At the recent ASA meeting at Point Loma a few of us were discussing the origin of the term "evolutionary creation" as an alternative to "theistic evolution". Obviously, Denis Lamoureux's 2008 book Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution which was based on Denis's earlier use of the term in a 2003 paper, made the term common-place in the evolution-creation discussion.
When Denis was asked about the term, he referred to Howard Van Till who had told Denis that the term had been used in Reformed circles for some time. I've been trying to track that down with little success.
Here is the line from that essay.
Since the term "theistic evolution" seems to be suspect for some reason, perhaps we should call it an "evolutionary creation". This semantic shift makes creation the noun rather than evolution, perhaps for the better.
My personal recollection for writing that the term "theistic evolution" was suspect had to do with the very negative way the term "theistic evolution" was received in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church during 1992 and 1993 when the controversy over my views of evolution first began.
I don't find the term in the 1991 "Report on Creation and Science" from the Christian Reformed Church (on-line at http://www.crcna.org/site_uploads/uploads/resources/synodical/creation%20and%20science%20agenda%201991.pdf
) where I might expect to see it if it had been used in Reformed circles since they summarized discussions in the Dutch Reformed world in that report. I don't find the term in Richard Bube's 1971 essay "We Believe in Creation" in Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 23:
121-122 (1971) (on-line at http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1971/JASA12-71Bube.html
) where the phrase would have been a fitting way to reclaim the term creation as distinct from "fiat" creation. I also don't find the term in Jan Lever's 1958 Creation and Evolution
. Lever was a biologist and was an early advocate in Dutch Reformed circles for some acceptance of evolutionary theory.
Lever does cite an 1899 essay by Abraham Kuyper who uses the term "evolutionistic creation" (the English translation). This essay entitled "Evolution" which can be found in English translation in the Calvin Theological Journal 31:
11-50 (1996) (on-line at http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Kuyper.html
). In section X Kuyper writes:
And that same difference would also distinguish such a divine evolutionistic creation from the Darwinian theory. Evolutionistic creation presupposes a God who first prepares the plan and then omnipotently executes it...
So while Kuyper uses the same idea, in English translation he does not precisely use the term "evolutionary creation". Perhaps in the Dutch there is no difference between "evolutionistic creation" and "evolutionary creation".
Can anyone help with this puzzle?