Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
alphaparticle

why I believe in Christ and evolution

147 posts in this topic

I want to post this if anything to add diversity to this board, and so that people reading it can see that believers can have disagreements about certain things. The central thing in my mind is the faith in Jesus as resurrected Lord of the universe.

 

col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

 

and also

 

Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

 

I believe in Jesus as savior because I have come to believe that God exists, created everything, and that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Fundamentally this is what it comes down to. Those combination of facts made it likely to me the gospel is true, and that through Jesus we can have forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. Coming to believe this, as I have shared elsewhere, I actually sat on this information in a very uncomfortable state for a few days before praying and seeking forgiveness in the name of Jesus.

 

I think evolution is true because it seems true based on the evidence. The more I have looked into the case, the stronger it seems, if anything. By evolution here I mean the diversity of life on earth now arising from a common ancestor through descent with modification. Along with that is the view that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, that he universe is 13.7 billion years old. I believe further that God originated everything that exists, controls it, and I believe that God created us through these various physical means. It is possible to believe Col 1:16 and also think the Big Bang and evolutionary story is true about the world. The latter describes physical processes by which God creates. Nothing would exist at all without God willing it.

 

Psa 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
 
I do not think that God would create things so as to deceive us (such as created the universe to appear very old when it is not) and therefore there is a firm biblical reason to think we can infer things about the order in the world that are meaningful.
 

While I believe that evolution as I outlined above explains how our physical bodies arose, I also believe we have souls that God imputed to us, and which persist even after our physical bodies die.

 

It's not an illegitimate or easy question, however, to answer what I do with the creation account in Genesis. How can I take it seriously and authoritatively, as I am inclined to do as a part of the Bible? To be honest, I am not completely sure. There are many options on how to read these verses in light of what we find out through examining the physical universe. It remains an open question for me, and one that I imagine I will revisit possibly over a long time. Of course, it's hard for me to tell, insofar as it also depends on what the Spirit does.

 

All of this is to say, I have not found an intrinsic contradiction between accepting the physical story behind the Big Bang and evolution, and accepting the resurrection of Jesus and the truth of the gospel. It is possible to hold to the former and have faith in the former simultaneously.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting this.  And while I might disagree with you on evolution, this took courage to post and I salute you for doing so.  

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alpha,

While I don't agree with your viewpoint on how Adam originated, I respect your right to disagree, and I affirm to you that your beliefs do not in any way separate our relationship as brothers in Christ.

I applaud your willingness to "come out of the closet" on this issue, but I hope you have thick skin. Lol

Cheers,

Spock

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to you both.

 

It's cool. I don't think it's been a huge secret this has been my position, so I'm not sure how much of a 'coming out of the closet' it is exactly. My main hope with this is that others who hold back from the gospel because they hold to evolution/big bang etc see that it's possible to genuinely have both views.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to post this if anything to add diversity to this board, and so that people reading it can see that believers can have disagreements about certain things. The central thing in my mind is the faith in Jesus as resurrected Lord of the universe.

 

col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

 

and also

 

Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

 

I believe in Jesus as savior because I have come to believe that God exists, created everything, and that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Fundamentally this is what it comes down to. Those combination of facts made it likely to me the gospel is true, and that through Jesus we can have forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. Coming to believe this, as I have shared elsewhere, I actually sat on this information in a very uncomfortable state for a few days before praying and seeking forgiveness in the name of Jesus.

 

I think evolution is true because it seems true based on the evidence. The more I have looked into the case, the stronger it seems, if anything. By evolution here I mean the diversity of life on earth now arising from a common ancestor through descent with modification. Along with that is the view that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, that he universe is 13.7 billion years old. I believe further that God originated everything that exists, controls it, and I believe that God created us through these various physical means. It is possible to believe Col 1:16 and also think the Big Bang and evolutionary story is true about the world. The latter describes physical processes by which God creates. Nothing would exist at all without God willing it.

 

Psa 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

 
I do not think that God would create things so as to deceive us (such as created the universe to appear very old when it is not) and therefore there is a firm biblical reason to think we can infer things about the order in the world that are meaningful.
 

While I believe that evolution as I outlined above explains how our physical bodies arose, I also believe we have souls that God imputed to us, and which persist even after our physical bodies die.

 

It's not an illegitimate or easy question, however, to answer what I do with the creation account in Genesis. How can I take it seriously and authoritatively, as I am inclined to do as a part of the Bible? To be honest, I am not completely sure. There are many options on how to read these verses in light of what we find out through examining the physical universe. It remains an open question for me, and one that I imagine I will revisit possibly over a long time. Of course, it's hard for me to tell, insofar as it also depends on what the Spirit does.

