O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith


Pastor Fight! Evolution vs. the Bible

posted by Jason Boyett

A couple of weeks ago, ordained United Church of Christ minister Michael Dowd spoke at three churches in Oklahoma City. The author of the book Thank God for Evolution, Dowd delivered a talk he called “Thank God for the New Atheists” (download the text here). In it, he praises Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins for helping Christians move beyond brutal biblical texts, learn to appreciate science, and in general, “grow up.”

From Dowd’s sermon:

In a way, the New Atheists have come to our rescue. They are shouting at
us to collectively awaken to the dangers of revering texts and
doctrines on no sounder basis than tradition and authority. Because the
New Atheists put their faith, their confidence, in an evidentially
formed and continuously tested view of the world, these critics of
religion are well positioned to see what’s real and what’s important
today. Its thus time for religious people to listen to the New
Atheists–and to listen as if they were speaking with God’s voice,
because in my view they are!

So let today’s collective wisdom revitalize our faith traditions! Let us rejoice in the discovery that the atoms of our bodies were forged inside supernovas, and let us celebrate this natural process as divine. Let the story of evolution be told in ways that engender familial love and gratitude that we are related to everything–not just monkeys, but jellyfish and flatworms too. Let us marvel at how rapidly our species has learned to care and cooperate in ever-widening circles: from family groups and tribes all the way to nation-states, and now globally. 

Dowd, who identifies himself as an “evangelist for evolution,” calls his perspective “Christianity 2.0″ and hopes that, one day, our faith traditions will again thrive not because we deny evolution and science, but because we’ll have embraced it.

Not unexpectedly, other pastors have reacted to Dowd’s words with much less enthusiasm. Dr. Albert Mohler, a prolific blogger, author, and the president of Southern Seminary, doesn’t think “Christianity 2.0″ is any kind of Christianity at all.

From Mohler’s blogged response to Dowd:

When asked by a reporter if Dowd’s views amount to heresy, I responded by saying that Dowd’s proposals actually give heresy a bad name. Heresies, I explained, are efforts to redefine the Christian faith in ways that are often subtle as well as toxic. There is no subtlety to Dowd’s total rejection of theism, the supernatural, and any belief in a personal God. His embrace of anti-supernaturalism is total and energetic.

In his own very effective way, Dowd clarifies the theological and biblical costs of embracing the evolutionary worldview. In describing himself as an evolutionary evangelist, he underlines the fervor of his cause and the inevitable collision between evolutionary theory and biblical Christianity.

There’s an interesting recap of the kerfuffle by religious studies professor Julie Ingersoll at Religion Dispatches, especially in response to phrases like Mohler’s “inevitable collision between evolutionary theory and biblical Christianity.” She recalls what a conservative Christian once told her in an interview: “If Genesis isn’t literal, then the Fall isn’t literal. If the Fall isn’t literal, then there is no reason for a literal Jesus.”

Bang. So for many Christians, it’s either/or. You believe in the Bible, like Mohler, or you believe in evolution. You can’t do both.

So if you’re a science-fascinated believer like me, you’re put in a position of having to choose. Either it’s the faith you love, the faith you’ve grown up with, the faith that defines who you are in so many ways. Or it’s science, and reason, and things that very much appear to be true about the world you live in — the created world you also love — but which apparently you have to ignore if you want to follow Jesus.

You can’t have it both ways, they say. If you try to reconcile the two — if you attempt to advocate both — then apparently you’re toxic to the Christian faith and worse than a heretic. (At least, that’s what Mohler wrote.)

That we have to choose between these two things may grow to be equally toxic to the faith of younger generations of Christians. This kind of black and white thinking causes a whole lot more than doubt. It causes people to reject the Christian faith altogether: If Al Mohler thinks I’m worse than a heretic, then maybe that’s what I am. Guess I’ll give it up.

Which is why I very much appreciate organizations like The BioLogos Forum and friends like Rachel Held Evans, who say it’s not only time for science and religion to be friends, but to move beyond these arguments and focus on things that matter more.

