23 March 2014


The last 7 years in Amsterdam, I have been blissfully ignorant of any discussions on creation vs. evolution.
What I did see online once in awhile gave me the impression that it had become less of a debate and that it had become more acceptable within the broader church to believe that God formed the world via evolution. Even an article in The Banner, the journal of the Christian Reformed Church, which brought up a significant amount of controversy, seemed problematic to me not because of its advocacy for evolution but because of the poor theology presented in it.

I've been in the United States for about 2 months now, and I have discovered - thanks in part to the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye debate - that my original impression was wrong, which disappoints me. The debate on creation vs. evolution is still causing much havoc here. Don't we as Christians have more important things to get excited about? Like injustice, poverty, trafficking, hypocrisy, and even sin in general.

And somehow I feel like I'm being drawn into the debate, even though I don't really care (or know) enough about the issue to have a significant opinion either way, to be honest. But there looks like there will be a creationist event here in Lansing this fall, where the message is Christians have to believe that the world was created in 6 days. From a hermenetical perspective, I find that problematic. But more importantly, I find it pastorally problematic.

A friend told me that if she had been confronted with the choice between evolution and Christianity - if when she was studying biology as an undergrad, she felt that she as a Christian had to believe that the world was formed through creation as the creationists advocate (and thus must reject evolution), she would have turned away from the church. She loved biology - a discovery of God's world - that much.

Even if one believes that evolution is problematic from a faith perspective, I believe it is more important to allow people space to figure that out with God than being turned away from the church because we think we have the right answers.

1 comment:

Katharine said...

Thanks for sharing this. I needed it after a conversation this weekend with a gal who said I'm the only creationism-believing Christian she knows. She wanted to talk, not argue, and we had a good beginning conversation. I said, with maybe a little shame, that I don't care a lot about "proving" creationism. Nice to know I'm not alone!