 

All of this is to say, I have not found an intrinsic contradiction between accepting the physical story behind the Big Bang and evolution, and accepting the resurrection of Jesus and the truth of the gospel. It is possible to hold to the former and have faith in the former simultaneously.

I am very much on the same page as you; I believe there to be good evidence behind the Big Bang theory and evolution. I cannot conceive a single scientific discover that could refute the central truths of the gospel (chief of which are Creation, fall, and redemption through Jesus' literal death and resurrection).

 

 Have you read C.S. Lewis' depiction of Man's evolution.  It is contained in the Problem of Pain.

 

Unlike you I have no difficulty accepting the authority of the Genesis narrative, and I will here propose how I read it.

 

I believe the account can rightly be described as a myth, but the word myth as many connotations.

 

It can mean

 

a) a fictitious story

b) a fictitious story meant to capture or convey some universal experience or universal phenomenon (thus many of the Greek myths tell stories about people that are really stories about the seasons)

 

 

c) a true story told through a particular lens.  I believe the creation account of Genesis to be this kind of myth (so did Augustine, if I have understood him)

 

The facts of the story are 1) that God created the earth and created it good 2)that man fell to temptation and thereby suffered distance from God's presence.

 

The lens through which this story is written was made out of all the cultural idiosyncrasies current at the time which it was written: 2nd millennia ancient near east.

 

One of those elements (and I have posted this numerous times elsewhere) was temple ideology.  Temples were where the gods met their devotees.  Often times the completion of a temple was celebrated by a 7 day festival, at the end of which the idol (representing and in some sense hosting the god) was brought into the temple.  It was thought that the god was now "resting", which meant it had taken up the role as sovereign over that area.

 

Thus it is no coincidence that creation was depicted as a 6 day process with God resting on the 7th.  Genesis claims that the whole earth is God's temple, and that he is not confined to some local area as the other gods were thought to be.

 

The advantage of this is that I do not have to get into the typical "definition" debate which focuses on the meaning of the word "day".  I completely agree that the word means a 24 hour period.  But I do not think the point was to give a precise chronological account of the origins of our universe.  Its purpose was not scientific but theological.  Thus I submit to its theological authority; not because I think it scientifically wrong but theologically right, but because the text does not lead me to believe it was meant to be scientific at all.  I therefore can be fine if the sciences tell me the earth old, and still claim that, however old, Genesis teaches me that God created it and is sovereign over it (it is his temple).

 

thoughts?

 

clb

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Connor, that is typically how I've seen it as a minimum. It reveals important theological truths such as, there is only one God, He is incredibly powerful, He created everything,He created us with special intention, we were exiled from His direct presence due to sin, etc. Many things. My concern is, in allegorizing it away, am I just indulging in an ad hoc reading? While I think those theological truths are there either way, I am not comfortable in saying that I can dismiss the specific content of the narrative either.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Connor, that is typically how I've seen it as a minimum. It reveals important theological truths such as, there is only one God, He is incredibly powerful, He created everything,He created us with special intention, we were exiled from His direct presence due to sin, etc. Many things. My concern is, in allegorizing it away, am I just indulging in an ad hoc reading? While I think those theological truths are there either way, I am not comfortable in saying that I can dismiss the specific content of the narrative either.

I can only recommend digging into the cultural background (2nd millennium B.C.).  You said that you believe in evolution because of the evidence.  But history books are also written "because of evidence".  So are interpretations of Scripture.  When you pick up an English translation of the Bible, the words chosen to represent the Hebrew or Greek are chosen based on some kind of "evidence".  We are constantly consulting commentaries written by people familiar with the time period of the New Testament to find out what a puzzling passage means.  When I did my own digging, I found simply too many similarities between the ancient near eastern culture and the Genesis narrative, for it to be coincidence.  It was by no means "ad hoc".  It is a reading already steeped in the culture of that time.

 

Also, it isn't allegorizing away; "away" makes it sound dismissive....like the specific parts aren't important.  No!  They are extremely important for they are the vehicle for the central themes upon which you and I agree (and don't forget how important they would've been to the original readers/hearers of Genesis...........we are constantly forgetting that it is God's Word to them also....indeed, it was God's word to them FIRST.  a fact which I find refreshing; it makes me humble and brings me into a community that long predates me!  Which is exciting!  After all, I was grafted onto a branch not my own).

 

clb

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You said “I think evolution is true because it seems true based on the evidence.”

 

The creationist position is that all of the very same evidence interpreted to support the naturalistic models of reality (i.e. Common Ancestry and Standard Cosmology) can alternatively be interpreted to be consistent with the Biblical model of reality (including the creation account). Therefore, the distinction between the two positions has nothing to do with the existence or amount of evidence, but rather how one's faith presupposition influences the interpretation of the evidence; and which interpretations are preferred. So there is no legitimate, objective, scientific reason for any Christian to set aside their confidence in the reliability of the Biblical account.

