What about evolution?
Is there any way that a Christian can take the theory of evolution and say something like this: “evolution makes sense and I believe it is not wrong, but I also believe in God.”
Yes, this approach is called theistic evolution.
Some of you may be thinking, “no way”.
This just won’t work because evolution throws God out of the creation process. There is no purpose for man’s creation because evolution is all random. Man and other creatures survive today due to a process of adapting to the world, evolving into a stronger species and finding a better way to thrive.
I can understand many Christians responding that way.
However, I can also see Christians who have trouble denying the fossil record, who think science is right when they state that the earth is much older than 10,000 years, Christians who are not threatened by evolution. They see it as a good theory that explains a lot of what we have in the millions of life forms we see on our planet. In short, they can embrace evolution as a God-given, creative way to explain a lot of life.
Why do so many feel this is impossible?
It may be that black and white thinking that pervades our world today. People line up on one side of an issue and say “here I stand” and “I will not budge!” They make no effort to understand any other position. They are afraid to think about another point of view because making an effort to understand another view may cause them to have a few questions that make them uncomfortable.
Denial of factual information is the name of today’s game.
Not for the theistic evolutionist. Theistic refers to belief in God and coupled with evolution, it means that God is part of the evolutionary process. But can He be?
Christians who see God in evolution, see the theory designed by God as His plan for calling forth life. All of us can read in Genesis the Biblical account of God bringing about life on earth. What is not clear is how God did it. There is nothing wrong with that. It all goes back to the idea that the Bible is not a science book. Where did we get the idea that God’s Word has to be scientific fact?
Pastor Hamilton states “you think this is only a view that liberals hold, [but] you’ll find that Evangelicals, Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants and even a few fundamentalists hold this view.”
In his book Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White, Pastor Hamilton quotes Penn State neurobiologist Dr. Colin Barnstable: “I certainly don’t think they [evolutionists and Christians] are incompatible. Evolution describes a process. Yes it does contradict the simplest interpretation of Genesis, but I don’t think it necessarily excludes a role for God.”
In this view, the theory of evolution becomes a way to describe the “mechanism” or process by which life adapted and changed and became more complex over billions of years. Is God excluded from this process? Only in the minds of hard-core evolutionists intent of denying the existence of God. Hamilton says “there were places during the evolution of life on our planet where God may have played a more direct role in creation. The prime example may have been the moment when hominids became humans—creatures with a higher consciousness, with a soul.”
What are Hamilton’s problems with evolution? Here they are. 1. Evolution does not explain how the first life forms developed but neither does Genesis. 2. While evolution may be able to explain the development of human intelligence, it does not explain the human soul.
So you may ask, where does he really stand on this controversial theory? His view is that evolution science does not undermine his faith because it does not explain how we originated. Evolution does not reveal the purpose of creation. Evolution does not give us meaning for our lives, what it means to be a human.
He admits as I do, that we must turn to the Bible for answers to these questions; right to the story of creation. Right to the book of Genesis.