One article responding to Mohler's claims—specifically, the assertion that one cannot believe in evolution yet be an evangelical or biblical Christian (a claim I also dispute)—is especially worth reading. But the article itself, written by the president of the BioLogos Foundation, caught my attention less than this individual comment responding to it by one "Jon Garvey":
The real danger, it seems to me, is not disagreement but polarisation.Mr. Garvey is, of course, referencing a famous teaching of Jesus. Here's that teaching as it appears in Matthew 18:5-7 (TNIV):
On the one hand, the young people who, torn between fundamentalism and accepting science reject Christianity altogether. Millstones and necks come to mind: to these fundamentalism is a “skandalon”....
5"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.Generally, when I hear this passage, I've always heard it as something like "don't teach people that sinful things aren't sinful." Rather, we should teach them the ways of God. Indeed, I expect that Mohler would argue that his insistence on creationism and that women should not be ministers would be in keeping with his convictions about this very passage.
7"Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!
Garvey, however, is arguing something rather different on the basis of Jesus' words. Mohler (as referenced in the BioLogos article) suggests that atheists and he agree that evolutionary theory is incompatible with Christianity. Thus, a person who cannot believe in creationism has no choice but to be an atheist. Leaving aside whether this duality actually does represent the only choice available, it is undeniably a fact that many people, having been taught that evolution is indeed incompatible with Christian faith, upon learning more about scientific knowledge from the secular world, do end up abandoning the faith.
Could it be that this tragic turn of events is actually the "millstone" that causes a person to stumble? (Incidentally, "skandalon" refers to a Greek word representing something that causes a person to stumble or fall—in this case into sin—it is the word from which we get "scandal") Not the "false teaching" of evolution (granting the enormous assumption that it is false simply for the sake of argument), but the false choice that one must believe in creationism in order to be a Christian?
How tragic that, in trying to defend the faith, passionate Christians may well be working against Jesus' intentions. I guess it wouldn't be the first time....