Todd Wood and Darrel Falk have a lot in common. Both are evangelical believers who serve the Lord as scientists in the field of biology. Both exhibit an irenic spirit and display Christian character. However, Wood is a young-earth creationist while Falk holds to evolutionary creationism. Together they have authored a book provocatively entitled The Fool and the Heretic (Zondervan, 2019).
Wood believes that the earth is less than 10,000 years old and that God created each species by direct, miraculous action. Therefore he holds that much about the origin of the world is beyond scientific exploration. Unlike many other young-earth creationists, Wood admits that the arguments for an ancient earth and for evolution are very strong. But he rejects these arguments because he does not think they are compatible with a high view of Scripture. Many within the scientific community think Wood’s position is foolish, hence the first part of the book’s title.
Falk also believes that God created the heavens and the earth, but that He did so primarily by indirect, providential means. Therefore he holds that science is able to investigate the processes that God used to bring about the world, and that the evolutionary model is basically correct. Falk thinks that the teachings of Scripture and the scientific consensus about evolution are compatible, though he admits that the historicity of Adam and Eve presents a challenge to his approach. Many within the evangelical community believe Falk’s position to be heretical, hence the second part of the book’s title.
On Tuesday, February 25th, at 7pm, Drs. Wood and Falk presented their respective arguments at the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture in a deeply personal, often vulnerable conversation. They strongly disagree, but they do so with charity and respect. As you watch, perhaps you’ll discover that neither man is as foolish or heretical as he seems.
Watch the discussion above, or read an excerpt below (edited for clarity).
We desperately need to reflect the love of Christ in everything that we say and do, especially with those that we really don’t agree with.
Todd Wood on the need for charity:
“And I think some of the things I’ve learned from all of this is that we desperately need to reflect the love of Christ in everything that we say and do, especially with those that we really don’t agree with. There’s something quite powerful about that.”
Todd Wood on how spiritual disciplines helped them have unity.
“The shared practice of praying and reading Scripture together at every meeting, no matter what, has been an essential part. Because when we are together, then Christ is with us. That was so important to me. And now I look at others in the same sort of debate, in the same sort of argument, and I see how they’re reacting to you, I see how they’re reacting to us, and I think a lot of the negative reactions I’ve gotten are because people live in their little echo chambers, and they don’t hear anybody actually advocating a position. All they do is have a book, and I don’t agree with that book, so [they think] that person’s terrible. Well, it’s way more complicated than that.”