Pots Throwing Pieces

I bit the bait and clicked an inflammatory link a while back that permanently burned my brain. A straightforward tweet asked: What is the most offensive verse in the Bible? and promised an answer behind a click. The answer surprised me, stirred me, and settled for me so much of our cultural, and even Christian and Christian cultural, woes.

The most offensive verse in the Bible is Genesis 1:1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

If that verse is true–and I believe it without hedging or hesitation, without a wink or crossed fingers behind the back–then God must be acknowledged as Creator, thanked as Maker, and obeyed as Lord by all. This God who created the world rules the world and He makes the rules for the world. He does not need anyone’s counsel, nor does He ask for it or take it. He did not create in order to disclaim His authority but rather to demonstrate it.

He has told you, O man, what is good;

and what does the LORD require of you 
 but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

What is good for man requires man to submit to God. What is this strange word, “submit”? It means to do what someone else says.

As the t-shirt so memorably exhorts: There is a God, and you’re not Him. Resistance is futile, like clay pots throwing pieces of themselves at the Potter, destroying themselves in the process.

We would do well to take the posture and pray in a way similar as Jesus did, “Not my world, but Yours be done.”

Strong “Ewww” Reflexes

Maybe the only threat more grave to our souls than unrighteousness is self-righteousness. Both make us enemies of God, the former by honest rebellion and the latter by dishonest resistance.

If our consciences are working, either by the Spirit or common grace, then the last section of Genesis 19 turns our stomachs. But we need it to turn them in such a way that we appreciate God’s mercy more than we appreciate that we are not like Lot and his daughters.

The girls exaggerated their misfortune, premeditated their manipulation, and dishonored their father in more ways than one. For Lot’s part, it’s almost as if he enjoyed the opportunity to get drunk in his self-pity and forget everything he lost. The sons of this incestuous perversion, Moab and Ben-ammi, were the fruit of selfishness, weakness, and unbelief. Thank goodness Lot’s plot line is over.

Until we get to Ruth, the Moabites. This Moabites married Boaz, the great-grandfather of King David. This Moabite woman is in the genealogy of Jesus. She’s mentioned by name in Matthew 1, the first chapter of the good news of the New Testament.

The point is “Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15), and not just the “good” sinners. He really identifies with the ungodly, on the cross, and even in His family tree. Our invitation to the Table of communion depends on His mercy, not because we sinned in “natural” ways or have strong “ewww” reflexes.

If we want to compare, let us compare correctly. We compare ourselves with God’s standard, not to others. So we eat and drink and boast, not that we are not like other men, but that God is merciful to us, sinners. He knows what we’re capable of and He is glad to have us here because of Christ’s death and resurrection, and that is amazing.

The Life Behind

One of Jesus’ primary teachings is about losing and keeping. Anyone who tries to keep his life will lose it, but anyone who loses his life because of following Christ will keep it. This isn’t about leadership style, it’s about eternal life, and it has application in every relationship you can think of. It also isn’t one strategy for success “God’s way.” It is the only way to salvation.

All four Gospel writers cover this teaching. That doesn’t give it more authority—God only needs to say something once, but the repetition does highlight that it’s a big deal, especially for hard heads. Luke put it in his Gospel twice (9:24; 17:33), and the second time he included the part when Jesus named a name of someone who lost big.

Warning about the possibility of judgment coming when least expected, Jesus said:

Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. (Luke 17:32–33)

Moses didn’t mention much about Mrs. Lot in Genesis 19. Presumably she was a Sodomite, a native of Sodom, since Lot was single in the previous chapters. Even if she wasn’t from the city, she wanted to stay there. Lot was slow to leave, she was slower, she was “behind him” on their way out of town (Genesis 19:26). And though one of the angels told them not to look back, she did and became a pillar of salt.

Jesus wasn’t saying that those who look back and long to keep their life will become a salt statue, but they will still lose. Don’t fall for the allurements of the world, and don’t try to take it all with you. The life ahead is not just better, the life behind is not life at all.