 

The implication of your statement is that creationism is not supported by evidence – which demonstrates that you have not fairly considered the creationist position.

 

 

“The more I have looked into the case, the stronger it seems”

 

This perspective is based more in presupposition, than in an objective consideration of the science involved. Just last year I completes a Bachelor of Science; Majoring in Biology. Even though almost all of my course material was taught from an evolutionary perspective, no evidence was provided that couldn’t otherwise be interpreted to be consistent with the creationist model.

 

Historically, what we would call modern-science was originally conducted from the Biblical-theistic perspective. Then around the late 1700s, a new framework for science began to be promoted – now called naturalism (the faith paradigm which only considers natural explanations to qualify as truth). Since that time, the naturalistic perspective has become so ubiquitous in science that it is the only scientific perspective that most people ever encounter (i.e. in school, university, science documentaries etc.). This gives the logically false impression that naturalism is the only valid scientific perspective – which subsequently causes some Christians to falsely believe that they are rationally obligated to submit the authority of scripture to secular/naturalistic models.

 

 

“I do not think that God would create things so as to deceive us”

 

But there is no deception. All of the existing evidence can be interpreted to be consistent with the creationist/Biblical model of reality. It is only your perceived obligation to naturalistic science which would cause you to believe otherwise.

 

 

“All of this is to say, I have not found an intrinsic contradiction between accepting the physical story behind the Big Bang and evolution, and accepting the resurrection of Jesus and the truth of the gospel. It is possible to hold to the former and have faith in the former simultaneously.”

 

The Bible promotes (to a degree) freedom of mind and will and exhorts Christians to test all things. So I agree that Christians don’t have to agree on everything. Nevertheless, I think you have failed to consider some serious logical inconsistencies between the secular scientific models and Biblical Christianity.

 

* Firstly, a metaphor is supposed to relate to something similar; an antecedent. If creation is a metaphor, it is definitely not a metaphor for evolution. There should also be some grammatical indicator pointing the reader to a metaphorical interpretation. No such indicator exists in the texts.

* Evolution at its core is not so difficult to understand. The concept of humans descending from animals is common in many native cultures. Metaphor is unnecessary.

* A common sense rule of interpretation is that the texts should be interpreted according to the grammatical style in which they are written (That is, the grammatical context). The account of origins in Genesis is written as historical account.

* Using the above measures, if creation is not true, then the ultimate author (Who we believe to be God) either didn't know what He was talking about, or He is lying. If any part of scripture is unreliable, then the scripture in its entirety must be considered unreliable. The integrity of the Bible has either been preserved by God or not. If we get to decide which verses are relevant and which verses we can reject, then we make ourselves judges over God's word. Christians are often accused of cherry picking scriptures - if we interpret Genesis as metaphor, then that is exactly what we are doing.

* The concepts of evolution and long ages do not exist in the text. It has to be read into the text from external sources. These theories, whilst popular, are scientifically unverified (and essentially unfalsifiable). They are therefore faith conclusions. Human science is fallible and must be constantly updated and revised. There is no objective scientific reason for a Christian to doubt the reliability of the Genesis account.

* Jesus interpreted Genesis as history. Both Old Testament and New Testament authors interpreted the Genesis account as history. If we accept the secular version of history, we again imply that Jesus and the other authors of scripture are ignorant. And again we call into question the divine inspiration and integrity of the whole Bible.

* The Genesis account is necessary to explain how death and suffering could originate in the creation of a "good God". God created the world corruption free. It was through our sin that corruption entered the universe. Long age theories put death and corruption before humanity. How can a loving God create such a cruel concept as evolution which thrives on suffering?

* Death before sin undermines the entire reason for the gospel of Christ - to save humanity from the consequences of our sin. If death and suffering existed before humanity, then it would be unjust of God to hold us accountable for the impact of sin on the Earth. If we are not accountable then why do we need a Saviour?

The creation account is the foundation of all Christian doctrine and philosophy.

 

I respect your right to disagree, but I am unconvinced that you have given the issue its due consideration.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

why I believe in Christ and evolution

 

The title it a bit misleading, based on conversations I have had with you.   You don't really believe in Jesus AND evolution.  You believe in Evolution and you accept Christ only to the extent that faith in Jesus doesn't get in the way of believing in Evolution.   As long as you can separate Jesus from Genesis, then He is okay.  As long as Jesus knows His place and you can have Him on your terms, then you are okay with Jesus.    You can't seem to accept that Genesis is all about Jesus from start to finish.   Your theology about Jesus is the product of your imagination, and not the product of a thoughtful and prayerful study of God's Word.  

