The thing that bothers me most about people who wish to uphold the Reformed tradition but who treat those who are not creationists in their sense of that term as dangerous heretics is that they act in utter disregard of the best lights of their own tradition. Some quotes anyone who wishes to be “young, restless, and Reformed” needs to know by heart:
Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921), President (they called it “principal” back then) of Princeton Seminary from 1887 to 1921, wrote the chapter on “The Deity of Christ” in The Fundamentals, from which the term Fundamentalism arose. Here is what Warfield said on the subject of the Bible and evolution:
I am free to say, for myself, that I do not think that there is any general statement in the Bible or any part of the account of creation, either as given in Genesis 1 and 2 or elsewhere alluded to, that need be opposed to evolution. . . .
The upshot of the whole matter is that there is no necessary antagonism of Christianity to evolution, provided that we do not hold to too extreme a form of evolution. To adopt any form that does not permit God freely to work apart from law and which does not allow miraculous intervention (in the giving of the soul, in creating Eve, etc.) will entail a great reconstruction of Christian doctrine, and a very great lowering of the detailed authority of the Bible. But if we condition the theory by allowing the constant oversight of God in the whole process, and his occasional supernatural interference for the production of new beginnings by an actual output of creative force, producing something new i.e., something not included even in posse in the preceding conditions,‹we may hold to the modified theory of evolution and be Christians in the ordinary orthodox sense.
Warfield, Lectures on Anthropology (December 1888), Speer Library, Princeton University.
I recommend this piece by Terry Gray, of the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Calvin College. A quote from Gray’s lecture:
Charles Hodge’s son, A. A. Hodge . . . wrote the following in the Introduction to Theism and Evolution by Joseph S. Van Dyke and reprinted in The Princeton Theology 1812-1921 edited and compiled by Mark Noll (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1983):
Evolution considered as the plan of an infinitely wise Person and executed under the control of His everywhere present energies can never be irreligious; can never exclude design, providence, grace, or miracles. Hence we repeat that what christians have cause to consider with apprehension is not evolution as a working hypothesis of science dealing with facts, but evolution as a philosophical speculation professing to account for the origin, causes, and end of all things.