Our Cultural Garden

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled last Friday that no State has the right to make it illegal for a man to “marry” a man and for a woman to “marry” a woman. This is on the heels of national news and controversy over a man changing himself into a woman (adding some female parts to his male parts). Some women are mad that this defines womanhood according to bodily features, and pink nail polish. There is also outrage over the Confederate flag presumed to represent motives behind the murder of nine people in Charleston even though no outrage is directed over the US flag which flies over thousands of murders day by day, all claimed it in the name of “liberty.” And, of course, our celebration of Independence Day is a couple days away. Do we, as those who worship the LORD God, Creator of heaven and earth, have a way to explain what we see? Do we have any message in the midst of this?

I took a (sort of) break from Genesis last Sunday to preach about these questions. In fact, I think the ancient chapters of the Bible reveal decisive answers for now.

Let’s start with an argument from greater to lesser. If man entertains the idea that he could be God, then it is less difficult for him to entertain the idea that he could be not a man. He could fancy himself to be a woman. He could figure he could do with another man what he could do with a woman. The step from heterosexuality to homosexuality is shorter than the step from humanity into divinity. Jumping between genders is easier than jumping into deity.

If a pot toys with trying to be the Potter, it is less surprising if a pot toys with trying to be a plate rather than a pot. A man who believes he could be God could believe he could be, or do, anything.

The greater sin is exactly what happened in the Garden of Eden. The woman believed the serpent when he told her that if she ate of the fruit, her eyes would be opened and she would be like God (Genesis 3:5). She would be free from His throttle and restraints. Whatever it was exactly that motivated the man to eat, when he did, he claimed by his conduct that he knew better than God. He put himself in the position of judging God. He was all the god he needed.

Where does that end? Once a man decides that he doesn’t need to listen to God, why should he listen to “nature,” or science, or history, or court rulings, or neighbors? He trumps God; who can trump him?

Abortion and same-sex mirage (as Doug Wilson can’t help but continue to call it) under government license, or ESPN giving Bruce Jenner a “courage” award, each of these sins are found in seed form in Adam’s rebellion. The sins in our cultural garden are not worse than the sin in the first garden. All sins stem from denying the Creator’s authority.

Romans reveals this same chain of sin. A man who rejects God the Creator, who will not honor Him or give Him thanks, exchanges the glory of God for that of man. “Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28). Men worship and serve the creature, including themselves, and

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:26–27)

This is part of the reason why our attention to Genesis changes culture, even if that is only visible in the little cultures/communities of our life together. Genesis 2:24 is a great definition of marriage, but we first need a great understanding of God, the One who gives life and makes marriage. Seeing Him as the creative Giver of all our good, and seeing the serpent as a subtle deceiver, changes how we listen to our options.

Living together, fornication, easy (no-fault) divorce, adultery, are all forms of covenant breaking that disregard God’s word. Though there have always been some abnormally immoral, we are now in a time when that sort of immorality is claimed to be normal. In one sense we’ve worked up to the extreme cases, in another sense we still haven’t done anything as stupid as try to be God.

The original sin went contrary to nature. What should have been more obvious than that man was not God? Man’s defiance was perverse (deviating from what was right and good), dishonorable (shameful, not exalting), and destructive. So it is with every sin, and some are more obvious. Men and women act contrary to nature–as defined by nature’s Maker–and this is the inevitable consequence when men do not see fit to acknowledge God.

Fixing Bounds by Faith

Were it deeply engraven on our minds, that in God alone we have the highest and complete perfection of all good things; we should easily fix bounds to those wicked desires by which we are miserably tormented.

—John Calvin, Genesis

Genesis 15:1, while a special revelation to Abram, stimulates the faith of all Abram’s children. Darby’s Literal Translation stretches out two branches of God’s promise on which belief hangs: “Fear not, Abram; I am thy shield, thy exceeding great reward.” The LORD protects (He is “shield”) and the LORD blesses (He is the “exceeding great reward”). In Him are security and satisfaction. Our belief is bolstered and our fears are banished as we deliberate over His posture toward us. That, at least, was John Calvin’s commentary take-away.

Living on Unseen Things

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Last year in one28 we were Starting at the Beginning. This year it’s time to move ahead. It’s time to make progress.

