Thursday, October 14, 2010

Evolution, Devolution, Revolution Part 1

It is amazing to me what significance the book of Genesis has on our understanding of God, life and how we view the world.  With all the debates among Christians about whether evolution can be accepted, too often other questions and meanings get lost in the debate.  A couple of weeks ago, I read two articles; one by Rachel Held Evans and the other by Lisa Dye.  Both are about Genesis and both are about truth, but from very different angles.

Evolution is an enormous object of interest to many American Christians.  One facet totally refutes evolution, seeing it as contrary to scripture, while another holds a more nuanced view and works at reconciling both biblical and scientific truth.  I hold to the second view.  From the time I was in second grade and asked my dad how there could be real dinosaur bones buried in the ground, (I assume up until that point I believed dinosaurs to be a myth, but my memory is unclear on this point.), and he answered that they must have really been here, I have worked at figuring out how this could be.

When I was in college, the church my parents began attending had a wonderful video series in their library, titled, Does God Exist ?, which held multiple lessons by John Clayton, a scientist and high school science teacher.  Through these, he taught some of the fallacies evolutionists have taught along the way, but he didn't dismiss everything that they taught.  The point of the series was of course a defense of the Christian faith, but there were so many answers, or potential answers to my questions, that I poured over the series multiple times.

After I left college and become more well read, I discovered that a majority of the Christian authors I loved and respected had no problem with this reconciliation.  I was also encountering more Christians personally that were of this same mind.  Granted, the majority that I knew were still anti evolution, but as  my horizons were broadening and I learned more, there was a real burden that was lightening.  This is the kind of stuff that can keep me up at night, so as Evans explains in her article, I didn't have to choose between the two.  They didn't cancel each other out, and as I studied more, I found just how complimentary they could be.

There are still areas that are unclear, which I will write about soon, but I wanted to get this series started with a bit of my background and understanding, then move onto some of the theological challenges in understanding scripture and the universe God created.


  1. I share your views on this topic and will look forward to your future posts. I think many people try to read the first chapters of Genesis like a science text and get a bad impression. An interesting viewpoint I recently heard was in looking at the creation account as written in Genesis in terms of a poetical or musical account of the creation story. If one looks at the way the verses are symmetrically presented, it could possibly be read from that context. Just another thought. Thanks for your interesting post.

  2. Thanks for your feedback, Jeff. Yes, I too have read of the creation account given in Genesis being poetic. God is telling something that is true, but how do we interpret that? Literally? Metaphorically? Simply theologically?
    I have intended to write more in a more timely manner, and I hope to have another post soon.
    Keep sharing your thoughts. They're good ones!