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Question and Answer

Does the OPC reject evolution?


Does the OPC reject the unbiblical teaching of evolution? Do you prohibit people from being ministers who believe man evolved from animals?


My answer can be equally clear and succinct—it is "Yes." And in this instance I can say this with emphasis because of a rather recent judicial case in the OPC. A ruling elder who taught university level courses wanted to be free to say that Adam may have had animal ancestors. Oddly enough, in my opinion, he also seemed quite willing to say that Eve was made by a direct supernatural act of God from a rib of Adam. The session of his church determined that he could not serve as an elder unless he held that Adam was directly created by God. It was when God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life that he became a living being. Since animals were already such as had the breath of life in them it follows that no animal was Adam's ancestor.

The elder appealed this to his presbytery and later to the General Assembly. I was present at that General Assembly and was not only impressed by its decision to uphold the session's original decision, but also by the way in which the case was deliberated. Throughout the debate it was to the text of the Bible that appeal was made, and it was quite clear through the whole process that this elder was given ample opportunity to present his case to the assembly. It was also quite clear that the final decision was such that it became crystal clear that the answer to your two-part question is, indeed, a resounding "Yes!"

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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