1. Illinois
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    09 Jan '08 08:53
    I think many believers in God's word can underestimate its Author. My mother-in-law, for example - a wonderful Christian woman - still makes me uncomfortable with her disdain for the evolutionary theory. Knowing Christ as Lord for nearly a decade now, I've yet to develop any adverse reaction to the concept of an evolving world and doubt I ever will. The theory of evolution has the deep ring of truth to it, which I've found no reason to discard in favor of an overly simplistic and, frankly, less awe-inspiring literal "six day" creation event.

    People like my mother-in-law speak of the evolutionary theory as if it were the property of atheists and some kind of insidious lie meant to devalue the word of God. After all, the idea that we and everything else evolved from simpler forms is contrary to scripture. But is it? I would point out that the book of Genesis itself - not an atheist or a scientist - tells the contrary story. In the first chapter of Genesis God created Light, Space, Matter, Vegetation, Animals in the Waters, Animals in the Sky, Animals on the Land, and then Humans. But in the second chapter of Genesis God created Man before every other living thing. Both accountings are true, but not both can be literally true.

    The notion of a perfect, deathless world full of plants and animals which only began to decay after the Fall is, I believe, a misrepresentation of the scriptural data. Did the lion not grow fangs until after the Fall? Did the shark not require consumption while Adam and Eve still enjoyed fellowship with their Creator? God ordered creatures to reproduce and fill the ocean, but without the presence of death the ocean's ecosystem would have utterly collapsed. Were the oceans in some kind of temporal stasis until the Fall? I doubt it.

    At the beginning of Genesis we see God "brooding" over the void where the universe would eventually be. Since the mind of God is not bound by time and knows everything, He could no doubt see every conceivable detail of His creation, from beginning to end, before He spoke it into being. If we cannot understand God's mind, we must at least take into consideration the breadth of His omniscience as we read the six day account of creation.

    Let me try to explain what I mean.

    How does God, who knows the beginning from the end, go about creating a Robin? Did Robins, in their present form, exist 65 million years ago? Definitely not. But would God be able to see the Robin, as we now know the Robin to be, from His vantage point before the world began? Of course. Did God will the Robin to possess the form which it now does? No doubt; it could not be otherwise. Does God see the full grown man as well as his former embryonic state? Infinitely, yes.

    God sees each of us as our fully mature selves even while we're still in our embryonic state, and in the same way He can see the fruition of life on earth even while the foundation is being laid for the universe. Given this, we must understand the six day account of creation as expressing first and foremost God as Progenitor. The account is not meant to be a scientific journal (though it may contain a strikingly prescient grasp of the evolutionary order of things). The account is largely generic and undoubtedly an overview; the details being secondary to the understanding that the world is first and foremost God's idea. When God stretches out His hand and says, "Let the earth put forth vegetation," from the scriptural data we know this as God's will and that God's will did indeed come to fruition (so to speak). What we are not told is how it came to fruition.

    I don't believe it is biblically correct to assume that, after the Fall, God began to practice a hands-off approach to His creation. Otherwise one could not deduce that God "had me in mind when He created the heavens and the earth." If God created Man and then left Man's progeny to their own devices and to the artless whim of a random fate, then I could hardly call myself God's creation. God has His hands in everything, even to this day. And in spite of all the complaints brought before God because of the evil and suffering in the world, the reality is that God's will and purpose is always being accomplished. The particular life-form which we call a "Robin" was in the mind of God before the world began, and the confluence of events from time-out-of-mind purposefully contributed to the Robin arising in nature.

    Astonishingly, there is a time and a purpose for everything under heaven.

    Scientists can prove that evolution happens, yes, but what cannot be ascertained scientifically is the purpose of evolution. Survival is the immediately apparent purpose of evolution, but survival doesn't answer the whole question. For instance, how do scientists know that mutations are purely random? They don't. Neither do scientists know how life originated. There are speculations, but the mystery remains.

    God is a God of purpose, and His will is always accomplished. If His creatures could not evolve, then His creatures would be unable to adapt; if His creatures were unable to adapt, then the planet would currently be barren. Since an individual creature cannot exercise control over the evolutionary destiny of its own species, it is therefore God's providential care evident in species survival. (The scientist cannot agree with this, of course, not recognizing God as having reality.) The point is, though, evolution doesn't justify atheism and neither is evolution the intellectual property of atheists and scientists.

    Thoughts?
  2. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    09 Jan '08 11:111 edit
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    I think many believers in God's word can underestimate its Author. My mother-in-law, for example - a wonderful Christian woman - still makes me uncomfortable with her disdain for the evolutionary theory. Knowing Christ as Lord for nearly a decade now, I've yet to develop any adverse reaction to the concept of an evolving world and doubt I ever w on the intellectual property of atheists and scientists.

