Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Views on Evolution

My Statement of Faith

The stated purpose of the Bible can be plainly found in II Timothy 3:16. There it says, "All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." Notice that no where in this verse, or any other, does the Bible claim to be a science textbook. The Bible exists to communicate God's will for mankind so that we may glorify Him and receive salvation.

As a Christian, I believe in Creation, the Fall of Man, the Flood, and other such pivotal historical accounts of the Bible. It is impossible to be a Christian and not accept these events as real. That said, I do not know just how literally Genesis's early chapters should be understood.

Now, to any well-meaning brethren who would raise the inevitable protest, please notice the myriad of sites on my Links page. I am way beyond the ignorance anyone might accuse me of for holding the beliefs I do.

I am convinced that God has deliberately hidden many things from mankind, including indisputable scientific evidence of Himself. Now, please do not mistake my meaning here. The heavens still declare the glory of God. There is sufficient evidence in our very existence and our tormented consciences to imply a Creator and the need for His forgiveness. None of us have an excuse to ignore God, simply because we can't prove his existence like a mathematical equation, much less understand his full nature. Nor should we stake our salvation on what we small humans can discover about the scientific accuracy of the Bible. As my earthly father is fond of saying, "Belief is not a problem of evidence, but a problem of obedience."

Furthermore, remember how God destroyed an entire generation of Israelites in the desert. They saw his plain, unambiguous power and yet did not believe. Their example has led me to embrace this axiom: To him who is given greater evidence, from him will greater faith be demanded.

For this reason, no giant crosses orbit the Earth as the late Carl Sagan suggested there should be. No 1-800 phone lines connect to the Heavenly Home Office for direct consultation. Why, then, is it any surprise that the Bible and science do not always agree? Their correlation is close enough, however, to convince me of the Bible's legitimacy. Certainly, the moral teachings convict me. Where difficulties arise we must walk by faith and not by sight if we want to please God.

Having affirmed my faith in the Bible and God, I will now state my beliefs regarding the evolution controversy. Evolution, I believe, is a fact of God's Creation. As a consequence of this conviction, I am a theistic evolutionist.

The Difficulties of My Faith

No doubt, my beliefs will come as a disappointment to many fellow Christians. The evidence for evolution, however, is so vast that I will not even bother going into it. If you dispute evolution's reality, I suggest visiting Carl Drew's site and Talk for more material on the subject than most people will ever bother with.

Please do not think that I am unaware of the difficulties in believing both the Bible and modern evolutionary theory. I have directly linked several articles that lay out seemingly ironclad reasons for why evolution is evil, contrary to God's nature, and thus impossible to accept. I used to agree with many of the arguments, until I realized the physical evidence told me I had missed something.

You see, for most of my Christian life I interpreted Scripture with the notion that there existed one right doctrine for every important issue. I had only to look hard enough for it. After all, did not the Bible say nothing was written that we could not understand and that on whatever point Christians might disgree, God would make plain to us?

The reality of the Bible, however, is hardly so accomodating. God, while being a Deity of order, has left enough ambiguity in His Scriptures to allow for multitudes of equally supportable, but mutually exclusive doctrines. Clearly, the Bible is meant to be sufficient for our salvation, but not necessarily a total understanding of every doctrinal issue. The issues of Baptismal Regeneration, Instrumental music in worship, and the number of cups for communion service come to mind.

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