Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

Bonhoeffer on Darwinism

Posted by Chris on April 18, 2010

As I just finished writing two posts that are somewhat critical of Darwin, I thought it would be appropriate to get all my “picking on him” out of the way at once.  This is from a book by Bonhoeffer that I am reading (other quotes and details on it here.)  And of course, feel free to check out the rest of this blog series and the introduction of reading Darwin’s Origin of Species.


Man shall proceed from God as his ultimate, his new work, and as the image of God in his creation… This has nothing to do with Darwinism: quite independently of this man remains the new, free, undetermined work of God… In our concern with the origin and nature of man, it is hopeless to attempt to make a gigantic leap back into the world of the lost beginning.  It is hopeless to want to know for ourselves what man was originally…

This chapter is Bonhoeffer’s mediation on Genesis 1:26, about God making man in his image.

I believe that Creation Theology comprises much more than the argument of Six-Day-Creation v. Darwinian Evolution.  How God created, how long it took– this is just a small part of something much bigger.  Creation Theology is bigger than that discussion just as the world we live in, and our current concerns, don’t revolve around this debate.  Creation Theology should set the table for a discussion about all facets of the world and God and life and history.  Evolution is like the butter tray.  Sure, it’s important and I wouldn’t deny its presence– but it ain’t the bread, and if the bread is good I could just eat my roll plain.

I don’t need to have a strong opinion on evolution or Creationism in order to make sense of the world.  Creation Theology tells me that just as God created light in Genesis 1, he shines the light of the gospel in our hearts.  I am much more concerned with that light!  That’s what it’s about!  That’s the entree!

And I think Bonhoeffer agrees.  He’s not rejecting Darwinism– he says that the theological significance of God creating man has nothing to do with it.  He’s not interested in relatively trivial historical facts.  That God created man in his image has huge implications on the rest of life.


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