What do you think? Will “Christianity 2.0,” if it comes to fruition, owe a debt of gratitude to the New Atheists?

Can evolution and Christianity coexist?

Does the Christian faith rise and fall on the literalness of Genesis?



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Kenny Johnson

posted August 16, 2010 at 3:52 pm


I think we need to both:
1) Be cautious of blindly accepting the modern scientific interpretation s of the data to guide our view of God, humanity, scripture, etc — because those interpretations may change over time AND
2) Fear or discredit scientific interpretations that threaten or challenge our current theological interpretations.
I believe Christianity rises and falls on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This isn’t to say that no other topic is important, but that Christ is primary. Did Christ die for your sins so that you are forgiven? Did Christ rise to inaugurate the the kingdom and the new birth? Then evolution or a non-literal Genesis are not threats to Christianity.
I actually don’t think the New Atheists have brought anything new to the table except a more aggressive behavior. Did any of them actually say anything new or interesting?
They have certainly popularized atheism. I think several of books made it to the NY Times best sellers list. . .
They tend to focus on defeating a very fundamentalist Christianity, which most Evangelicals don’t even fall under.
I’m not sure they’ve been helpful.
I actually think the scientific hypothesis of multi-verses and an eternal universe are more threatening to Christian theology than evolution.



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MainlineMom

posted August 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm


I’m not thrilled with either of these two positions. I don’t think there needs to be praise of the new atheists or “evolution evangelists”. I also don’t think believing in evolution is heresy. I’m a scientist, I’ve studied these topics pretty closely. There simply isn’t any way to know what actually happened before modern history, certainly not any way to know how the universe and life originated. There is some evidence for both arguments, but it is certainly not convincing to me on either side. It’s faith, BOTH ways, pure and simple. The evidence that there IS a God who intervened in the forming of Creation is absolutely staggering, but the means by which He did it is not at all clear. I definitely don’t think Christianity is worthless without a literal Genesis.



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Kenny Johnson

posted August 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm


#2 should read “Not Fear” :)



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@LaureeAshcom

posted August 16, 2010 at 3:54 pm


my question is christianity 2.0 just sociology? is it just about our relationship with other people? does it even think Jesus is the Christ? does it really believe anything or is it just too “smart” for the bible?
just asking……



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shawn smucker

posted August 16, 2010 at 4:17 pm


wouldn’t it be cool if both the traditional Christian who discounts evolutionary theory and the postmodern Christian could live in harmony? why do so many people believe that one way must eventually absorb the other?
much of the emphasis given to this debate only goes to show the level of prosperity that has been reached in some corners of our culture, that Christians would spend time arguing over an unprovable past instead of reaching out to the poor and those in serious need.



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Kristian

posted August 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm


Supposedly you could retain belief in a god and evolution and take the entire Bible, including stories about Jesus, as a parable, and still be some sort of Christian. I don’t see why there needs to be so much line-drawing and battles going on, especially around the term “Christian”. Nothing indicates that any specific version of Christianity would have higher probability to be correct than any other. Pick and choose what you like, what you agree with, and what you believe is likely to be correct.
In the end, it probably won’t make one bit of difference.



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Stretch Mark Mama

posted August 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm


They coexist in my house. =) I teach my kids the various theories (there are more than two!) of where people come from, and I hold each one with an open hand. Science used to say the earth was flat and Christians used to believe that slavery was right. So–I don’t think any of us have the corner on truth.



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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted August 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm


I appreciate that Dowd sees the new atheists as helping pull us forward, I can definitely see that. I also think using new science can help us see even more of God’s ingeniousness, and I love that we are related to all creatures (it’s also a duh, we all have hearts, blood, skeletons, those sorts of basics).
I do think the ultra conservative black and white sect will pull some backwards if anything, and I think in many ways they’ve already made themselves irrelevant in some circles and represent a pretty archaic line of thinking. Sorry to be so harsh.



