Original Research - Special Collection: Structural subjects - Church History and Systematic Theology

Tussen sciëntisme en fideïsme: Acceptatie van de evolutietheorie als theologische uitdaging

Gijsbert van den Brink
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 1 | a2729 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2729 | © 2014 Gijsbert van den Brink | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 May 2014 | Published: 04 November 2014

About the author(s)

Gijsbert van den Brink, Faculty of Theology, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Protestantse Theologische Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Between scientism and fideism: Acceptance of evolution as a theological challenge. In this contribution to the special issue of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies that is dedicated to Prof. Buitendag, I will explore what Prof. Buitendag’s notion of a ‘revised natural theology’ might mean for the theological reception of the scientific theory of biological evolution. I argue that two extremes must be avoided here. One is the fideistic ignoring of (or refusal to take into account) the data that have been placed on the table regarding the evolutionary development of life on earth, as if these do not concern theology. The other extreme that theology must steer clear of is a scientistic over-interpretation of our knowledge of the evolutionary past, whereby the theory of evolution is magnified to a comprehensive philosophy of life (‘evolutionism’) that is incompatible with Christian faith.


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