Proof That Conservative U.S. Christians Were Once Smarter Than Currently
Chris Tilling has a great quote from B. B. Warfield on evolution:
“I do not think that there is any general statement in the Bible or any part of the account of creation, either as given in Genesis 1 and 2 or elsewhere alluded to, that need be opposed to evolution.”
Now, let us remember that Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1851-1921) was a Presbyterian theologian who taught at the “Old” Princeton Theological Seminary and is considered a hero by almost all Protestant fundamentalists and many conservative evangelicals, especially in the U.S. Warfield was the first to defend the doctrine of “biblical inerrancy” in its modern formulation. That’s right, THE early champion of inerrancy saw no problem with Darwinian evolutionary biology. Other early conservative evangelical defenders of evolutionary theory included Charles Hodge (1797-1878), who was Warfield’s teacher, Scottish theologian James Orr (1844-1913), Baptist giant Augustus Hopkins Strong (1836-1921), and even R.A. Torrey, one of the editors of The Fundamentals. See more of Darwin’s Forgotten Defenders among conservative Christians in the book of the same name.
If more evangelicals had paid attention to these early leaders on this matter, the ridiculous pseudo-scientific movement of “Intelligent Design” would have been as unnecessary as it is wrongheaded. (Full disclosure: I live in a state, Kentucky, that has just built a monument to ignorance known as a “Creationism Museum.” I may die of embarrassment.)
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