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Matt @ The Church of No People

posted August 16, 2010 at 7:48 pm


Personally, I think that somehow our modern, western, scientific minds are the ones that least understand Genesis in the history of the world. It baffles me that people become unhinged at the thought of Gen 1 not being “literal,” or not understanding how something that’s not “literal” is still true. Genesis 1 doesn’t have to be literal. It’s not very specific at all, is it? It’s structured like a finely crafted piece of literature. Maybe God created the universe like a piece of literature, or maybe it’s a very compelling story that points to the truth of Gen 1:1 – God created the heavens and the earth.



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George C

posted August 16, 2010 at 9:19 pm


I agree with MainlineMom and Stretch Mark Mama. Both views require faith. The certainty that you see on both sides is the same monster: dishonest epistemology.



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Justin

posted August 16, 2010 at 9:54 pm


Your view of Genesis doesn’t save you. Jesus does, and he does not need the help of your young-earth, literal-six day view to do it. I don’t need Adam to have existed to know that I’ve sinned and need a Savior. (I know this raises questions about certain texts like Romans 5, but at the moment this is where I am.)
I also think we can thank the skeptical community for offering thought-provoking challenges to which there are no easy answers.
So I look forward to the day when we move past this debate. If we can ditch the over-used title “New Atheists,” I think that’d be good, too. :)



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Georgia

posted August 17, 2010 at 12:45 am


My Google Reader suggested your blog. I almost deleted it, but I accidentally clicked on it; when I saw “Pastor Fight!” I couldn’t throw it out. Obviously. I’m glad I came in for a peak. Thank you.



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mainline science teacher

posted August 17, 2010 at 9:25 am


You can’t build a railroad by reading the Torah, and you can’t baptize a child by reciting the Periodic Table. Why would you try?
Someday these people, these christians, these scientists, they will realize that new discoveries don’t destroy faith, it actually can strengthen it. But it’s a different kind of faith; only now it is informed by what we understand about our past. Living in a universe that evolved over billions of years should be theologically exhilarating – not enraging.



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Travis Thompson

posted August 17, 2010 at 11:55 am


The word “literal” must be the most misunderstood word ever. Literally.
If you asked the people who Genesis was originally written to whether it was literal or metaphorical or anything else, they would not even understand what you were asking (even if you asked it in hebrew). The book “The Lost World of Genesis One” by John Walton (http://tinyurl.com/2ejb4zm) does a great job of explaining what the creation account in Genesis is really about. And let me tell you, it’s not a science text.
People who say that the world being more than 6,000 years old destroys Christianity really drive me nuts. It’s just not the case.
The book “The Language of God” by Francis Collins (the founder of the Biologos foundation -http://tinyurl.com/2dv7ypb) is another good one about how evolution does not have any anti-theistic implications.



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Michael Dowd

posted August 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm


For any who might be interested, here’s the latest in my public debate with Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:
“BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY IS BANKRUPT”:
http://thankgodforevolution.com/node/2070
Co-evolutionarily,
~ Michael



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Kyle

posted August 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm


N. B. I am responding to the blog post and have not read any comments…yet.
I agree with Mr. Dowd, to an extent, about the veracity of evolution and that there is a way to reconcile the creation/evolution debate. I am also in strong opposition to Dr. Mohler’s previous statements to the effect of, “If you don’t believe in a literal six day creation, then you are on the slippery slope to apostacy.” I have read most of Mr. Dowd’s book “Thank God for Evolution.” I did not finish it, because I got his point, but I did not trust him as a voice for Christianity.
First and foremost, he clearly and proudly announces in his book that he married and atheist and makes no mention of any faith conversion on her part. I find this very hard to swallow in light of Paul’s admonition to not be yoked together with unbelievers.
Second, in my opinion he had a low view of scripture, and the Christianity 2.0 idea just doesn’t work for me. I can deal with various ways of reading ancient texts, I can even deal with historical innacuracies and timeline issues in the Bible. However, I have to trust that during the debates about the canon of scripture, the Holy Spirit was working to preserve the word of God for posterity.
In Acts , after one of the first councils, the leaders of the Jesus movement came out and said, “It seemed good to the Spirit and to us….” That’s the best they could do? It “seemed” good? In light of this I can deal with a less than perfect Bible, yet one that still contains and imparts the word of God, and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
So I guess, in conclusion, file me under Theistic Evolutionist in the vein of BioLogos. But I don’t consider Richard Dowd a voice for Christianity.



