Although I’m sympathetic to the idea of theistic evolution, and, in any case, do not regard such theories of origins as of fundamental importance, I think it’s worth taking account of the theological objections that have been levelled against Darwinian theory.
Some of these objections were set out by Alistair Donald in this article published in Evangelicals Now in April 2010.
1. Adam formed by a distinct creative act
Although the precise genre of Genesis 1:1-2:3 is notoriously difficult to pin down, the same is not the case for Gen 2:4 onwards, which is written in standard Hebrew narrative style. Gen 2:7 would appear to teach quite plainly that Adam’s humanity did not arise from gradual evolution from within, but from a distinct creative act in which his Maker ‘breathed life’ into him.
2. The New Testament teaches the historicity of the Genesis narrative
Jesus himself declares that ‘in the beginning of creation God made them male and female’ (Mk 10:6. Paul affirms that Eve came from Adam (1 Cor 11:8; cf. 1 Cor 11:12; 1 Tim 2:13).
The New Testament also implies that Adam and Eve were the progenitors of the entire human race, Acts 17:26; cf. Lk 3:38.
Theist evolutionists have to resort to describing Adam and Eve as one human couple out of many, and that God conferred on them the divine image and then somehow that image was conferred on other members of the species who were not descended from them. This theory would appear to depart markedly from the consistent biblical account.
3. Death entered at the Fall
Theistic evolutionists tend to teach, in accordance with standard Darwinian doctrine, that suffering, decay and death are inevitable entailments of life in this cosmos. Scripture, however, seems to teach quite clearly that death entered as a direct consequence of the Fall. In Rom 5:12, Paul makes this link between the entrance of sin and the entrance of death quite explicit (see also 1 Cor 15:21f). In Rom 8:20f, he asserts that the entire creation was ‘subjected to frustration’, and that it will one day be delivered from this ‘bondage to decay’.
Although it is clear that Paul is thinking of human death in these passage, it is less certain that he includes animal and vegetable life. Death may be natural for plants and animals, but it is profoundly unnatural for humans. Then again, we can be sure that Paul includes in his thinking physical as well as spiritual death, because it was physical death that Christ endured for our sins on the cross, and it is a physical resurrection that he and his redeemed experience.
If God is hidden within his acts of creation and providence, so that the scientific method can tells us as much (or more) about these acts as God’s own revelation, it would appear to leave the apologetic task with very little pursuasive power.
I have noted these objections to theistic evolution without comment of my own. I don’t regard them as knock-down arguments (they may have logical and exegetical flaws), but they’re certainly worth considering.