To the Christian, is science friend or foe? Where this debate usually finds an arena is in the area of creation; how or where or when did life begin? The overwhelmingly popular theory from the scientific community is the Big Bang and the Theory of Evolution. I realize this statement is an over simplification and that other and more nuanced theories abound, but just humour me for a minute, please. People of faith, specifically Christians, Muslims, and Jews hold to a theory of special creation. And of course, there are Christians who are theistic evolutionists; people trying to use science, the study of the natural order of things, to validate a supernatural phenomenon. It’s all rather involved.
The angst in the Christian community regarding evolution lies in the belief that if evolution is true, then everything in Genesis is false, in fact, everything in the Bible becomes a myth, allegory, and/or moralistic wisdom; including Jesus, the cross, the resurrection, and life everlasting. If evolution is true, there is no heaven. You can see why this might be threatening. But is that first proposition accurate? Can evolution, macro, and micro, be verifiable; and can there still be God above and the promise of eternal life?
A theistic evolutionist might point directly to the Bible and point to verses like Genesis 1.11-13: “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind…” or Genesis 2.7, “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground” and argue that these verses describe evolution. And maybe they do. Who knows? That’s not the traditional interpretation, that’s for sure, but that wouldn’t be the first time the Church has gotten it wrong. Everyone used to think the sun orbited the earth.
In the early part of the 17th century an Italian astronomer, building in the work of Copernicus got himself into a bit of hot water by suggesting otherwise. To quote from Wikipedia, “Galileo’s initial discoveries were met with opposition within the Catholic Church, and in 1616 the Inquisition declared heliocentrism to be formally heretical. Heliocentric books were banned, and Galileo was ordered to refrain from holding, teaching or defending heliocentric ideas.” In fact, he was ordered to recant. And why was this so bad? Read Psalm 104.5: “He set the earth on its foundations so that it should never be moved.” Thus heliocentrism, the idea that the Sun is at the center of the galaxy and the earth moved around it, was deemed heresy.
Right now you might be wondering what kind of heretic I am. I’m actually of the opinion that God created the world in six literal days. Why do I believe that? Because the Bible says so. That being said, though, I would like to make the point that the bible is a book about theology, not science. The Bible never offers an argument for the existence of God; it just presumes it. Either everything came into being ipso presto, or things started to spin and twirl and come together. Evolve. Either way, God did it. I’m okay with that. Science is not the enemy; it just explains how God did/does things. We can’t stick our heads in the ground and pretend that facts aren’t facts. But at the same time, let’s make sure we’re getting our facts straight. And here are the facts as I see them: God created all things by the authority and power that are his, and all things were created for his glory. So let’s have the courage to believe, after all, it’s the fool who says in his heart, “there is no God.” But then again, that’s just my opinion.