Monday, July 31, 2006

Evolution and God? Yes

I've been encouraged (or was it goaded?) by my friend, John, to reflect on creation and evolution. Here's a short, slightly altered, excerpt from my book, "Creation and Last Things: At the Intersection of Theology and Science." It goes something like this...

Although I am more committed to the truth of creation by God than of evolution by natural selection, I am not compelled to choose between the two. In fact, the doctrine of creation makes two primary affirmations: we are created in God’s image, and the world is not fully consistent with God’s intentions. With this mind, there is ample room for scientific discovery. And we must avoid dictating the best way for God to create. Instead we should look concretely and openly at the evidence. As John Calvin wrote, "If we regard the Spirit of God as the sole fountain of truth, we shall neither reject the truth itself, nor despise it wherever it shall appear, unless we wish to dishonor the Spirit of God."

Overall, my church, the Presbyterian Church, does not see conflict between evolution and the doctrine that God created the natural world. Here the Presbyterians and the Roman Catholics agree. Surprisingly, what is true for the PC (U.S.A.) and the Vatican can be extended to the U.S. populace. A 1999 People for the American Way Foundation poll discovered that 68% of our country found no contradiction between evolution and the belief that God created us and guided human development.

Put simply, Christians believe God created us and our world and used evolution in that process. I find no scientific argument that disproves God’s creative act.

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