But making progress is difficult, especially in the Christian life. The world is against us. The evil one is against us. Our own flesh is against us. We travel a hard road. The path is narrow, often steep and slippery. The way is lined with naysayers hurling insults and discouragements toward us. We are afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and perhaps even struck down and dying.

And yet, the difficult Christian journey demonstrates God’s perfections more than if there was no journey (meaning if God took us to heaven immediately) or if the journey was always triumphant (meaning if crowds applauded and praised us all along the way).

One compelling witness to the demanding and God-exalting Christian journey was John Bunyan. In his autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, Bunyan wrote about preparing for life in the Bedford Prison (pictured above) for his unwillingness to give up preaching the gospel.

Before I came to prison, I saw what was a-coming, and had especially two considerations warm upon my heart; the first was how to be able to endure, should my imprisonment be long and tedious; the second was how to be able to encounter death, should that be here my portion….[T]hat saying in 2 Co. 1:9 was of great use to me, “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but God which raiseth the dead.” By this scripture I was made to see, that if I would ever suffer rightly, I must pass a sentence of death upon everything that can properly be called a thing of this life, even to reckon myself, my wife, my children, my health, my enjoyments, and all, as dead to me, and myself as dead to them.

The second was, to live upon God that is invisible.

His imprisonment lasted 12 years. In effect, his wife was a ministry widow like few others; his children–the oldest blind–were pastoral orphans. How did he endure? The key paragraph of Scripture that informed his resolve was 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Integrating Paul’s call to look to the things that are unseen, and Bunyan’s commitment to live on God that is invisible, we get our 2009-10 theme: Living on Unseen Things.

To live on means to survive solely by consuming a certain thing. Unseen things are the “not” seen, things hidden from sight. In the spiritual realm, the unseen things include gospel promises, gospel principles, and God Himself, all of which are eternal.

  • Gospel promises include: eternal life, eternal inheritance, and final transformation.
  • Gospel principles include: death shows life, weakness shows power, pain increases pleasure, suffering increases capacity for glory.
  • God Himself: understood as the righteous Judge, understood as the merciful and preserving Savior.

We will not work and pray and suffer and sojourn and die to the glory of God unless we live on unseen things. The theme will weave throughout our ministry year as follows.

Living on Unseen Things

The 2010 Snow Retreat will take the same name as our year’s theme: Living on Unseen ThingsThe Key to John Bunyan’s Christian Journey. Bunyan’s life and teaching are of great profit for our own pilgrimage.

Pilgrim’s Reading

In preparation for the 10SR, and because it’s devotionally good for the soul anyway, we’ll be reading The Pilgrim’s Progress as a ministry. The link above provides a schedule for finishing the book the week before the retreat begins. Small groups are encouraged to talk about the reading at their bi-monthly meetings.

Genesis

Sunday mornings we’ll continue our trek through the Book of Beginnings. Though he’d never seen rain before, Noah lived on God’s word that a flood was coming. And assuming we get to chapter 12 sometime this year, we’ll see that Abram (and family) left their country and kindred for a land unseen as the LORD directed.

1 Peter

On corporate one28 Wednesday nights, Jonathan Sarr will preach through 1 Peter, an epistle written to elect exiles (pilgrims), about an yet-to-be-fully-revealed salvation and an eternal inheritance (in a Celestial City). Though we have not seen Christ, we love Him (1 Peter 1:8-9) and follow His example as He entrusted Himself to the (unseen) One who judges justly (2:23; 4:19).

Devoted to Prayer

Our GBC Saturday seminar this year is titled, Devoted to Prayer–Wearing Knee-Holes in Hardwood Floors. Apart from rightly dividing God’s Word, I can’t think of any more pivotal exercise for living on unseen things than prayer.

Within a short month of announcing the theme to the one28 staff, the challenge to live on unseen things has been furious for me. I’m going to need this theme like the diseased need a doctor. My guess is, so will you. Though there’s a year-full of meditation and application ahead, the following quote from Bunyan’s autobiography paves a clear path.

