I admit to being asleep at the wheel as far as the Bruce Waltke/ evolution controversy goes. In fact, it was just yesterday that I received an email from a friend about this issue. After getting myself up to speed by reading a transcript of Waltke’s comments here and what others had written about his comments here and here, I was struck by how this purported conservative Evangelical scholar was tripped up by his low view of the Scriptures.
Waltke’s association with the NIV and TNIV mis-translations indicate a low view of Scripture. Commenting in his article on Waltke, Paul Eliott wrote,
Waltke’s attitude toward the Bible itself belies orthodoxy. Waltke served on the translation committee of the New International Version of the Bible, and later on the translation committee of the gender-inclusive Today’s New International Version. In 2007, Waltke delivered the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary. He said that all Bible translations (the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation excepted) “are faithful and adequate.” He clarified this by saying that “all translations lead their audience to faith in Jesus Christ, into sound doctrine, and never into heresy.” He then stated that he thinks the best available English translation is Today’s New International Version! A more sensible commentator once accurately described TNIV as a “bastard child of political correctness.”
Had Waltke a proper Biblical understanding of the doctrine of Scripture, he would have had nothing to do with the NIV or TNIV. Neither of these translations is based on a sound Greek New Testament text, and neither employs sound translation principles.
Apart from the issue of translations, there is another problem with Waltke’s understanding of the doctrine of Scripture: he fails to understand that the Bible alone is truth. The opinions of scientists are not truth. The opinions of historians are not truth. The views of secular philosophers are not truth. The Bible calls these things “foolishness” and “empty deceit.” But Waltke makes the mistake of thinking that these things are true, that the [scientific] data for evolution is such that it cannot be denied. But Christ tells us where we may find truth. He said, “Your word is truth” (Jn.17:17). And God’s word tells us how he made the world: out of nothing, in the space of six literal days, and all very good.
We do not judge the veracity of the Bible by what scientists say, we judge the veracity of what the scientists say by the Bible. If scientists do not speak according to Scripture, we know their science is wrong. Or as Isaiah would put it, “there is no light in them.” God’s truth is all truth. There is no other.
Here’s the April 16, 2010 ABC News account of the Waltke controversy.
By the way, it’s true that in the wake of his leaving Reformed Seminary Orlando, Dr. Waltke has a new job: giving prosepctive seminary students another good reason to avoid Knox Theological Seminary.