Archive for the ‘evolution’ Tag

A Beautiful Painting   Leave a comment

Define materialistic evolution however you want, it is an outgrowth and shield for modern humanist and secular thought in our society. It can be simply stated as the belief that all things we see in the world around us have developed by chance over enormous period of time. The unstated presupposition of this philosophy is also its hoped-for takeaway – there is no God who created the universe, no first cause that brought about the extraordinary diversity of the natural world. Disorder just somehow developed into order, chance somehow gave rise to the immense complexity and interdependence of life, searingly hot gas and rocks somehow spawned living things, inanimate life gave rise to thinking life, thinking life gave rise to sentient beings.

That’s a stretch akin to asking me to believe that 2+2=5 not just once, but thousands of times in the history of the universe. That just seems like an irrational leap of logic (or perhaps a Kierkkegaardian leap of faith).

“The heavens declare the glory of God; this skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1)

When we look at a beautiful painting, we ask “Who painted that?” and we praise the creator. Why shouldn’t we do the same with the universe?

Christianity declares that order, diversity, the intricate web of interdependence and beauty of the natural world were created by the living God who the Bible reveals to us. Order, diversity and beauty are products of God’s creative activity, not chance processes of natural selection. Scripture sees this truth as self-evident – it is common sense to look at the world and realize it is the product of a Creator.

 “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen,  being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

Intelligent Causation   Leave a comment

I believe in intelligent causation. The universe and all that is in it has been created and is being sustained by God (Colossians 1:16-17). I can’t call myself a follower of BioLogos because I do have some discomfort with modern mainstream science. I have a cousin who is a paleontologist and an atheist and even he says paleontologists ignore the evidence in their own field that evolution has not played out the way they present it in public discourse. However, I agree with quite a lot of the BioLogos belief statements.

BioLogos differs from the Intelligent Design movement in three respects:

  1. They are skeptical about the ability of biological science to prove the existence of an Intelligent Designer (whom they take to be the God of the Bible), while ID advocates are confident.
  2. They find unconvincing those attempts by ID theorists to scientifically confirm God’s activity in natural history, while ID theorists believe they have sufficiently demonstrated it.
  3. They see no biblical reason to view natural processes (including natural selection) as having removed God from the process of creation. It is all God’s and it is all intelligently designed. Those in the ID movement for the most part reject some or all of the major conclusions of evolutionary theory.

#1 – No problem there. Why would a metaphysical Being submit to human science? Again, it’s my dog trying to understand the creation of a human.

#2 – I agree we’re not going to scientifically confirm God’s activity in natural history. Again, we have limited understanding of an unlimited Being.

#3 – I think we’re all going to be surprised when God explains how the universe really works to us. We’re not as smart as we think we are. Even the scientists who accept BioLogos are not as smart as they think they are.

Despite these differences, all Christians agree that the God of the Bible is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. We agree on the authority of the Bible, even though we disagree on the best interpretation of particular passages. We agree that God is continually active in His sovereign governance of the universe, even though we disagree on how much God acts through natural law versus miracles. We are unified in our rejection of evolutionism, even though we use different strategies to counteract it. While Creationism and Intelligent Design reject the science of evolution and Biologos instead rejects the atheistic spin put on the science, the two movements agree on the fundamentals of Christian faith: that all people have sinned and that salvation comes only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All true Christians agree that the God of our salvation is the same God we see in the wonders of His creation and that creation extends from the vastness of the Milky Way down to the minutest detail of DNA.

Faith & Science Are Different, Not Incompatible   2 comments

I do so believe in dinosaurs and I do NOT believe the earth is 6000 years old. That, by the way, was one man’s interpretation of the Bible, which doesn’t claim the earth is 6000 years old. It follows the Hebrew people and their lineage, which goes back about 6000 years.

I believe that Bible was inspired by God and written by the hands of humans. Humans 4000 years ago had limited understanding of the natural world. As they wrote a book of history, I suspect some concepts just didn’t communicate very well between an eternal, all powerful, and spiritual Being to His limited creation.

Example?

Nobody knows how many “days” it actually took God to create the earth or how long He spent creating the universe. No, I am not saying I disbelieve the Bible. I believe it took six periods of time for God to create the universe. I suspect that Moses did not understood “day” in the same way that God experienced those periods of time.

What is a “day” to an eternal Being? Time must be a relative concept for Him, since He’s always existed. In fact, a thorough reading of the Bible would show the reader that God experiences time in a way that we do not. He knew what we would do before we existed, implying time applies to humans in a linear fashion, but God is outside of time. To Him, the moment of Creation may be like a second ago to us. So “day” means …? Well, there are those who insist it means a 24-hour period of planetary revolution, and God still loves them, but the Biblical account says God didn’t create the sun until the third “day”, so …? Yeah, not a scientific document. It’s a historical document, scribed by a time-limited human trying to understand a communication from an infinite and eternal Being. It might be a little like my dog trying to understand one of my blog posts. As dogs go my husky-mix is incredibly bright, but this blog post would be over her head. So, Christians who apply reason to the discussion of the earth’s age recognize that we really don’t know from the Bible how old the earth is and we’re okay with that.

It’s not denying science to have faith. It’s denying science has a right to define faith.They really are two completely separate subjects. Faith should not limit science because science deals with how the universe works, but neither should science seek to limit faith because faith deals with why the universe exists. That’s a middle ground that I think any Bible believing Christian can grow comfortable with if we allow ourselves to. Defending faith does not require that we discount science … only that we point out when scientism oversteps into areas that it is not qualified to comment upon.

I do consider myself a “creationist” in that I believe God created the world in the way described in the first chapters of Genesis, but I also think the first chapters of Genesis do not tell a complete picture. We have no idea how many generations separated Adam from Abraham. What is written about the time before Abraham is synopsis of millennia, most likely.

In my honest non-partisan way, I do not myself wholly agree with any one version of “creationism”. I find parts of the Creationist argument compelling (hence the acceptance of the first chapters of Genesis), but I also agree with Intelligent Design on some things. Science is a wonderful subject, but I think scientists sometimes draw wrong conclusions from their data because they want their worldview validated. I am also drawn to the BioLogos movement, what might be termed “theistic evolution”. My mind is not made up and I think that is a sign of intelligence, reason and faith.

All true Christians believe that God created the universe and all life. You can’t claim you’re a Biblical Christian and also say you think God wasn’t intimately involved. On the other hand, you can disagree with Young Earth Creationists who believe God created everything 6,000 to 10,000 years ago and dismiss much of modern mainstream science. I hold that Scripture and modern science both reveal God’s truth and that these truths are not in competition with one another. There is some disagreement in how to reconcile the truths of science and Scripture on particular issues. I’m not completely sold on evolution mainly because it is so often presented as evolutionism, which is a subset of scientism – the atheistic worldview that denies the existence of the supernatural even when it is so evident you’d have to be blind not to see it.

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