Creation…young…old…intelligent…evolved…?

So this summer I have been studying the beginning…where we can from…the battle ground that is Genesis 1-2. I’ve taken a journey looking through the good and bad of Young Earth Creationism (God created the earth in six literal days maybe 6000-10000 years ago), Old Earth Creationism (God created the earth personally many years ago…possibly billions), Intelligent Design (God has designed the universe in such a way that one can decipher from the evidence of creation a very intelligent Creator), and Theistic Evolution (God used evolution to create the natural world we see around us). My epic quest is very far from over. I think I have been intrigued most by TE (Theistic Evolution). I‘ll be totally honest…I’m in the midst of a crisis of faith. Granted, this crisis is not that extreme. When one hears the word “crisis”, he or she tends to think of like an avalanche, 9/11, or something astronomically important or detrimental to your daily life. What do you do when a theory supported by vast amounts of evidence comes into conflict with a doctrine or interpretation you’ve been taught your whole life? How would one go about reconciling two contradictory statements/ideas…or what would seem to be contradictions? Is it possible?

I found a quote by Galileo that has impressed me. Who was Galileo? Galileo was a Catholic astronomer who supported and taught the idea of Copernican astronomy (the planets, including the earth, revolved around the sun). In Galileo’s time there was a heated disagreement over the interpretation of a few Bible verses in poetic sections of the Psalms. If it was assumed that these scriptures were meant to be read as science, and not primarily as poetry, then they could be interpreted to say that the Earth was physically central in the universe. However, Galileo had been convinced by Copernicus’ argument that this was impossible. The quote that I found interesting says:

“[In] St. Augustine we read: ‘If anyone shall set the authority of Holy Writ against clear and manifest reason, he who does this knows not what he has undertaken; for he opposes to the truth not the meaning of the Bible, which is beyond his comprehension, but rather his own interpretation, not what is in the Bible, but what he has found in himself and imagines to be there.’…This granted, and it being true that two truths cannot contradict one another, it is the function of expositors to seek out the true senses of scriptural texts. These will unquestionably accord with the physical conclusions which manifest sense and necessary demonstrations have previously made certain to us.”

Galileo asserted that two truths cannot be contradictory. What we find within our physical world will line up with the revelation of Scripture. I heard a statement not too long ago that encouraged me in my thirst for knowledge concerning origins. “All truth is God’s truth.” The truth claims of science, religion, philosophy, and other fields, if they are actually true, are from God and will lead to Him. I’m still working through what I’m reading, hearing, watching, and learning. I refuse to let science lead me astray or let supernatural explanations of natural events or processes stop the inquiry within. The journey has just started…I see no end in sight for a long time. Interpretations may change…questions will be asked…theories will be weighed and tested…worldviews may be altered…truth will make it self known.

Is this so farfetched?  😛

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3 responses to “Creation…young…old…intelligent…evolved…?

  1. Good post, Austin. I’ve always appreciated your insights and thoughts on things. I too have wondered about things such as these, though I have never taken the time to weigh the evidence and determine which, for me, holds the most water. The thing that came as a bit of a surprise to me was the discovery that it’s really only in our nation that Theistic Evolution is a huge issue among Western Christianity (as far as I’ve been told, that is). According to my understanding, in places such as the UK and elsewhere, this isn’t so much an issue. Now, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing I suppose is debatable, but I do find it striking that there are a good number of scholars (Alister McGrath and C. S. Lewis just to name a couple) who seem at least OKAY with the idea of theistic evolution (and McGrath may even be a full on proponent of it), but at the same time (again) it doesn’t seem that big of an issue for them. Again, this could just be because of their culture where there are probably a few other things they should concern themselves about. I guess amidst all this rambling, my point is that it was rather eye-opening to me that someone could be a great man/woman of faith, an excellent scholar, and be revered by many in the church and admired for their great interpretations of Scripture and upright lifestyle, and yet believe in something such as Theistic Evolution or an Old Earth!

    Just a thought – for what it’s worth.

    • B.B. Warfield, a literalist when it comes to bible interpretation, saw no problem with Theistic Evolution. N.T. Wright and Alister McGrath have blogged and written articles on Biologos.com, a website devoted to Theistic Evolution. Old Earth Creationism also seems very widespread as well. Augustine, Origin, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, maybe John Piper, and others hold to such a view.

  2. Pingback: Interpreting Genesis: Part 1 « Austin's Blog·

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