Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the Ocean of Truth. Tonight, we’re going to continue our look at science and religion and I’d like to take a rather unique take on the creation-evolution debate.
First off, many of us are not proficient in the necessary sciences to come to a conclusion on evolutionary theory. I make no hesitations in saying that I am not skilled in that area. Does that mean we cannot have an opinion? No. We can certainly have opinions, but we must make them known cautiously. We cannot speak as authorities when we do not have the prerequisite study in the area.
Second, I am concerned over an attitude that comes along the lines of that if evolutionists win, then that means that naturalism becomes a more likely hypothesis, which is what someone on TheologyWeb asked me about. I have a hard time with that since I don’t view naturalism as a plausible alternative since they have a problem to begin with with the question of existence.
The situation then becomes that if we win this battle in science, then Christianity wins. If we lose this battle, then Christianity loses. I’d instead contend that science is meant to show us truths about the world that God created, but it is not to be dependent upon those truths. I think we could use science to support theistic belief, but at the same time, I want to raise the caution to us of marrying our theistic beliefs to the science of our time. As G.K. Chesterton said, he who marries the spirit of the age is destined to be a widow.
So let’s consider evolution. Does it follow that if somehow life came about through evolutionary means, that Jesus did not rise from the dead? Not at all. There is no contradiction affirming both of those. One would be a scientific truth and one would be a historical truth and the two don’t contradict necessarily.
Yet consider that in all of this, we are losing sight of other debates. We can debate moral outcomes of if evolution is applied on a grander scale and I think that would be more fruitful. One great mistake is to take one area of thought and apply it to areas where it does not apply. Evolution could be fine to bring about life, but it’s not a standard you want to use to determine moral truths.
We could also focus on other theistic arguments such as the moral argument, the existence/essence argument, or the argument from beauty. As well, we could start looking into biblical and historical studies to demonstrate that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead.
In all of this, Christianity does not need to back down. Consider this: If you are debating your opponent, how many hurdles do you want him to cross to get to the cross? Answer: As few as possible. It does not need to be “Believe in my view of origins and that Christ rose from the dead” but rather “Believe that Christ rose from the dead.”
Instead, you can go to the atheist and say “Sure. You can believe in that. I just want you to believe that Jesus rose from the dead.” Naturally, you can’t believe in evolution without God and be a Christian, but to be a Christian does not mean to abandon a view of origins, but to embrace a view of Christ.
That’s what we want people to get to. Let’s make sure that’s our focus.