April 28, 2006

Theo-on-the-Go

Posted in Religion, Theology at 12:13 am by egalitaria

These are some of the issues I've been thinking about recently, amongst many others. It is basically a very brief summary of the problems faced by Christians/non-Christians when the question of Science comes up against Theology. Very Simply Done. (adhering to the KISS rule)

If objective science really shows evidence of Evolution, how is this reconciled with the story of Creation in the Bible?

Some possible views:

  1. First Cause Theory. God created the first cell, and all further developments from that first cell, into the diverse conglomerate of creatures, took place according to evolution.
  2. Theistic Evolution. God's First-Hand in directing the evolution of creation of creatures. The belief in macro-evolution and not micro-evolution. So, God's invisible hand was there all along, gently directing each development towards a particular end in mind.
  3. It is impossible to reconcile the Bible and Evolution, because the very theory of Evolution itself states that it is based on the law of natural selection. This defeats the purpose of, and need for, a divine Hand. So,
    • Only Evolution is correct.
    • Only the Bible is correct. The "young earth creationism" theory that the Earth is only 6000 years old, according to the literal text in Genesis.

      The problem for Christians accepting either options 1. or 2. is that even if there was the possibility of a theistic evolution, in which God had a design-hand, there is therefore no ONE ADAM and ONE EVE. In Genesis, the Bible talks clearly about specific genealogies, with specific people. ("Adam had a son named Seth, who fathered Enosh, who fathered Kenan and so on….") To accept even a theistic evolution, one has to concede that Adam is no longer an individual person but a vague title given to represent the entire process of evolution.

      The second problem is that of sin. If sin entered the world through Eve and Adam, two specific people, at which point does sin enter the world through evolution? When Man becomes "conscious" enough to have sin enter him? The entire biblical theology of Original Sin then falls apart.

      Some responses to this are:

      1. The term "Father of" in the Bible may mean stretching many generations. "Years" in the Bible may be symbolic and not literal.
      2. Theory that God created the world 6000 years ago, but made it seem as if it had already existed for ancient of days. The "ancient world" was necessary for the next processes to take place.
      3. There is a huge time gap between verses 1 and 2 in Genesis Chapter 1. After "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth", there was a great period of time in which He might or might not have created other beings; we know not. This could also account for dinosaurs in this period. These created beings might not have had soul nor conscience. Thereafter, in verse 2 onwards, God decided to create a being in His very image, hence Adam and Eve.

      A very simplistic summary. It is always necessary for me to pen down my thoughts, preferably in numerical order, to clear up the constant mess and tangled strings in my head. At least the thought process becomes linear, if not ever solved!

      Advertisements

      3 Comments

      1. rastorms said,

        I think that we should always take the Word of God literally. It says that the earth was created in seven days. We might not always understand things in a logical sense, but that is where faith comes in. The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God.

        Anyway, I know God exists and that His Word is true. I don’t need physical proof. However, just as Thomas asked to feel the nail prints in the palm of Jesus’ hands before he would believe that it was Him, I believe that we can also ask God for such proof, rather it be scientific or whatever, and if we will hear Him, He will give us the answer we need.

      2. freewheel said,

        I think it’s your suspicion and assumption (and forgive me if i’m wrong) that evolution has no viable alternative; which is why you’ve begun with the present hypothesis of evolution as an objective fact and the “Biblical creationism” as only responses. I would recall that the Latter was First, and evolution has simply become one of the largest religious responses of a different view of God. (Often the atheist/freethinker’s faith.)

        1. A God who is inconsistent enough to put a literal “2 years after the flood” (taken as literal since it such a small number is far more reflective of it’s literalness) in the same verse (Gen 11:10) as “when Shem was 100” and one verse before (Gen11:11) “And he became the *father of* Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years” (taken as symbolic just because it is a large number we can’t accept)

        2. The assault of 2. is more subtle: The assumption that Biblical Creationism is “just a response” means -God- created illusions of age. From a scientific point of view, radio-isotope dating *assumes* a certain composition of elements, and then dates it *according* to the starting point; assuming a closed system. For recent enough artifacts, this MAY be true *given* the above; though there is no lack of examples of when they WERE false. My point: With their assumed starting composition, the evolutionists’ response applies an age to a rock that never needed to have that age. Is it evolutionists who may have created an unnecessary illusion of age?

        3. A God who inflicted pain, physical death and suffering before sin (even on dinosaurs) – a God who does not exemplify “Shalom” or wholeness even before sin entered. (Hence any hope of wholeness is impossible or limited.)

      3. zhenlim said,

        “For we walk by faith, not by sight” 2 Corinthians:7

        I suppose I’m on the verge of making a fool out of myself. Perhaps you might even think it naive of me to say this, but for me, well, I have had a few questions about the Bible. I wasn’t questioning the Bible’s credibility in general, but just those certain parts here and there which seemed to impossible to be true (no, I am not referring to Jonah and the whale, but other things). And it always occurred to me how everyone else would be just as clueless as I am about those certain things, and how everything could only be answered when we die and see Him.

        Disputes over the evolution theories: I can only say that men are always eager to seek out concrete proof which can be seen, touched, and thus proven, or so they think. We may have a lot of theories which are “proven” nowadays, theories which may contradict what the Bible says, but then again, “we walk by faith and not by sight”. Ultimately, no matter how you try and fit these evolution theories into God’s Word, I have faith that God’s Word will hold true. The interpretations of God’s Word may vary, but it will still hold true. However, this can only be proven when we die. So for those moments leading to that – walk by faith. I can read about all these arguments, but I, for one, am not going to bother about matching it up with what the Bible says if I’m not going to get a straight answer, because I can have all the answers I want when I die.

        When people accuse us of “blindly following God”, well, who said I needed sight to follow Him?


      Comments are closed.

      %d bloggers like this: