If you follow the blog on Facebook, you’re likely to have seen at least a post or two regarding this series. It’s a topic dear to my heart, and these are ideas I’ve been pondering all year, yet the formation of the series has taken some time to get right. Thanks for reading my thoughts, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me a message.
I was raised under the impression that 7-day, at-the-snap-of-the-good-Lord’s-fingers, literalist Creationism was the only origins theory I could hold to if I truly believed in God. In more recent conversations with my parents, I realize that as a child, this is the simplest way to understand the idea that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” I’ve always been a very black-and-white person, so I held the firm view that evolution is evil, because it isn’t Creation, for a very long time (well, long as in over half of my almost 19 years). Even through high school sciences I never encountered anything that really seemed significant enough for me to reconsider my opinion (thank you private christian school). Oddly enough, it was my grade 11 Christian Perspectives teacher who first challenged me to rethink where I stood, explaining that the Genesis Creation account was written in a typical ancient Eastern style of poetic narrative. A story not meant to answer the questions of how, but rather who and why.
The discovery that genuine, Christ-seeking, mature Christians didn’t believe in literal Creation was ground-shaking. Through a unit exploring different theories and the evidence for and against them, I was stripped of my opinions, and left with many questions.
There are a few problems I have with evolution, as well as the Creation-evolution debate.
1. The widespread acceptance of evolution as a concrete explanation, neglecting the fact that it is a scientific hypothesis. Though there is evidence supporting the theory, it remains a proposed (unproven) mechanism.
2. The assumption that evolution removes the necessity of a higher power to explain our existence. When we do this, we also kill the idea we have a purpose outside of preserving our genetics through reproduction.
3. Creation vs. Evolution debates themselves drive me up the wall. You cannot argue against the evidence of a scientific discipline with theology, OR vice versa. You are speaking different languages. Its the same as trying to solve a math equation with poetry. You may in fact believe or accept some of the same things, yet these are lost in translation and feelings are hurt.
4. In some Christian situations, believing scientists are discredited as Christians because they may not take Genesis literally, or they are trying too hard to explain God.
5. In academic situations, believing scientists can be the subject of ridicule, believed to be close-minded and incapable of objective reasoning when it comes to evolutionary theory (or anything else…)
When I decided in high school not to take a firm view on how I think our world came about, it may have done in avoidance of the issue. However, I feel the basis of my reasoning is sound. Whether our physical origins are found in Genesis or a text book, this is what I know to be truth:
My God has the power to create the world in an instant, over seven carefully planned 24-hour days, or even to orchestrate it over billions of years. He is the Beginning and the End.
My God has the creativity to make everything the way he wanted instantly, or to work through creative stages. He is the Artist.
My God has the intelligence to make the world work. He caused all the physical, chemical and biological laws function in a way that allow for life and beauty to thrive. He is the Author of Science.
My God is outside of time, knowing always the beginning and the end. In that, He knows me. He created the world knowing that one day I would be here, and I would choose to love Him, and He would be able to use me to build His Kingdom. He is the Architect and the Visionary.
How do I believe we came to be?
By God’s design. Let’s not put Him in a box.
Part 2 is now up here.