Edited by Leslyn Kim

fish cross

How would you define yourself when it comes to religion, science and creation?

I find it interesting that this conversation came up recently with my family where we talked about what we believe about creation versus evolutionIt’s funny how that works, I’ve been reading recently about Theistic Evolution and Progressive Creationism and lo and behold the subject pops up over Christmas dinner with the family – LOL.  To keep it fun and light-hearted, I’ll try my best to inject some humor into this post for the people who feel a little uneasy with topics that deviate from Young Earth Creationism or any strict literal interpretation of the bible.

Since very few people probably care to know the microscopic details of each belief I’m going to try and jam each view into a paragraph or two and then provide some extra reading resources for people interested in exploring each of them further.  I guess that’s the beauty and yet the danger of the internet.  One can follow any belief that they have, right or wrong, as deep down into the rabbit hole as you would like to go….

Theistic Evolution:

Often described as Christian Darwinist’s, Theistic Evolutionists [1] believe that modern biology (particularly evolutionary biology – micro and macro) can be compatible with the bible.  In short, they have no qualms excepting that an infinitely powerful and awesome God can create things however he likes.  Imagine that.   In their minds evolution is just one of many scientific tools that God (being the author and creator of them all) used in time to bring about human life.  Not surprisingly this view is largely accepted by mainline Protestant denominations like Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists,  and the Catholic Church.  I say that it’s not surprising because of the demographic makeup of many of these denominations.  To put it bluntly (warning I’m about to generalize), these tend to be highly-educated, open-minded individuals, who could care less if they’re labeled as theologically liberal (to some degree).  HeeHee.  That would include people like Billy Graham, N.T. Wright, and Tim Keller (all at least open to Theistic Evolution).  Each of them, in my opinion being good Christ-loving theologians and pastors.  And each of them being strong enough in mind and of the faith, so that the fear of men and the potential fear of castigation from the American Protestant “in-crowd” does not deter them from seeking truth.  Meaning, these are people comfortable with accepting the fact that the Genesis story of creation may be more of an allegory and spiritual in meaning than meant to be interpreted literally.  In other words, when God says in Genesis 1:11 – “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” that this process may have taken some time, or at least more than a day (2nd day).  Here are two quotes, the first one from a geneticist and member of the Eastern Orthodox Church and another from a theologian and philosopher from the Church of Nazarene:

“I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God’s, or Nature’s, method of creation. Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 BC; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way… Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology. Only if symbols are construed to mean what they are not intended to mean can there arise imaginary, insoluble conflicts… the blunder leads to blasphemy: the Creator is accused of systematic deceitfulness.” – Theodosius Dobzhansky  [1]

“The Bible tells us how to find abundant life, not the details of how life became abundant.” – Thomas Jay Oord  [1]

Each of the quotes above provide some great insight into the mind of a Theistic Evolutionist.  I don’t pretend to speak for them, but they may ask a Young Earth Creationist in relation to Genesis 1:11 (mentioned above)  – “How does believing that all of the earth’s vegetation sprang to life in one day enhance my faith in Jesus Christ?”  Or, to put it another way……  “How does believing that it took longer than a literal day cause me to question the authority and truth of scripture?”

Here’s a great resource, with much more in-depth information on Progressive Creationism:
http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/progressive.html

By the way, I have no skin in this game, only preferences.   Preferences that I will only accommodate as long as God allows me too, I hope.  More on that later.  Stay tuned for Part 2.

References:

[1] Progressive creationism. (2012, October 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:43, December 29, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Progressive_creationism&oldid=518752238

[2] http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/progressive.html

 

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