Sometimes I wonder if writing about theistic evolution will cause some to doubt their faith, and that is certainly not what I want. For some people, if evolution is true, then Christianity is false. That is not what I believe, but if any of you possible readers do believe this, then I would not want you to read what I am writing and be troubled.

My quest to reconcile science and Christianity is far from over. Most of the books I have been reading (see the “Books” page of this blog) have dealt with the issues of evolution and an ancient universe primarily from the scientific perspective. They have been concerned primarily with explaining the evidence from the geological record, the fossil record, the stars’ light, DNA, carbon dating, etc. What I am hoping to do now is start reading books that address these issues from a Biblical and theological perspective. I recently checked out one promising read from my church’s library called The Christian View of Science and Scripture by Bernard Ramm, and I hope to write about it in future posts. Another book that I am interested in reading is Beyond the Firmament by Gordon J. Glover. If any of you have suggestions, please let me know in the comments section.

At this point in my journey, there are many difficulties that I see for theistic evolution. No doubt these are not new to any of you, but here they are, in no particular order:

1.  My understanding of the Bible is that physical death and suffering are not the way things are supposed to be. My own nature bears witness to this:  I dread death; I think that my own father’s death in a car accident was an undignified way to go; I think it’s cruel that animals prey on one another; it is depressing that we become old and weak. The list goes on and on. How can God use a process that is often cruel and always dependent on death?

2.  How do we account for the geneologies in Genesis that seem to indicate the earth is young?

3.  How do we account for the rationale for the Sabbath, i.e., that God created all things in six days and rested on the seventh?

4.  Doesn’t the apostle Paul teach that the earth has been subjected to futility? Doesn’t this suggest that the earth at one time was free from that futility?

5.  Doesn’t Paul teach that Adam was a real person? How can his explanation that all have fallen in Adam be reconciled to a non-literal interpretation of him?

6.  Doesn’t Genesis clearly teach that the Flood was universal? How can we account for the detail that the waters rose above the mountains or that God promised never to destroy the earth again?

7.  At what point did God breathe a spirit into humanity?

8.  Were Adam and Eve real or symbolic?

I am sure that there are other questions, but these are the main ones I hope to be thinking through. From my experience as a Christian who has taken a literal view of Genesis 1 and 2 for many years, these are the main objections from literalists. Questions like these are used to justify a false choice that is often laid before Christians, namely,  it’s either God or evolution, but never both.

While these objections to theistic evolution are a significant obstacle, I do not think that a literal six day interpretation fairs much better for a Christian. Here are difficulties that I see:

1.  As I understand it (as a layman with little scientific background), the scientific evidence from geology, astronomy, chemistry, and biology is against a young earth.

2.  Again, as I see it, the case from DNA, the fossil record, and the present variety of animals is pretty strong for evolution.

3.  The arrangement of Genesis 1 is highly structured and even poetic, suggesting a non-literal reading.

4.  The creation of the firmament and the placement of the stars in the firmament under the waters above suggests an ancient cosmology. This would indicate that God spoke to the Israelites in a way that they could understand and further suggests a need to read Genesis 1 in a non-literal way.

5.  The creation account of Genesis 2 can be read in such a way as to tell a different story of creation order. True, the NIV’s version can be harmonized with Genesis 1, but I am not convinced that the insertion of the word “had” in “Now God had created” is warranted.

6.  The Genesis 2 story has elements to it that are strongly mythological, e.g., the creation of Eve from a rib, the trees that impart eternal life and the knowledge of good and evil, and the explanations for pain in childbirth, etc.

Of course, there are others. The point is that there are problems with both views that are not easy. A spirit of humility ought to be present in all believers looking into this issue.

So that’s where I am in my spiritual quest. Your prayers are most welcome.

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