Do you believe in biological evolution – in terms of the origin of life?
It might sound like a strange thing to ask a Christian, but some people believe that it is plausible that God created the evolutionary process and that the Genesis 6 days of creation were not literal 24 hour days, allowing to marry old earth theory (billions of years) with the bible.
There was a time when I used to hold to this belief.
Big topic I know, but in brief, what’s your take?
Hopefully you won’t be upset by something of a non-answer here. Why the non-answer? Because this is a topic that divides Christians and needlessly complicates the gospel message as seen by non-Christians. At a certain level the question (or rather the precise answer) of origins is a secondary one.
This is not to say that I am anything-goes though. I am a creationist – note that I haven’t said ‘Creation Scientist’ or ‘Young Earth Creationist’ or other such thing – my non-answer remains. I do firmly believe that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.
Further I believe that Genesis has much to tell us about creation. Genesis affirms (in significant contrast to many creation myths) that God is the agent of creation, that he creates ex nihilo, that creation is well-ordered, purposefully and inherently good. Genesis gives me insight into the relationships between humanity and the world, humanity and God, and within humanity itself. I look to Genesis and I learn about stewardship and toil, marriage and intimacy, faithfulness and obedience. I recognise the origins of the sin that I see in myself, I recognise the grace of God that we now know fully revealed in Jesus Christ.
Genesis is the Word of God. It is Truth.
I do not necessarily see in Genesis the outworking of how God did this. The genre of early Genesis is more akin to apocalyptic writing such as Revelation than narrative history. That is not to say that it is not historical. It has internal consistency and there is sense in the narrative however it is taken – absolutely literally, imprecisely literally (such as the “gap theory”), descriptively literally, etc. etc.
I am a person who is well-schooled and well-educated. I understand what science is, and is not. I understand its bounds and recognise the questions it can and cannot answer. I know the difference between science that postulates, experiments and repeats, and science that observes, extrapolates and contends. I am aware that statements of extrapolated facts given by some scientists are at least over zealous, sometimes even biased.
I disagree with how many humanist rationalists attempt to use Genesis – asserting “this is what the Bible absolutely literally says, and it is stupid.” I also disagree with many religious rationalists who make a similarly wrong step, just in the opposite direction “this is what the Bible absolutely literally says, and we should take it absolutely literally like that irrespective of other inputs.”
So, I rejoice that God has made me, designed this world. I rejoice in its beauty, I ache for its woundedness, I long for its redemption. I am, therefore, a non-answer creationist, and that is all.