Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! We’ve been looking at the relationship between science and religion lately. Tonight, I’d like us to start looking at the topic of evolution. I’m not going to be commenting from a scientific matter. I really don’t have the science to do that. Tonight, we just want to look and see if evolution and Christianity are compatible.
Now right off, we can easily say naturalistic evolution and Christianity are not compatible because naturalistic evolution is evolution with a foundation of naturalism where God does not exist. If there is no God, there can obviously be no Christianity. However, naturalism is also something that cannot be established by science. It is not incompatible with evolution, but evolution is not sufficient to prove naturalism.
An example of not understanding this would be Richard Dawkins in “The Blind Watchmaker.” I will say that this work of Dawkins is far better than what he wrote in “The God Delusion.” It should be seen as a wonder that the same person wrote both of those books. In “The Blind Watchmaker”, Dawkins is clear but not polemic. Of course, I disagree with his conclusion and several of his examples and many aspects of his reasoning, but he is speaking in a far more friendly manner instead of being on a rant.
Dawkins in that book however seeks to show that there is a basis for what is seemingly design in the universe and that that basis is evolution. Once we have proven evolution, there is no need for God. This is the same kind of “God-of-the-Gaps” mentality that Dawkins argues against however in saying that once this gap is filled in, then there is no place for God.
The Christian gospel however is not “Repent and believe the good news that God created man by divine fiat.” The Christian gospel is “Repent and believe on the risen Son of God.” If the case is that Jesus was risen from the dead, then there is definitely strong likelihood that Christianity is true. If it turns out that scientific ideas that we may not hold to are true, then we must come to accept that and possibly see if we erred in our interpretation of Scripture.
This is one reason I urge Christians that unless they have the proper study behind them in the field of science to not debate issues like evolution. When I debate someone on the basis of the origin of the universe, I come at it from a metaphysical perspective. I have no doubt the physicist understands the physics better than I do. My argument does not depend on the physics however.
Now supposed you were a trained physicist and you could use that to demonstrate that the universe did not create itself or come from nothing, or suppose you were a biologist and you could argue from a scientific perspective on problems you have with evolutionary theory and your purpose in this is to create an opening for the gospel with someone by disabling their naturalism. Very well. If not however, there’s no need to fight that battle as it is unnecessary.
For years now, the church has been divided on this debate and it is quite ridiculous for us to be. By all means, have an opinion on how old the Earth is and how it was that God brought about the existence of man. Don’t add that to the gospel and don’t look down on those with a different stance. I don’t wish to share mine as this blog is not about my view on secondary matters, but I have friends who I believe are devout Christians who are YEC, OEC, and TE.
Instead, let it be shown that Christ was risen from the dead. If that is the case, then you can rest assured no matter what comes your way (This is also the stance Dr. Gary Habermas took in saying that other issues like prophecy and the flood and such were interesting, but the resurrection was the foundation and so he based his career on proving that).
Now some might ask about questions such as death before the fall or animal pain or how to interpret Genesis 1. Those are good questions, but those are not the questions to bring to the skeptic. You’re not there to convince him of the resurrection and your view of the origin of man. You’re there to convince him of the resurrection.
In conclusion, I see no conflict between the idea of God using a process to create man and Jesus being risen from the dead. There are Christians on all sides of the debate on origin and the best thing we could do is listen to one another and realize our brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ rather than adding origins to the gospel. It’s never been part of the gospel and it never should be.