Evolution: Am I the ONLY Christian who DOESN’T have a problem with this?

As a Christian — who also happens to be a biology teacher — I am often haunted with a sort of apologetic schizophrenia when it comes to my thoughts on the origins of life and the amazing variety of species on our planet.

I have no problem accepting that the universe and all it contains exists because of the actions of a higher, intelligent power (whom I personally believe to be Jehovah, Yahweh, I AM, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — call him what you will.)

I also have no problem with the evidence, accumulated over the last century and a half, which suggests a common genetic origin for the species, and evolution through the last 4 billion years or so of those species through natural selection, as originally described by Charles Darwin and company.

Am I the only one?

It seems to me that most people in “The Scientific Community” (Hoboken, NJ) are deeply hostile to the idea of a theistic origin.  At the same time, most “Church People” seem steepled (ha ha!) in the idea that evolution is 100% NON-reconcilable with the Bible, and is part of a huge athiest plot to evict God (yeah, good luck with that…) from the public sphere.

Here’s what I think.

  • I believe in a God who makes sense.
  • I don’t believe that our definition of “makes sense” always jives with his, due to our relatively limited understanding of the universe.
  • I believe that the creation account in the first chapter of Genesis is NOT intended as a descriptive, in-depth science text, but a basis for God’s authority over his creation.  IE, he made it all, did a good job doing so, and he’s the boss.
  • I believe that the creation account in the second chapter of Genesis is intended to describe where Man fits into relationships with God, his creation, and with himself.
  • I believe that God, in his wisdom, built the ability to adapt into his creation.

So, am I wrong?  If so, PLEASE explain to me what I don’t get.  And please, rather than call names, be specific — point me toward future reading rather than bash what I’ve already read.

My sources (to give you some idea of where I’m coming from) include writings from Francis Collins, Hugh Ross, Neil deGrasse Tyson, J. Craig Venter, Mike Behe; as well as lectures from my teachers/professors, Sam Rhine, and my own personal observations.

I’m tired of wondering if I should feel like I’m a hypocrite… which I don’t… I don’t think


4 Responses to “Evolution: Am I the ONLY Christian who DOESN’T have a problem with this?”

  1. 1 gaj
    July 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Your view is the one I hear most in candid conversations with colleagues (I am a professional ecologist). Most say that while they don’t necessarily believe in the Bible as the direct word of God, they do believe in some greater power who set things in motion but doesn’t (for lack of a better term) micro-manage. A close friend of mine is devoutly Christian, and a microbial biologist. When asked if she believes in evolution, she replies ‘I believe in micro-evolution.’ I wish she would go into more detail on how she resolves her religion and her work, but in a way I think she has to keep them separate for her own sanity. When I was in high school and going through the process of confirmation (Catholic upbringing… ) a number of people in my program expressed doubts to the priest about whether they could go through confirmation while disagreeing with the Church’s stance on issues like sex before marriage and evolution. The priest responded with words that have stuck with me for, well, a long time: ‘I think that you should go through with your confirmation if you believe in God and his son, value life, and are willing to live by the Golden Rule. That is what makes you a true Chistian. I would like you to follow all the other teachings of the church, but I think our community should be open to all who accept those three core beliefs.’ I think if you are ever feeling hypocritical again, you should think about those thoughts. Peace!

  2. July 20, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    I really leave it as something that I cannot explain or understand. To a non-Christian, that may seem like cop-out answer, but it is the truth. If I have to win someone over to Christianity through the explanation of creation, it will not go well.

  3. 3 Jim Orr
    August 19, 2008 at 1:42 am

    Coming from my background (which you’re pretty well informed of), I struggled with this for a while. But, ultimately, it came down to this: At the time, I had two concepts and ideas that made sense to me. Instead of disregarding one for the other, I decided to see what would happen if they meshed, and it turns out that they go pretty well together. Granted, I may not believe what I used to when I was in High School (translation, I am now a Theistic Agnostic), I see absolutely no reason why an Intelligent Creator and Evolution cannot exist together. In fact, if you take away Evolution from ID, well, there’s nothing for ID to stand on. It, in my opinion, becomes very unreal.

    Granted, again, this is my opinion (pretty uninformed as well).

    So much has changed of young James, ‘eh?

  4. 4 Crittbeast
    September 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    You sum up my thoughts exactly.

    Now, I believe in God, in his all mighty power, but I also believe in completely random evolution…

    … in animals.

    I find it hard to believe that we were the ONLY (capitalized just for emphasis, not yelling through the internets) ones who developed so extremely much through some inconspicuously “random” events while non of these random events caused other animals on this planet to change in the way we did.

    I undoubtedly believe that a higher power had something to do with it.

    I’m not exactly sure if that all made sense, but yea.

    Good article JohnSeeking.

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The random musings of a 30-something, West Texas high-school science teacher. Hoo-RAY.
July 2008
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