It is not easy being an evangelical who embraces theistic evolution. On the one hand, as we have seen with the departure of Bruce Waltke from Reformed Theological Seminary that many evangelical institutions are simply not ready discuss how modern science relates to the authority of Scripture in this context. It is easy to bash those institutions. On the other hand, we must embrace the reality that there are very few options for an evangelical who takes the risks that Waltke has taken. Anyone who has ever attempted to argue that the Genesis creation narrative is vague enough for one to accept what is being said there while also realizing the evolution fills in the blanks has been accused of either (1) misreading the Scriptures or (2) not understanding evolution (e.g. this conversation here despite the work of people like Alister McGrath and Alvin Plantiga).
My question is this: Why should evangelicals who affirm the science of evolution be vocal about it? Where would such people go? Why put jobs and income on the line in order to defend something that although true is not essential to one’s field of study? If an evangelical must choose between being quiet about evolution or being quiet about everything else why should an evangelical scholar openly embrace evolution?
I know the easy answer for some would be to cease affiliation with evangelicals but I think that is missing the point. If the person affirms most of the other aspects of evangelicalism (e.g. the authority of Scriptures, the Trinity, the centrality of Jesus Christ) there will not be many more options elsewhere. Would it not be better to be quiet about one thing, quietly affirming it to yourself, than to have to be quiet about a whole bunch of other things?