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Pianolady32

posted August 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm


This was an interesting read. I think it’s also interesting to note that whichever view you take, you’re still taking that view on faith b/c neither one of these theories has been proven and I don’t believe they ever will be. My faith in a Creator God is not diminished in any way, no matter which of these options I choose. The fact of the matter remains that something cannot come from nothing. So until someone comes up with a way to prove that nothing can birth something, I’ll keep on believing in a Creator God who made all things. Whether He chose to create a few things that gave rise to other beings or created each thing specially is a moot point to me. When one closes one’s mind to all opposition, when one confines one’s thoughts and being to one and only one teaching method, one is sure to be shot down at some point b/c if any one point is /dis-proven/ then one’s house of cards comes crumbling down. In my opinion, the new things I learn every day only strengthen my resolve to believe that there is a God and that He cares for me.



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Daniel Darling

posted August 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm


Jason,
My problem is not with having to choose between science and Scripture, but the fact that you and Rachel Evans and others just make the huge leap that evolution is 100% concrete science. And it really isn’t. I challenge you to look at evolution scientifically and see if you come up with solid evidence for it. I’m not a scientist, but I see a lot of holes in evolution and so do many scientists.
So I think its intellectually unfair to label all creation scientists as backward, unknowing idiots. Many good smart brilliant scientists believe in creation.



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Jason Boyett

posted August 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm


@David:
Don’t put words in my mouth. In the post, I said I APPRECIATE the stance that RHE and BioLogos are taking in trying to facilitate a conversation between science and evolution.
1) “Concrete science” is an odd term. Can’t something be “100% concrete science” even if it’s bad science? Wouldn’t “100% concrete truth” be a better phrase?
2) Second, assuming you meant “100% concrete truth” — I didn’t say I believed that. Rather, I said that I was “science-fascinated.” Yes, I do believe that there is more factual evidence in favor of evolution than against it. In fact, there’s documented evidence of evolutionary changes happening to certain species over the last century. But I doubt you’d find even any hard-core evolutionists who would take your “100% concrete” stance about any of it. Scientists are more careful than that, because they recognize that there are still some less certain aspects of it (though they might disagree about whether or not there are “a lot” of holes, as you say.)
3) It’s not that huge of a leap. Not in 2010. To me, it’s a bigger leap to ignore the mountain of the biological and geological evidence that suggests evolution. As a Christian, I am committed to the truth, in whatever form it takes, and I can’t pretend at least some of these findings and hypotheses aren’t true just because I don’t want them to be.
4) You are right. It IS unfair to label all creation scientists as “backward, unknowing idiots.” That’s why I didn’t do it. I wouldn’t say that and I DIDN’T say that.
What I said was that it was misguided and unhelpful to imply, as Mohler does, that Christianity and evolution can’t coexist. If you want to take issue with what I wrote, take issue with that. Not with something I didn’t write at all.
Thanks for reading and commenting, though. I appreciate it.



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Ray Hollenbach

posted August 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm


Your description of Professor Dowd puts me in mind of C.S. Lewis character from “That Hideous Strength”, the Reverend Straik, who rushes to embrace the empiricism of science as the true ally of the faith. Alas, Straik comes to a bad end.
In fact, Lewis is the perfect tutor for Christians willing to ask the hard questions–those who are (properly) suspicious of the stifling orthodoxy found in fundamentalism. We need not side with neither Dr. Mohler, nor do we need to embrace the pseudo-certainty offered by science–just wait a few decades, and science will make new “discoveries” that nullify the old facts. Lewis was no Bible-Belt hard-liner. Neither did he sue for peace with the “modern” scientific viewpoint. He accepted the revelation of the scripture as his teacher and applied his mind in the task of loving God.
We *should* ask hard questions, but we need not beg to be accepted by the scientific community as a new kind of Christian. These debates have been held long before the Scopes trial, and there are more choices than your post might suggest.