I had also this consideration, that if I should now venture all for God, I engaged God to take care of my concernments.

Let us make progress and venture every step this year for God.

Soiled Souls

*Image by Pulpolux

If God hadn’t promised never to flood the earth again, would He see that the wickedness of man is great in the earth and that our intentions and thoughts and are conduct are evil and destroy us today? Are we really less corrupt than those in Noah’s day, or are we as bad as, or maybe even worse than, the sinners in Genesis six?

There’s no doubt about it: the weight of wickedness in Genesis 6:1-8 is crushing. First of all, the corruption was so bad that God flooded the earth and destroyed the entire population, save one family. That’s a fact. Their extreme evil warranted extreme judgment.

Second, the depth of depravity is divinely described as “every intention was only evil continually.” Their evil was exhaustive (each and every thought), exclusive (without exception), and extensive (all day, every day).

Third, there was demonic influence, and offspring, among men. Driven by sensual lust, the “sons of God” had offspring with the “daughters of man.”

Fourth, men had hundreds of years to “perfect” their sin, to invent new ways to be wicked, to hone their corruption. Even though Moses didn’t list the years of Cain’s descendants–he only does so for Seth’s line in chapter five–the average lifespan was long enough to make 120 years a significant punishment by limitation (v.3). It’s hard to imagine how soiled a soul would be after 200, 500, or 800 years.

Fifth, though not all, many of those in Genesis six lived lives that overlapped with Adam himself. They could have seen and talked to Adam about the exquisite garden, and about the deceiving serpent. They could have heard firsthand experience about how much better fellowship with God was compared to forbidden fruit, from someone who lost more blessing than anyone due to his disobedience. Yet other than Noah, men rejected in-person revelation, the likes of which have never been since.

It’s no wonder the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart.

The question is, then, how do we compare? How heavy is the weight of our wickedness?

First, who says that “every intention of the thoughts of (man’s) heart (are not still) only evil continually”? Scripture doesn’t ever reverse or repeal the Genesis 6 statement after the flood. In fact, none is righteous, no not one. No one seeks God. All have turned aside. Men are slaves of sin, tyrannized under it’s corrupting power. Men walk in sin, follow the course of this world, follow the serpent, and live in the passions of the flesh and are children of wrath by nature. This is not better.

Second, demonic assault is no less a threat today. We may not talk about it as much or see demonic offspring walking among us, but Satan’s schemes are no less effective and destructive. We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against cosmic powers over this present darkness against spiritual forces in the heavenly places. The devil prowls no less today like a lion, seeking prey to devour. That’s not better.

Third, men may have had hundreds of years to fine tune their sin, but we have hundreds of cable TV channels to tune into other people’s wicked ideas, thousands of movies to rent and songs to download, and millions of websites with the ugliest, most God-dishonoring trash in the universe. We need not apply creative energy toward corruption, we can adopt from (and pay) those innovators before us. We can soil our souls in an unimaginable number of ways that those in Noah’s days couldn’t have dreamed of. That’s not better.

Fourth, we may not have met Adam, but we reject the inspired Book that includes Adam’s story. In fact, unlike those in Genesis 6, we reject a complete canon of God’s special revelation. More than that, we live after God’s incarnate revelation of Himself, God the Son, God in flesh, God among us. His life and work are recorded for us, yet we reject the living and written Word. That’s not better.

Finally, though the sin in Genesis was so bad that God destroyed the earth’s population in one swell flood, *our sin is so bad, so offensive, so wretched, so God-dishonoring, that God wounded His only Son for our transgressions*. He crushed Christ for our iniquities. He laid on Jesus the iniquity of all us who believe. One death was far more brutal, more painful, and more severe than all the combined deaths in the flood. That’s not better.

Maybe a comparison between pre-flood depravity and modern day depravity isn’t quite apples to apples, but we can say for certain that things were bad then, and things are bad now. There is no place for smug self-righteousness on our part. For whatever else Genesis 6:1-8 works in our souls, it should convict us, humble us, and cause us to seek God’s mercy for our own rebellion. We would be wrong to see the pre-flood wickedness and not consider our own corruption. We would be wrong to see God’s sorrow over, and seriousness about sin and not grieve over, repent from, and seek forgiveness in Christ for our own soiled souls.

