One of the Bible's great statements about courage comes in chapter 5 of Esther. The Jewish queen of Persia has told Uncle Mordecai that she can't go before the king: If she does, she'll probably die.
Mordecai responds with admonition—you won't escape by hiding—and then a line that has sent chills down my spine: "Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
For such a time as this.
In every generation moments of truth arise. Esther, early Christian martyrs, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and many more throughout the centuries have faced life-or-death decisions.
In this land of liberty our task is easier: We have reputational decisions. Should I speak up for biblical truth and have people think I'm a—horrors—fundamentalist, or should I hedge?
Today's three great cultural flashpoints are abortion, same-sex marriage, and evolution. We can hedge on them and justify our hedging: Playing it cool here will help me gain for Christ people who would otherwise walk away.
I'm not knocking such considerations. Nor am I assuming that anyone who tries to meld eternal truth and contemporary trends lacks courage: Some do so on evangelistic principle, others because they believe what they're saying is true. But attempts to unify antitheses generally defy logic.
Over the past 15 years I've tried to explain some of the problems of Darwinism. Last year I raised questions about the "theistic evolution" that Francis Collins espouses, but didn't offer answers—and several WORLD readers have pressed me for more (see "Theistic evolutionist," July 10, 2009).
OK. It seems to me that since the Bible emphasizes God's purposefulness and macro-evolutionary theory emphasizes randomness, the two are contradictory. Theistic evolutionists stretch the laws of logic: How can Creation be a sovereignly guided sequence and at the same time a sequence of chance, with random mutations and survival of the fittest?
Theistic evolutionists can answer that question by saying that God has intervened trillions of times to make evolution turn out the way He wants. Or, that the original code He wrote for all life has a mechanism to trigger mutations just when He wants them. Either way, theistic evolution contradicts the biblical account.