Friday, 29 March 2013

Is Evolution even an Issue?

There is a high propensity in Christian circles for astronomical levels of hysteria over issues which are less than awe inspiring.
You may have been vexed by arguments in Christian environments concerning certain forms of music, women in ministry, baptism or homosexuality. No doubt you (if you are Christian) have a position already established on this issue but what do you do when yet another topic turns up?

When we see the old 'Creation v Evolution' debate it's easy to sit there, look around at the other controversies raging within Christianity and think, "This is yet another argument where church views differ. But in the end there a whole bunch of views you can take and still be right, let's save our time on this one and address the things that really matter!"

This may seem to make sense but is this an accurate approach to take to the debate? Is this approach too naive? Is it just right? Could this attitude actually be giving too much credence to a tiny little issue?

Not to scare-monger but this debate is very much unlike homosexuality in church, biblical innerancy or Calvinism v Arminianism. The issue of evolution and Christianity is a serious one, covering wide ranging issues and questioning some fundamental assumptions of Evangelical/Pentecostal Protestantism.

Before we can even begin to get into the topic there are various 'elephants in the room' which need to be addressed, let's meet some of them...

Elephant #1
Can we trust scripture?

This elephant will go on to very simply explain: "If Genesis can't be trusted, then why trust the gospels? If we  accept that creation didn't happen like we've been told, then why do we accept Jesus' life, burial and Resurrection which is in the same book?"

Elephant #2
Should science force us to interpret scripture differently?

This elephant has been rather disgruntled at the encroachment of science into the theological sphere, she remarks that: "Science has been making people reinterpret the Bible for way too long, surely the Bible just says what it means? If scientists tell you the Virgin Birth is impossible will you stop believing that?"

Elephant #3
If Evolution is true, then what about Adam and Eve?

The third elephant has been waiting to pull out his Genesis 2 trump card. He takes a step forward and announces: "Forget the evidence, ideas or arguments. If evolution is actually true, then what about Adam and Eve? Moses talked about them, Jesus talked about them, Paul talked about them... What more evidence would we need to know they are real?!"

Many other elephants are moving in to question the compatibility of evolution with Christianity. All these questions are valid but we do have to question, are these enough to force the scientific theory and historic religion genuinely incompatible?

These are some of the biggest elephants that I could find, but if you have any ideas, feel free to comment and I'll attempt to tame these wild elephants one by one.

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