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Maynard

posted August 17, 2010 at 6:55 pm


Which Genesis “creation” should/shouldn’t be taken literally? The first or the second?



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Geoff

posted August 18, 2010 at 11:08 am


So often is seems that in this debate we are struggling to imagine the mysteries of creation in human terms. Genesis imagines a creation that we can place ourselves in – we can empathize with God. God did this, God did that – it is essentially an anthropomorphic vision of creation. What science has done is taken us on a journey such that the deeper we go with it, the more astonishing and mysterious it becomes. From quantum physics to the origin of the universe it is a story that is unimaginably awe inspiring. That we keep having this conversation, keep asking these questions is a testament to the glory of God – an awesomeness that is beyond our human imagination. Could it be otherwise?



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rich

posted August 20, 2010 at 10:02 am


Micro evolution is fact. Macro evolution is wishful thinking with massive holes in it and quite unprovable. Bacteria and microbes constantly evolve. All sorts of animals evolve over time Jbirds, reptiles, etc)



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Neil Gilligan

posted August 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm


I have researched the Daniel’s prophecy from Dan 7:21-22 and included it in my upcoming book: “Wake Up! Preparing for the End-Times Outpouring” by Neil Gilligan. Published early 2011. In it I point out that during the Enlightenment the horn influenced the western society for evil. Thomas Huxely was Darwin’s bulldog and lobbied the intellectual institutions to accept evolution as the mechanism for all life including mankind. Huxley asked for the miracles to be shown to him that he read about in the Bible. Believers in his day could not demonstrate the miracles they could only talk about it. So Huxley was not swayed and influenced the culture to believe in evolution. In my book: “Transformed by the Power of God: Learning to be Clothed in Jesus Christ” by Neil Gilligan I write about how I discovered being filled and clothed by the Holy Spirit took me into a miraculous life. It is a prophetic message for the body of Christ. It is available on online book sellers today. I hope the Body of Christ wakes up and can demonstrate who Jesus Christ is to the world.



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g

posted August 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm


The Question if Christianity can coincide with evolution and I think it depends on if Christianity can exist outside of literal Bible interpretation.
Literal 7 day creation..G*d rested on the 7th day (does God need to rest?)
Noah, Moses, burning bushes etc.
I have heard some preachers say that if any of these things prove to be false then their faith is in vain. As a result, they bend over backwards to dispute anything scientific that suggest that the Bible can’t be taken literally.
This is a great disservice to believers as they are being told that if any of the Bible turns out wrong, then they are up a faith creek without a paddle. SO these preachers are setting up the ‘Cost’ of playing the game as ‘all or nothing’ stakes.
BIG MISTAKE as science will continue to encroach on dearly held beliefs and rather than adjusting the believer is given the option of ‘Close your eyes and believe’ or No faith at all. Can’t have both.
I thinj you can have both and preachers shouldn’t be pushing the stakes to ‘ALL OR NOTHING”.



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Charlie Conley

posted August 22, 2010 at 1:50 am


We need to see the Miracles? Tell me,can we create anything in nature. Yes we can copy things, can we make a tree? Second can anyone show me a “missing link” . Every creature on this planet has their own DNA can anyone produce a DNA that is proof of a cross over to connect species.
In our “wisdom” we reflect our foolishness. You believe the word of God or you don’t. Bending it to fit your world does not make it true.



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JMH

posted August 22, 2010 at 8:40 am


I believe the word of God, and I believe the Bible is inspired by God, but the Bible clearly says the word is Christ, that is the Christ spirit, and does not profess itself (the book that is) to be the Word of God. I also believe that preachers who claim it has to be one way or the other are doing a disservice to their religion. God gave us our rational minds, and yet expects us to dismiss rational thought? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.



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JK

posted August 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm


This article seems to suggest that science and evolution are one in the same thing, essentially, if I understood it correctly. In fact evolution is more of a small subset of science. And even then many proponents of evolution do not seem to adhere to the scientific method whereby there conclusions are observable and repeatable. Even Richard Dawkins, a major proponent of evolution, admitted in the movie, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” that life on Earth may have been seeded by an alien race. That then implies that life on Earth was created by intelligent design and he chooses to believe that intelligence is another “naturally occurring” life form rather than God. Aside from which if evolution were happening on Earth there should be transitional fossils somewhere at the least tying two differing species to one another. But that has not yet been made evident. More and more Christians are using science and other disciplines of study to prove God’s existence and the truth of His word. There is no need for concessions. In time God will reveal more of His plan and we must choose where our allegiances lie. In the meantime Christians need to keep working to understand God’s truth and to get that truth out to others so they, too, may be saved.



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Rodger D

posted August 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm


You can take Evolution out of the Bible just like you don’t have to put in in it. IT’S just a word and not the act.
Your living in a world that was not built for you in your curent form because of the tree We took from.
It was not all of God but also of sin an the Devil is the Father of it. So you could say the Tree was Eovlution based
Were God is there an then not changed. The Devil was changed from good to sin,Adam an Eve were change because of eating of the Tree of good an sin (Good and Evil) same thing. So you could say Adam and Eve went for the word of the Devil and not of God and the tree of Life was in the gardon also that tree was of God but now having sin in them could not have of the tree of life.
Both had spoke God said eat not of it for you shelly die and the Devil said if you eat of it your eyes will be open and you will see as God see.
But the Devil has the Lie because Our eyes were closed when We eate the frut We could no longer see God We could see him before and God could longer see us that why God call out to Adam were art thow!. and Adam now seeing new thing “I was naked so I hid my Self from the”.
You can not hide from God He will not look upon sin and Adam was not the same as He was. God said “Ho told you thow was naked” there was no such thing before!. So to round it up you are (traped) in this world by the act of Adam and Eve taking the Devil Word and not Gods
the way out is “you shell surly die” back to God in Jesus Chirst ho can pardon you sins!. The tree of Life Jesus Chirst.
So sin is doing what God told you not to do look in your heart for what he would want you to do not by sight but by feeling!. things like Right good fair judt loving ect. So if someone said there no God I would say that not True yes there is it’s Jesus Chirst “God with us”



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William Allman

posted August 26, 2010 at 1:06 am


Wow. After reading EVERYONE’s comments, including wading through Roger D’s (to which I finally just said “Huuuuhh??? and shook my head to clear the confusion), I wish to thank the voices of reason and moderation–Jason Boyett, Kenny Johnson, MainlineMom, Kristian, Stretch Mark Mama (LOVE your parenting method!), Pianolady32, JMH (amen, brother!), Geoff (well said!!), rich, g (good analysis!), Matt–for confirming my faith in the ability of people to overcome the ignorance and misinformation prevalent in the world and use their God-given gift to think for themselves.
Personally, I think science and religion are simply different ways of looking at (perceiving, trying to understand) the same thing, and it’s only the human tendency of polarity (to see everything as having an opposite–black/white, up/down, etc.) that creates the controversy. But since God (or Allah, TAU, the Supreme Being, or whatever label one puts on the Creator) is the only true reality, and thus constitutes all of existence, that concept becomes meaningless because, as holy men through the ages have told us, we are all connected–we are all part of everything, and it is only our perception of separation that causes us to believe otherwise. And now, results of experiments in the field of quantum mechanics indicate, or imply, that this is true in a very real sense; that on the subatomic level everything is connected.
To Neil Gilligan, SHAME on you for using this forum for such egotistical self-promotion (putting your name after the titles of your books is egotistical, redundant, AND indicative of poor writing skill).



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Rodger D

posted August 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm


I am sorry William Allman for the confusion. I can’t spell or write very well. I am no book writer. So I will keep to my self.
Lord forgive me I did not intend to confuse any one!.



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Webminotaur

posted August 30, 2010 at 11:18 am


Rodger D
Do not beat yourself up because of one person’s comment.
Although it took two readings, I think I have a good idea of what you are saying and pretty much agree with you. God made us in one form; a form that was consistent with his. But when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they were changed. They could no longer see what was pure, but now could see what was evil. The world was also changed – it was cursed along with Adam, Eve and Satan. However, it was not “Evolution.” Evolution occurs over a long period of time and involves many generations. The change brought about Adam and Eve was instant.
Yes, Jesus is the only way back to God and away from the “you shall surely die” curse. He is the “tree of life” for everyone who will eat of his “fruit.” We cannot walk by sight because of our corrupted eyes – we no longer see as God does. We have to trust him to guide us.
Please do not be afraid to express yourself, even if you do not have good writing skills. Remember, it is God you need to please. And at the end, he will say something like: “He done good, and I seen him when he done it.”



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Rodger D

posted September 2, 2010 at 6:43 am


Webminotaur
You are a Blessing to me you have help me more then you know. First of all you have proven to me Jesus has heard my cry for forgiveness for causeing confusion. Also you have took the time to understand what I was trying to say and you have done very good at it thank you.
I know Jesus is in your heart because you have said what I was wanting to say but in better words.
And yes the change was instant for Adam and Eve and it could not be changed untell Jesus Chirst came to Change it, “To seek and to save that witch was lost”. I will be more careful about how I word thing from now on thank you Brother for your Loving help God Bless you



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Webminotaur

posted September 3, 2010 at 11:15 am


Reading over these posts again, I find several points on which I would like to make comments. I will try to limit my postings to just one point. Although it will mean more postings, it will make for shorter readings and easier critiques.
First, I agree with Ray Hollenbach (August 17, 2010 5:38 PM) that this is not a new debate. Nor does Dowd present a “new” position – he just put it in a new package using different words to say the same thing. I heard about the movement to incorporate Darwinian Evolution (which is a sub-set of evolution) in the mid-50s. There were some who said the “days” of Genisis were really stages lasting millions (billions?) of years. I’m sure the roots of this movement can be traced back to when Charles Darwin first presented his model.
As far as I can tell, it is just another version of man’s desire to incorporate various religions with the worship of God. One can look at the history of Israel to see the danger of that. Obviously neither the Isrealites (Jews) nor the Christians have learned from what was written in the Old Testiment. People keep trying to worship God and follow other religions at the same time. It just won’t work.
On the other hand, Mohler’s stance (which is also very old) does more damage than good. It is not so much based on what the Bible says “literally”, but on what some people claim it says “literally.” A natural tendency is to take scripture out of the original cultural context. That gives it a totally different meaning. Then there’s the problem of translation. Expressions used in one language do not translate to another language and keep their meaning. (Remember Nixon’s “tickled to death” to be in China). I’ll have more on this later.



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Webminotaur

posted September 3, 2010 at 11:44 am


As pointed out by JK (August 22, 2010 4:34 PM), science and evolution are not the same thing. Science was around for ages before anyone thought about evolution.
In his series “How Should We Then Live” (1977) Francis A. Schaeffer gives a good overview of modern science and belief in God. He points out that most of the founders of modern science, from Capernius through Einstein, held a strong belief in God. As one put it, there is the Word of God (the Bible) and the Works of God (our physical world). Our understanding of both are to lead us to a better understanding of God, himself. The two are not in conflict, but work together. The Bible is intended to help us understand our spiritual world, and science is intended to help us understand our physical world. The problem arises in some people’s attempts to transpose the two. That’s like trying to use a ruler to see how much something weighs, or a scale to measure the distance between two points.



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