studies p. 238.

Dr. Brian Abshire wrote: "Depending on Scottish rationalism, Warfield eventually compromised on the issue of creation and the age of the earth because the rational arguments of the day seemed unanswerable [such as Lyell's geological time scale]. His philosophical presuppositions were such that he believed that truth was determined by "brute facts." And when the supposed "facts" of science undercut the old Christian worldview regarding the age of the earth, he was then forced to reinterpret Scripture to fit those facts." Chalcedon Report Sept 1998.

BTW For a good critique of theistic evolution and the Framework Hypothesis, see the new book, : Creation According to the Scriptures: A Presuppositional Defense of Literal, Six-Day Creation edited by Andrew Sandlin.

Colin




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