    Thoughts?
    I agree with, and applaud, the message, but, of course, have some difficulties with some of the assumptions contained therein.

    [edit; very eloquent]
  3. Illinois
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    09 Jan '08 12:081 edit
    Denis R Alexander, a fellow of St Edmund's College and editor of Science & Christian Belief, writes:

    "Perhaps we should start by defining the term ‘evolution’. Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859 as a theory to explain the origins of biological diversity. And at the time, that’s all it was - a biological theory that Christians were in fact quick to declare as a biblical doctrine of creation.

    "Asa Gray, professor of natural history at Harvard and a committed Christian, had long been Darwin’s confidante and organised the publication of The Origin of Species in North America. Christians such as Gray maintained that God had providentially arranged the biological processes of evolution to bring about God’s purposes in creation. B B Warfield, the Princeton theologian and prominent defender of the inspiration of Scripture, spoke of himself as a ‘Darwinian of the purest water’. The British historian James Moore writes that ‘with but few exceptions the leading Christian thinkers in Great Britain and America came to terms quite readily with Darwinism and evolution’, and the American sociologist George Marsden reports that ‘with the exception of Harvard’s Louis Agassiz, virtually every American Protestant zoologist and botanist accepted some form of evolution by the early 1870s’.

    "So given this initially warm reception, why did hostility towards evolution by Christians gain such prominence in the USA a century later, even giving rise to ‘text-book battles’ in which legal attempts have been made in some states to ban the teaching of evolution in schools?

    "Unfortunately, as often happens with the big scientific theories, evolution has become encrusted with all kinds of ideological baggage down the years....

    "Some Christians think belief in evolution undermines the uniqueness of humankind and the reality of evil and the fall. Not so. The Genesis account portrays Adam and Eve as Neolithic farmers. It is perfectly feasible that God bestowed His image on representative Homo sapiens already living in the Near East to generate what John Stott has called Homo divinus, those who first enjoyed personal fellowship with God but who then fell most terribly from their close walk with God (Genesis 3.8). All those who disobey God and trust in their own wisdom in place of God’s law reiterate the historical fall in their own being (Ezekiel 28.11-19)."

    Find the full article here:

    http://www.eauk.org/resources/idea/bigquestion/archive/2005/bq7.cfm
  4. Illinois
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    09 Jan '08 12:55
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    I agree with, and applaud, the message, but, of course, have some difficulties with some of the assumptions contained therein.

    [edit; very eloquent]
    The more I think on it, though, the more difficulties I have with my assumptions as well. Though, likely the opposite assumptions which you are referring to.
  5. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    09 Jan '08 13:58
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    Denis R Alexander, a fellow of St Edmund's College and editor of Science & Christian Belief, writes:

    "Perhaps we should start by defining the term ‘evolution’. Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859 as a theory to explain the origins of biological diversity. And at the time, that’s all it was - a biological theory that Christians were ...[text shortened]... full article here:

    http://www.eauk.org/resources/idea/bigquestion/archive/2005/bq7.cfm
    Some parts, especially the Homo divinus (gotta love that!), seem a lot like clutching at straws to find some way of manipulating the Genesis story to fit demonstrable fact.
  6. England
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    09 Jan '08 14:20
    tell her evolution is the science, the six day rule is not monday to saturday its gods days. so as he lives forever and has not the turning of the earth as a day his maybe 1,000,000 of our years his day, remember he saw the world and still was not happy untill he made man in his own image. but good luck tried explaining that to my mother and the responce was "my grandad was not a ape" so thought she is never going to get it.
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    09 Jan '08 15:35
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    I think many believers in God's word can underestimate its Author. My mother-in-law, for example - a wonderful Christian woman - still makes me uncomfortable with her disdain for the evolutionary theory. Knowing Christ as Lord for nearly a decade now, I've yet to develop any adverse reaction to the concept of an evolving world and doubt I ever w ...[text shortened]... on the intellectual property of atheists and scientists.

    Thoughts?
    Well put sir !!!
  8. Standard memberKellyJay
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    09 Jan '08 15:42
    You can believe what you will about how it all started, if God had
    anything to do with it or not. If God did science would be hard pressed
    to find it, if God didn't who cares?
    Kelly
  9. Standard memberKellyJay
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    09 Jan '08 15:481 edit
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    I think many believers in God's word can underestimate its Author. My mother-in-law, for example - a wonderful Christian woman - still makes me uncomfortable with her disdain for the evolutionary theory. Knowing Christ as Lord for nearly a decade now, I've yet to develop any adverse reaction to the concept of an evolving world and doubt I ever w on the intellectual property of atheists and scientists.

    Thoughts?
    "I think many believers in God's word can underestimate its Author. My mother-in-law, for example - a wonderful Christian woman - still makes me uncomfortable with her disdain for the evolutionary theory."

