When Calvinist scientists and theologians embrace evolutionary creationism, do they deny that random mutations are random? Maybe this is a silly question, but could creation ever be considered truly random in God's hands? Or might He actually take His hands off of the process altogether? Is there a biblical case for such a view? – J.B.

How does a baby get conceived? Of course the growth from ovum to man is all in God’s hands, so to speak, but if he really directly controls the process, then he would will some to be born with birth defects. And he would will others to be aborted spontaneously.

As with the double predestination of Calvinism (predestining some to be saved but not others entails predestining the others to be lost)— you can’t have it both ways. If some are destined to be saved / born healthily, then others are destined to be damned / born with spina bifida etc. Since we hesitate (and rightly so) to attribute spina bifida to God, the effects of random copying errors make for the most likely culprit. Doesn’t that make sense?

Thus random mutations, even those with negative consequences, would fall into the category of God’s permissive will. They are necessary consequences of biological life in the first place, just as a planet without storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes etc. would not be able to support advanced life. More on this in my podcast on responding to natural disaster.

As for Psalm 139, the psalmist declares how marvelous the developing fetus us. Nowhere does it say the baby will be perfect. Even a severely physically challenged baby is still a wonderful creation of God! For more thoughts along these lines, please listen to my lesson (with notes) on Abortion, Conception, & the Beginning of Human Life (membership login required).