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You said “I think evolution is true because it seems true based on the evidence.”

 

The creationist position is that all of the very same evidence interpreted to support the naturalistic models of reality (i.e. Common Ancestry and Standard Cosmology) can alternatively be interpreted to be consistent with the Biblical model of reality (including the creation account). Therefore, the distinction between the two positions has nothing to do with the existence or amount of evidence, but rather how one's faith presupposition influences the interpretation of the evidence; and which interpretations are preferred. So there is no legitimate, objective, scientific reason for any Christian to set aside their confidence in the reliability of the Biblical account.

 

The implication of your statement is that creationism is not supported by evidence – which demonstrates that you have not fairly considered the creationist position.

 

 

“The more I have looked into the case, the stronger it seems”

 

This perspective is based more in presupposition, than in an objective consideration of the science involved. Just last year I completes a Bachelor of Science; Majoring in Biology. Even though almost all of my course material was taught from an evolutionary perspective, no evidence was provided that couldn’t otherwise be interpreted to be consistent with the creationist model.

 

Historically, what we would call modern-science was originally conducted from the Biblical-theistic perspective. Then around the late 1700s, a new framework for science began to be promoted – now called naturalism (the faith paradigm which only considers natural explanations to qualify as truth). Since that time, the naturalistic perspective has become so ubiquitous in science that it is the only scientific perspective that most people ever encounter (i.e. in school, university, science documentaries etc.). This gives the logically false impression that naturalism is the only valid scientific perspective – which subsequently causes some Christians to falsely believe that they are rationally obligated to submit the authority of scripture to secular/naturalistic models.

 

 

“I do not think that God would create things so as to deceive us”

 

But there is no deception. All of the existing evidence can be interpreted to be consistent with the creationist/Biblical model of reality. It is only your perceived obligation to naturalistic science which would cause you to believe otherwise.

 

 

“All of this is to say, I have not found an intrinsic contradiction between accepting the physical story behind the Big Bang and evolution, and accepting the resurrection of Jesus and the truth of the gospel. It is possible to hold to the former and have faith in the former simultaneously.”

 

The Bible promotes (to a degree) freedom of mind and will and exhorts Christians to test all things. So I agree that Christians don’t have to agree on everything. Nevertheless, I think you have failed to consider some serious logical inconsistencies between the secular scientific models and Biblical Christianity.

 

* Firstly, a metaphor is supposed to relate to something similar; an antecedent. If creation is a metaphor, it is definitely not a metaphor for evolution. There should also be some grammatical indicator pointing the reader to a metaphorical interpretation. No such indicator exists in the texts.

* Evolution at its core is not so difficult to understand. The concept of humans descending from animals is common in many native cultures. Metaphor is unnecessary.

* A common sense rule of interpretation is that the texts should be interpreted according to the grammatical style in which they are written (That is, the grammatical context). The account of origins in Genesis is written as historical account.

* Using the above measures, if creation is not true, then the ultimate author (Who we believe to be God) either didn't know what He was talking about, or He is lying. If any part of scripture is unreliable, then the scripture in its entirety must be considered unreliable. The integrity of the Bible has either been preserved by God or not. If we get to decide which verses are relevant and which verses we can reject, then we make ourselves judges over God's word. Christians are often accused of cherry picking scriptures - if we interpret Genesis as metaphor, then that is exactly what we are doing.

* The concepts of evolution and long ages do not exist in the text. It has to be read into the text from external sources. These theories, whilst popular, are scientifically unverified (and essentially unfalsifiable). They are therefore faith conclusions. Human science is fallible and must be constantly updated and revised. There is no objective scientific reason for a Christian to doubt the reliability of the Genesis account.

* Jesus interpreted Genesis as history. Both Old Testament and New Testament authors interpreted the Genesis account as history. If we accept the secular version of history, we again imply that Jesus and the other authors of scripture are ignorant. And again we call into question the divine inspiration and integrity of the whole Bible.

* The Genesis account is necessary to explain how death and suffering could originate in the creation of a "good God". God created the world corruption free. It was through our sin that corruption entered the universe. Long age theories put death and corruption before humanity. How can a loving God create such a cruel concept as evolution which thrives on suffering?

* Death before sin undermines the entire reason for the gospel of Christ - to save humanity from the consequences of our sin. If death and suffering existed before humanity, then it would be unjust of God to hold us accountable for the impact of sin on the Earth. If we are not accountable then why do we need a Saviour?

The creation account is the foundation of all Christian doctrine and philosophy.

 

I respect your right to disagree, but I am unconvinced that you have given the issue its due consideration.

 

WOW!!

 

:thumbsup:

 

Welcome Aboard !!!!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0