    We all have things we count important in our lives and they are not
    all shared by the next guy. She dislikeds evolution, fine she may have
    a reason to, your being uncomforable with her disdain should do what
    to her, cause her to be silent? What are you looking for here, if it is
    true evolution that is, it does not mean that creation didn't occur, or
    even occur in 6 days! If evolution isn't true it does not automatically
    mean creation happened in 6 days either! It isn't an either or type
    of thing, though many would like to make it so.
    Kelly
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    09 Jan '08 17:38
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    I think many believers in God's word can underestimate its Author. My mother-in-law, for example - a wonderful Christian woman - still makes me uncomfortable with her disdain for the evolutionary theory. Knowing Christ as Lord for nearly a decade now, I've yet to develop any adverse reaction to the concept of an evolving world and doubt I ever w ...[text shortened]... on the intellectual property of atheists and scientists.

    Thoughts?
    Excellent post.
  11. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    10 Jan '08 00:41
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    You can believe what you will about how it all started, if God had
    anything to do with it or not. If God did science would be hard pressed
    to find it, if God didn't who cares?
    Kelly
    If God did science would be hard pressed to find it,

    No, there would either be anomolies in the way that rocks are arranged, the way things are. Things that couldn't be explained by current theory. Of course there are none. For that to be true, and for the world to have not formed in the way we believe it to, your God would have to be a liar - planting evidence to make it look like the planet is much older than it is.

    if God didn't who cares?

    Me. Many other people too. People interested in geology, oil companies, paleontologists, seismologists, vulcanologists and miners. Anyone, really, who is interested, or has a stake, in the way the earth works.
  12. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    10 Jan '08 00:42
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    "I think many believers in God's word can underestimate its Author. My mother-in-law, for example - a wonderful Christian woman - still makes me uncomfortable with her disdain for the evolutionary theory."

    We all have things we count important in our lives and they are not
    all shared by the next guy. She dislikeds evolution, fine she may have
    a reason ...[text shortened]... either! It isn't an either or type
    of thing, though many would like to make it so.
    Kelly
    Yes it is. They cannot both be literally true. They contradict each other.
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    10 Jan '08 02:131 edit
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    I think many believers in God's word can underestimate its Author. My mother-in-law, for example - a wonderful Christian woman - still makes me uncomfortable with her disdain for the evolutionary theory. Knowing Christ as Lord for nearly a decade now, I've yet to develop any adverse reaction to the concept of an evolving world and doubt I ever w on the intellectual property of atheists and scientists.

    Thoughts?
    ..."less awe-inspiring literal "six day" creation event."

    Less awe inspiring? You gotta be kidding! And you have misread Genesis 2.

    "And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

    There is absolutely no reason to doubt that a "day" in the genesis account of creation isn't a literal 24 hour time frame.

    Don't make the mistake of underestimating the power of God. How difficult could it be for God to bring into existence an innumerable host of angles in a moment of time?

    How about the feeding of the 5 thousand. Was that slight of hand?

    God doesn't need to veil what he does. He tells it like it is.

    Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

    Pr 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    Evolution is a theory dreamed up in some mans head. It's not a fact. there is no proof.

    As a matter of fact, how is it that the evidence for the sudden emergence of man here on earth is so overlooked? How is it, that in 500 million years of evolution, all the scientific community can come up with is a few fragments of bones. It makes me sick to think of how people are blindsided by all this.

    Oh well, I guess I'm gonna catch hell now!
  14. Illinois
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    10 Jan '08 06:19
    Originally posted by josephw
    ..."less awe-inspiring literal "six day" creation event."

    Less awe inspiring? You gotta be kidding! And you have misread Genesis 2.

    "And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

    There is absolutely no reason to doubt that a "day" in the genesis account of creation isn't a literal 24 hour time frame.

    Don't make the mistake of underestimat ...[text shortened]... w people are blindsided by all this.

    Oh well, I guess I'm gonna catch hell now!
    I've been wrong before, josephw. I'll be wrong again. I tend to voice whatever view I have in no uncertain terms and grapple with it until I'm convinced otherwise. For instance, I used to not believe in justification by faith, but now I am vehemently a proponent of justification by faith - a change of mind which occurred in these forums. Similarly, I used to believe that God chose to send some people to hell, but have since relinquished that view.

    You won't catch hell from me, as a matter of fact I'm depending upon the likes of you for feedback. Thanks for pointing out that I misread Genesis two, and the fact that the Bible is not speaking of days as epochs or ages but literal days. I discovered this by referencing Exodus 20:11. For its part, the Bible does not mince words regarding the six day creation; it means what it says, and says what it means.
  15. Standard memberKellyJay
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    10 Jan '08 06:33
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    Yes it is. They cannot both be literally true. They contradict each other.
    Define them and tell me how they do.
    Kelly
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