Image-Bearing Resolutions

The making of New Year’s resolutions can be a complete waste of time. Some goals are cheap or petty, while goals that are worthwhile may be ruined by selfish motives. It seems like many don’t follow through on their commitments much past the first few weeks of January, if they make it that far.

Nevertheless, I make resolutions. At the end of 2006, I wrote:

While the making and breaking of New Year’s Resolutions can be the epitome of vanity and meaninglessness, and even though most resolutions are typically temporal and banal, I think there is something constructive for Christians in considering the progress of their faith and then making commitments to pursue Christ in specific ways.

Spiritual transformation and progress is essential–not optional–for Christ-followers. It is not only beneficial to consider our failures, weaknesses, and sin and address them, it is NEEDFUL! And it is needful not only on a yearly basis, but on a weekly basis, a daily basis, and even sometimes on a moment-by-moment basis. Examining our lives once a year is like examining our course from 30,000 feet–we get a good view but we’re too far away to change much. Of course, from the five foot view we can deal with a lot of things, but we can’t always recognize past patterns and potential pitfalls.

So I connect resolution-making with that 30,000 foot course evaluation, viewing a new year as another opportunity to consider personal growth in Christlikeness.1 As we prepared for the ’07 Snow Retreat, titled “Looking Only to Christ,” I listed four identifiers of Christlike resolutions. Then, while we were nearing the end of our study of Ecclesiastes in 2008, I suggested three ways to make Solomonic resolutions. I created these lists primarily to help shape my own pursuit of spiritual progress, and perhaps they’ve also been beneficial for helping some of the students and staff in our ministry.

This year we’ve started at the beginning of Genesis. In light of the massive implications of answering What is man? in Genesis 1:26-28, I’d like to propose two objectives of image-bearing resolutions.

1. Image-bearers make resolutions to maximize their calling.

God commanded men to subdue the earth and have dominion over the animals, thereby establishing divine cause to explore and to study the earth, and then to use that knowledge to develop it. In other words, God commissioned men to change the world.

To our shame, we have largely ignored our human calling to “to order, develop, and embellish God’s splendid creation, to realize the multifarious potentialities which were embedded within it.” (David Hageman, Ploughing in Hope, 29). Christian young people are often the worst culprits of laziness and low aspirations. I find that more pagan young people seem to have vision for achieving their goals, even though their motivation may be nothing but pride. Christians–in the OT, God-fearers–should be the most eager, motivated, and well-educated workers. We recognize that changing the world isn’t a burden; it’s a privilege. We should train and be the best teachers, the best scientists, the best artists, the best widget-makers because we have the proper perspective on what it means to be human.

The Cultural Mandate involves making and shaping everything on earth as God’s image-bearers.2 To that end, God has given each one of us different desires and talents to be used; He has given each person a “calling.” No matter what our skill or skill level, we are to reflect God as we go, invent, build, and organize. Sometimes it is said that the only thing we can do on earth that we can’t do in heaven is evangelize. Not true. Man was given a purpose on the planet before the need to evangelize even existed.

Image-bearers recognize their calling and make resolutions to change their community, their culture, and their world.3

2. Image-bearers make resolutions to strengthen their relationships.

Our God was (and still is) a personal God before He created; the three Persons enjoy eternal relationships with each other. Each Person is different, yet the Three are One. The relationships among the Godhead are the foundation of, and pattern for, human relationships. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Men and women bear the image of a relational God.

The first thing in creation that God identifies as “not good” is man’s solitary condition, and teaches man that it isn’t good for him to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Loners are incomplete. Loners may work and produce like nobody’s business. Adam may have named a few hundred, or even thousand, animals in Genesis 2:19-20. After God created Eve, Adam didn’t celebrate that he had a co-worker, he celebrated because he had a companion. Life is more than doing stuff, it is doing stuff with someone(s). Resolutions made by image-bearers must be about more than tasks and projects, they should revolve around people.

