Should Evolution be a Threat to the Christian Church?
by Alan Anderson
My wife and I have decided to home-school our two daughters after careful consideration and much prayer. It hasn’t been easy but it has been ultimately satisfying for both them and us. We can say with confidence that they are getting a much better education from us (primarily my brilliant wife) than they would have ever gotten from the public school system. In the process, we have gotten the kids involved in a co-op at our local school so that they could socialize with other kids their own age and enjoy a Christian atmosphere of fellowship and learning. Inevitably along the way, my wife has been witness to some conversations where evolution (i.e. the “E” word) was talked about in a negative light. I’ve also directly witnessed Christians recoil at the utter mention of the word ‘evolution’. The mere utterance of ‘evolution’ is considered a sin in some Christian circles; but should it?
Just like William Lane Craig, as seen in the video above, I also have a ‘layman’s interest’ in the discussion of evolution. I personally find other topics much more interesting. However, it’s important to know whether evolution could genuinely refute the creation scriptures found in Genesis. Also, like Craig, I believe that the creation narrative is largely constructed of figurative language, which would not strongly preclude the possibility of an evolutionary model being true. Another great point that Craig makes is that since we can reasonably interpret the scriptures that reliably conclude that the creation narrative was written in a figurative genre, we can be open to go wherever the scientific evidence leads us!
Is the Bible a Science Book?
Evangelist Billy Graham once said,
“I don’t think that there’s any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we’ve tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren’t meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. … whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man’s relationship to God.” (p. 72-74)
Graham, like Craig, acknowledges that the Bible isn’t speaking in a literal scientific way during the creation account. With Graham being one of the most influential and respected evangelists over the last century and Craig being one of the most influential and respected Christian philosophers during my lifetime sharing a similar, if not identical, position on the matter of creation, the theological allowance of evolution should not upset the church in the way that it characteristically has.
As Graham brilliantly communicated…
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