Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa) professors Jason Lief (youth ministry/theology) and Sara Sybesma Tolsma (biology) are the authors of a new book, Jesus Loves You and Evolution is True.
The book’s contradictory title is not misleading — they actually attempt to synchronize a materialistic, chance-based Darwinian evolution with Christianity.
Yes, stardust to monkeys to man.
How can they possibly attempt this? The Omnipotent God found in the Bible who created fully formed and unique masterpieces like colorful humming birds and acrobatic dolphins by divine fiat is antithetical to the concept of primitive life emerging from the primordial soup. They deny our Creator God’s power and glory seen in creation, relegating it to chance accidents over millions of years of mutations and death.
According to the authors, “There needs to be a theological paradigm shift in the church to support the discussion between ‘science’ (Darwinian evolution) and faith.” p.218
The radical paradigm shift aimed at our youth is not without extensive deconstruction of biblical orthodoxy!
“we read the Genesis creation stories differently based upon different approaches to interpretation and truth. Like dominoes falling in different directions, this starting point usually leads down different irreconcilable paths.” p147
Like theological dominoes, the NWC professors knock down what the Bible and our Confessions teach.
“In the Christian community an evolutionary understanding of human origins raises legitimate questions about the historicity of Adam and Eve, the fall, and the role of Christ’s redemptive work.” p.58
Lief chastises those who defend Genesis as a historic account as having an “archaic view of reality”. (p.195) This is prevalent throughout the book.
In the following statement they negate God’s Eternal Decree, Creation and Providence!
“Darwin’s evolution doesn’t need a grand designer or grand plan; it doesn’t need an all powerful God to account for natural life, or even the life of human beings. But what if the problem isn’t Darwin or evolution? What if the problem is our view of God?” p159
The reformed confessions held by our churches and NWC unequivocally spell out what we believe the Bible teaches about Creation, the Fall and substitutionary atonement of Christ.
Tolsma and Lief state they must be reinterpreted:
“An important question for the Western Church…the creeds and doctrines they developed; they must be [re]interpreted for a new historical and cultural moment, which includes new scientific paradigms.” p148
If it doesn’t agree with Darwinian evolution…Change it.
The NWC profs twist bible passages to convince the youth that the main reason Jesus came was not to die or to save them from sin:
“The incarnation (of Christ) is not a response to sin.” p.90
“The cross (of Christ), …is not a form of substitutionary atonement, or God punishing Jesus for human sin.” p. 91
13 times in this book they deny or diminish the substitutionary atonement of Christ!
The Bible says the exact opposite.
Romans 3:25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood…
1 Cor. 15:3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,
The Belgic Confession art. 21 also states the exact opposite: “to appease God’s wrath..Christ died for our sins…”
What is more central to the Gospel than Christ dying for our sins? But Darwinian evolution doesn’t need a savior because there was no historical Adam that fell into sin.
“Humans are part of the evolutionary process…., like other species, is on the way—part of a process of gradual evolutionary change….we shared a common ancestor with chimpanzees, our closest living relative, about six million years ago.” p76
A post on the Progressive Reformation Iowa website contains about 50 quotes from the book that represent false or misleading teaching.
There are orthodox faculty at NWC but over the last decade many have had difficult conversations with leaders at NWC about false teaching from faculty. Liberal professors teaching that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, chapel talks promoting gay marriage, just last year visiting speakers Walton and Haarsma promoting evolution similar to this book.
Over the last decade I’ve personally talked with many in leadership about false teaching at NWC.
You may say liberal college professors are every where, and you would be correct. The main problem is NWC advertises itself as a “Distinctively Christian College.”
This is a truth in advertising issue that I publicly call on President Christy to address. NWC publicly claims adherence to the infallibility of the Bible and to the Reformed Confessions yet they continue to employ faculty that teach the opposite.
I am running for mayor of Orange City in November and no one has challenged the premise that NWC associated liberals are empowering the Pro-Evolution, Pro-LGBT, Pro-abortion and Pro-socialist movements in our city.
I am simply calling for intellectual honesty! If NWC is going to allow Lief and Tolsma in this book to teach students that Jesus wasn’t dying for our sins then they should take the symbol of the Cross out of their advertisement and they should let prospective students and parents know that they do not adhere to the infallibility of the Bible or the Confessions.
Since NWC teaches evolution, let them fly the evolution flag with its iconic monkey to man progression.
It is a problem with two local false teachers publicizing false teaching, but the bigger problem is that some at NWC and the CRC (Christian Reformed Church) and RCA (Reformed Church in America) denominations are their supporting platforms.
Although there are solid Bible-believing Christians at these institutions, the corrupt portions are fueling the unbiblical movements, along with most of the leftist Democrat party agenda.
If I am elected Mayor of Orange City, I hope to uphold our heritage. Part of that will be using the office to stand up against the advancing corruption in these institutions. If the responsible RCA and CRC Churches/Classis had one ounce of integrity they would address their members contributions to the corruption of our city.
- Dr. Kurt Korver,
Orange City, IA