Can a Christian believe in evolution?
Can a Christian be an evolutionist?
A book by professor of philosophy and zoology Michael Ruse is titled Can a Darwinian be a Christian? As an evolutionist (or Darwinist), Dr. Ruse of course finds no problem in saying that Christians should be able to live quite happily with believing in Darwinism.
What are the facts?
But what are the facts? For one thing, if you look at what the Bible says is required for salvation, there is nothing about being a creationist or an evolutionist (see for example John 3:16, 6:47, 11:25-26; Romans 10:9). Belief in the Book of Genesis as history is therefore not essential for salvation.
However, if you ask Christians who don't believe that Genesis is historical: “Where in the Bible do you think that truth starts?”, you will find they have a problem.
It's not possible to say that the early chapters of Genesis are not true and that historical truth starts at, say, Genesis 11 or Exodus 20, or the New Testament. Jesus clearly taught that the early chapters in Genesis are true (John 5:46,47; Mark 10:6; Luke 11:50,51). Death came into the world because of one man's sin, not because of evolutionary processes that caused death before the first man.
The Great faith chapter
The Book of Hebrews tells us that if we want to please God we must have faith in Him. “But without faith it is impossible to please him …” (Hebrews 11:6).
And that same chapter tells us that God created the universe, just as the Book of Genesis tells us. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3).
The reason it is impossible to please God without faith is that it shows we do not trust Him properly, and therefore are not rightly obedient as He tells us we must be.
Jesus taught a literal Genesis
It is certainly possible to be a Christian and an evolutionist, but this position is biblically and scientifically untenable. The Lord Jesus Christ taught a literal view of Genesis — His teachings on divorce, people not believing Moses, and much more make this very clear.
Christian acceptance of evolution should be a half-way house at best. As your Christian growth takes place and you find that you can trust the Bible completely, your Christian beliefs will become very out of step with evolution.
Sure, you won't lose your salvation if you don't take the step of believing God's Word that He created the universe. But you will not please Him with your disobedience of what He commands of you.