The biggest problem with maximizing our calling, as well as strengthening our relationships, is sin. Sin makes us lazy, not responsible. Sin makes us selfish and self-centered, not relational. Adam wasn’t enslaved to sin in chapter two. But we live in a Genesis three world. We need help outside ourselves to fulfill our image-bearing responsibilities. Thanks to the gospel, God’s Son, God’s Spirit, and God’s Word, we can be restored to reflect God through our resolutions better this year than last.


  1. Again, the new year is is one possible time for this kind of examination, but certainly not the only time. This post, for example, comes more than a week into 2009, which I’m going say, only adds to my point.
  2. In her book, Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey puts it this way.
    In Genesis, God gives what we might call the first job description: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” The first phrase, “be fruitful and multiply” means to develop the social world: build families, churches, schools, cities, governments, laws. The second phrase, “subdue the earth,” means to harness the natural world: plant crops, build bridges, design computers, compose music. This passage is sometimes called the Cultural Mandate because it tells us that our original purpose was to create cultures, build civilizations-nothing less.
  3. Of course, success in “changing the world” depends entirely on God’s grace. Men are responsible to work with all their might, but God’s plan always stands. Even if things don’t work out exactly as we intended, we can still find enjoyment in our toil.

Night and Day

Part 8 of the series: Shooting Down Theistic Evolution

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All six bullets I’ve mentioned come from observation of the biblical story itself. In light of how obviously they refute theistic evolution, let alone naturalistic, I wonder if Darwin didn’t concoct his theory by sitting down with Genesis one in front of him and consciously writing an anti-Genesis story. Since he grew up in a professing Christian home, I think it’s reasonable to suppose he knew exactly the truth he was rejecting. What a shame that so many believers try to squeeze his anti-God scheme into Scripture.

And while we’re wondering out loud, could Moses have written the story in any other way that would have been more beyond doubt that he was referring to six 24 hour days? Henry Morris put it this way:

If the reader asks himself this question: “Suppose the writer of Genesis wished to teach his readers that all things were created and made in six literal days, then what words would he use to best convey this thought?” he would have to answer that the writer would have used the actual words in Genesis 1. If he wished to convey the idea of long geological ages, however, he surely could have done it far more clearly and effectively in other words than those in which he selected. (The Genesis Record, 54)

If the assignment was to leave open the possibility of evolution in chapter one, then Moses failed.

No matter how a person might attempt to fit evolution into Genesis by saying that God is responsible for it, he still must deny the Bible on some level. Either Scripture or “science” is wrong. We cannot eat evolution cake with Genesis one icing.

Finally, let me acknowledge that our belief in a literal six-day creation is built and framed by revelation. But belief in God’s Word is not the same thing as belief based on never seen, never proven guesswork. Beliefs in evolution are blind beliefs, nothing better than stabs in the dark. God’s Word, on the other hand, is light in the darkness. The biblical account of creation is night and day from theistic evolution.

Bullet Six – Bad Good

Part 7 of the series: Shooting Down Theistic Evolution

*At multiple points throughout week one, God declared His work “good.” When He gathered the waters together to make dry land, God saw that it was good (verse 10). When He made plants and trees yielding seed and bearing fruit, God saw that it was good (verse 12). When He set the sun and moon to rule the day and night, God saw that it was good (verse 18). When He created fish and fowl, God saw that it was good (verse 21). When He made livestock and insects, God saw that it was good (verse 25).

As He prepared the earth for life, specifically life for His image-bearers, God pronounced His own approving evaluation of creation’s goodness. That is, God declared creation’s beauty and quality and acceptability and desirability. (As a side note, setting up the earth for life is not the same as making little-life and causing it to mutate into more complex life.)

Then, God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (verse 31). There was nothing about His creation that was deficient or defective or hurtful. So here’s the question: if killing and death prevailed on the planet, with weak and mutant and in-between-stages creatures, as evolution requires, how could God claim “everything was very good”? Theistic evolution must imply that death is an acceptable good, that as long as the fittest survive and overall progress is being made, everything is okay. But in biblical terms, that is a very bad kind of good, and really no good at all.