Last post I wrote about how our post-Darwinian society can trace its roots back to the thinking of Epicurus and his rejection of the gods in favor of random clashing atoms to explain life. We saw how the Roman poet Lucretius revived the philosophy less than seventy years before Jesus appeared on the scene and that Enlightenment thinkers gravitated to the philosophy. Their acceptance of Epicurus’ philosophy fit nicely into their new search for freedom from subjection to Monarchs and the so called, “God given right to rule by Kings.” In a nutshell we could say Epicurus’ philosophy gained acceptance by political revolutionaries because it gave them a framework of permission to change the status quo.
Today the evolutionary teaching of Darwin, and similar thinkers has through science, become king. Most people including Christians believe that they must fit nicely in one camp or another. If a Christian, then think they must reject anything regardless of how scientific it is. While for a science “as king” orientated society science automatically rules out God and the world of the supernatural.
But, must there always be this divide between the two communities? Part of the problem may lie with the absolute literalism that many Christians adhere to concerning the Bible. On the other hand, many people who hold slavishly to evolutionary theories forget that the philosophy of science is quite a distance from practical science.
As Christians we need to remember the nature of what the Bible is about and not be trying all the time to somehow equate it to a scientific journal that disproves scientific advancements. The Bible’s framework centers on the spiritual and the rescue of man from a fallen broken world. As Christians we believe, by faith, that God is creator of this world and we owe allegiance to Him. We look at an eye for instance, and see in it the wonderfully crafted wonder that it is and it strengthens of belief in the creator God. Other people see in that eye an evolutionary process and marvel at it with the same awe and wonder that we do. Why should such a beautifully shaped and crafted thing such as an eye separate us as communities instead of bringing us together in awe at its wonder?
I believe that God has spoken to us through His Bible and in the Bible we have all we need to understand and know Him. God’s love is revealed through Jesus and His amazing substitutionary sacrifice for me at Calvary where my sins were washed away and I was covered by the righteousness of Christ. This is a gift and I am freely given this gift when I believe Jesus loves me, regardless of my failures and wants to reconnect me to the Father’s love and forgiveness.
For many people in our culture the last paragraph I just wrote doesn’t ring true because their philosophy revolves around the paradigm that God doesn’t exist. It isn’t because they want to be stubborn and hate the idea of God, it is simply that they see through observation and cause and effect something different than we do.
Over the last few years a number of scientists have been coming to the conclusion that there is an intelligent design in nature and more is happening there than the philosophy of science can explain. They may not always believe in a creator God, but they realize that there is a plan, a shape, and a guiding intelligent design or designer behind the natural world. They don’t see random chance, such as Epicurus did, as the means of such intricacy as found in DNA and RNA for instance. The odds are just too great to be able to form of their own initiative.
Maybe it’s time we as Christians stop fighting wars where we don’t need to fight them. Why spend all our time trying to defend a literal Adam and Eve to a skeptical world when we could find common ground in discussing the wonder of the human body? It is possible that we could all agree that something special is going on here and we could find interest in listening to each other on other topics.
I don’t know what the answers are to this great debate of whether of not we are here by chance or design but I do know that we are never going to make headway with our culture if we continue to use the Bible as a scientific textbook instead of a roadmap to redemption. When God gave us certain books of the Bible they were written for the cultures that existed at the time of the writings. They were never meant to be a scientific thesis for all history, but a cultural relevant document to explain grace and redemption to the people.
If we are going to reach our own culture, the Bible is still the great revelation of God for proclaiming His love. I just think we need to be very careful about using it as a document to challenge all things science. Science can explain many things but it cannot offer redemption for sins, forgiveness, erase our past failures, or offer unmerited love. Only God can do that and no evolutionary process can warrant ethics, creativity, and love.
You and I may look at an eye and see the handiwork of God and an evolutionary scientist can see something all together different. But when it comes down to the bottom line, scientists long for love, acceptance, peace of mind, assurance and personal relationships just as we do. In fact the very longing for those things are based upon the memories of a Christian culture. Science may explain how things work and an eye functions but it cannot give the assurance that in the big picture our life matters and we have an intricate place within the world.
Let’s stop putting roadblocks up between the Bible and our culture. Instead let’s use the Bible for what it was intended, to bring comfort and assurance of salvation to a broken world. “They shall know we are Christians by our love” is still a good chorus to sing.
* Many people around the globe are currently experiencing persecution for their faith in God, and many even unto death, for the love of their God. These people know pain and suffering. They need our support and prayers. Please take the time to read some of their stories at http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet.