Praise God for Evolution?
“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”
I always find it a little depressing when I read about Christians who claim that they started by believing the truth of the Bible and then were persuaded otherwise by the evidence. A few years ago, an entire book of such testimonies was published under the title How I Changed My Mind about Evolution. One chapter that caught my eye was entitled Learning to Praise God for His Work in Evolution, by Dr. Deborah Haarsma, President of BioLogos. She relates how she grew up as a creationist.
Everyone at church and at home thought that the earth was young and evolution never happened. This view wasn’t presented in a dogmatic way, but what other Christian view could there be?
That second sentence says it all. The adjective dogmatic tends to be used in a pejorative manner these days, but its root, dogma, simply refers to teaching. So biblical teaching was not strongly emphasized in Dr. Haarsma’s childhood.
Later in the chapter, she comments:
After reading what Christian biologists had to say, I realized that the evidence for evolution was as strong as the evidence for an old earth.
In my own spiritual journey, I found the evidence for evolution and for an old earth to be equally weak. But, as we have discussed many times, the evidence is not the issue. In fact, evidence can be used to say anything that you want it to say because evidence is always interpreted according to your worldview. What actually matters, then, is what God actually says that He did, in His word, not what opinions misguided Christians, however intelligent, might fondly hold to.
Prayer: Thank You for the truth of Your word, Lord God. Help us to interpret everything that we observe in the light of the truth of Your Word. Amen.
Ref: Haarsma, D., Learning to Praise God for His Work in Evolution, in Applegate, K. and Stump, J.B. (ed), How I Changed My Mind about Evolution, (Downers Grove, IL: IVP), pp. 40-47. Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.
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