I don’t know of anyone who claims that the Bible is a biology textbook which intends to teach us about topics like evolution. (Nevertheless, I can certainly say that I’ve found nothing in the Bible which denies biological evolution.) Meanwhile, I would encourage you to substitute other topics for the word “evolution” and see if your logic holds up:
Scripture is silent on inerrancy (as it never talks about inerrancy). If it was for it, there would be no such thing as the “inerrancy debate.”
Scripture is silent on Molinism (as it never talks about Molinism). If it was for it, there would be no such thing as the “Molinism debate.”
I could also say that the Bible is silent as to the globality of the Noahic Flood. Yet, there is certainly such a thing as “the global flood vs. regional flood debate.”
What is “face value”? I would argue that if “face value” is definable (and I’m not so sure that it is), it would have to be based on the intentions of the original author writing in Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek and, secondarily, as it was likely to be understood by the original audience----not the “face-value” assumed by an English Bible reader today. (I say “secondarily” because we know that sometimes the intention of the author was NOT the same as what the audience assumed. For example, Jesus’ disciples were very frustrated because the “face value” of his parables left them totally baffled. The disciples complained that “face value” totally failed them. They demanded explanations.)
I’ve spent a lifetime laboring over difficult passages of scriptures which required many hours of Greek and Hebrew exegesis. (I confess to doing not nearly as much work in Aramaic exegesis. That was not my field.) I do wish the “face value” meaning was as simple and accessible as you imply. I’ve always found it interesting when casual readers of the Bible tell me that “any ten-year old could tell you what this verse means”. Indeed, I’m always amazed when modern-day readers of English claim to have a better “face value” understanding of the scriptures than the Bible translators who spent many hours in committee arguing over the meanings. I suppose it is a kind of compliment to the work of Bible translators when the end product makes it all seem so simple! As to those all-knowing ten-year olds who can so easily tell us what the verse means, perhaps Bible societies should start hiring them to their translation committees. It would save a lot of work!
Anybody who has spent a lifetime preaching and teaching the Bible can share favorite anecdotes about how “reading the scriptures at face value” and looking for the “plain and obvious meaning” produced hilarious results. I remember my first example as a young preacher filling in for an absent pastor’s Sunday School class. It was one of those traditional classes where everybody read their assigned verse and then explained the meaning. One of the church elders, a man who had attended that church for literally 80+ years, read 1Peter 1:1 with great gusto:
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,…
He confidently explained, “Obviously, in Bible times there was a lot of drought. So it was often in the sun-dried times that God chose to speak through his prophets.”
Yes, that was reading “at face-value” what the Biblical text meant. (Hmmm, his interpretation always made me wonder if “divers manners” referred to proper scuba etiquette!)
Could you tell us which specific scriptures are “at odds with evolutionary history”? I’m sincerely curious. (And keep in mind that I was once a very adamant “creation science” speaker who regularly railed against biological evolution and got paid to do so.) I asked this very question of a student in one of my lectures a few years ago and she cited Genesis 1:24: "And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: …” She emphasized that reproduction “after its kind” or “according to his kind” [depending on the translation] meant “Dogs produce dogs. Cows produce cows. Not something else!” It never occurred to her that the Theory of Evolution agrees 100%. Indeed, if ever some organism failed to produce an offspring that was much like the parent/parents, that would be powerful potential evidence against the Theory of Evolution! Indeed, the Theory of Evolution predicts that organisms will continue to reproduce after their own kind. If a dog ever gave birth to a cow, we would have every right to throw out our evolutionary biology textbooks.
I would say that it depends upon what you mean. If by “attempts to fit” you mean, “The following scripture is a clear declaration from scripture that the Theory of Evolution is valid”, then I would entirely agree with you. The Bible doesn’t address topics of biological science in sufficient detail to where such a scenario makes any sense. However, if “attempts to fit” means “I don’t see any conflict between the Theory of Evolution and what is recorded in the Bible”, then I must disagree with you.
I read the NLT version of Genesis 1:24:
Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind–livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened.
… and I find nothing there which denies evolutionary processes. Indeed, this is also a great scripture for mention when the topic is abiogenesis: living organisms from non-living materials. The Hebrew word ERETZ (“land”, “dirt”, “ground”) is the source of biological life. God created a world where non-living materials can come alive. (Indeed, my digestive system continues to accomplish that trick every day. It takes dead materials and turns them into all sorts of living cells in my body. And the plants in my garden continually convert the raw, non-living chemical compounds of the soil and make living fruit and vegetable cells from them.)
I was involved in the drafting of one of the Chicago conference statements, in a very low-level way. (There was a series of conferences over a period of years. I was involved in the second conference, I think it was.) But that is an interesting story for another time.