Wolfgang Smith on Theistic Evolution


“We need not belabor the point: the Biblical and the Darwinist account of man’s origins, one sees, are as different as night and day; and this holds true even if the latter is amended by the incongruous stipulation that God Himself lends a hand, as it were, in the evolutive process. It matters not whether the theological advocates of theistic evolutionism bring into play the notion of a ‘Babylonian creation myth’ to render the Genesis tale innocuous or employ some erudite stratagem to defend their position theologically, the fact remains that the tradition going back through the Fathers to Christ Himself has been compromised, the foundational teaching rejected, and the dogma of Scriptural inerrancy denied. And this, to be sure, is heresy, pure and simple, whether the theistic evolutionist knows it or not.

But in fact he doesn’t: to the ‘liberated’ theologian every tenet of orthodoxy has become fair game. The heresy now, it seems, is to believe that there is such a thing! Beyond a certain point of ‘liberation,’ just about anything goes. The objective criteria, which for some two thousand years had defined and protected theological orthodoxy, have then given way to the subjective norms of contemporary pundits, the so-called periti or ‘theological experts’ of our day; and this accounts evidently for all kinds of ecclesiastic novelties and ‘up-to-date’ teachings, dispensed nowadays from pulpits across the land. For the Christian observer, on the other hand, who happens not to be thus ‘liberated,’ all this newness is hardly a cause for rejoicing. He perceives this trend, rather, as a breach of God-given norms which forthwith plunges the perpetrators into a man made fantasy world. One may wonder whether that kind of ‘theology’ will not inevitably end either as a mere sponsor of human friendliness and social service or as a psychotherapy. Authentic theology, on the other hand, is neither, or better said, is incomparably more. And what prevents authentic theology from sliding into the ‘human-all-too-human’ are the fact that the Bible – and Tradition – based criteria of orthodoxy. Let us understand it well: to breach these criteria is heresy.

This brings us back to theistic evolutionism, the status of which can now be clearly recognized. As once, according to St. Jerome, ‘the Church groaned to find itself Arian,’ so apparently it groans today to find itself ‘evolutionist.’”

– Wolfgang Smith, Theistic Evolution – 


– Lucas G. Westman

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