Friday, February 07, 2014

Carving out a new Creationism

It seems to me that in the time leading up to... and the aftermath of... the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham a lot of people have been exercising in the form of logical leaps. The leap consists of concluding that if Ken Ham is wrong in any way (wrong on science, wrong on focus, wrong on hermeneutics, etc.) then Christians should seek a position that makes theistic sense of millions of years and microbe-to-mankind evolution.

Admittedly, I come from a Young Earth Creationism background. But I am not a fundamentalist (in the sense that many people mean that term). I recognize that Genesis 1 is a pretty poetic piece of literature. I do not insist on Bishop Ussher's precise chronology. But it is one thing to deny that the earth is exactly X,XXX years old and another to assume that if such precision is un-called for we're talking about millions upon millions of years of God letting death reign in order to bring about someone like us.

If Genesis 1 is primarily theological (God is Creator) and religious (this is why we have Sabbath) instead of scientific (it's not) and historical (I don't see how it's not at least secondarily historical), that doesn't prove anything about science or history. Genesis 1 is not the only reason to think that the earth is relatively young or that darwinian evolution is a flawed theory.

What I find upsetting is the seemingly vogue conclusion of some hip Christians that if you reject either millions of years or darwinian evolution then you're automatically part of the problem insofar as you must pit science against religion. I AGREE that science vs. religion is a false dichotomy. But there's more than one way to interpret scientific discovery. And there's an awful lot of philosophy/religion being touted as science these days.

I remain purposefully undecided on these issues (purposefully b/c I recognize I am not an expert in the relevant fields). I am quite open to theistic evolution (though I do not lean toward that view), but I also want to remain open to what still seems the most straight-forward reading of the text.


Robin said...

THIS is exactly what we don't have enough of: People admitting "I just don't know." Not to sound all post modern or anything... but I think it's OK to admit we don't have all the answers, especially on issues that aren't anywhere near central to our faith, like the age of the earth.

David Williamson said...
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