There needs to be a counterpoint to Jennie Whitmer’s opinion on evolution.
She wrote “Evolution is not harmless. Believing it turns people from God.” Actually, not incorporating scientific discovery into Christian theology turns people from God. New scientific discoveries may challenge our understanding of the Bible, but we can grow in our understanding and appreciation of God through these experiences. Scientific discoveries threatened the power and hurt the pride of those who decided that God meant this instead of that. Didn’t Jesus warn against pride?
My favorite hymn is “We Limit Not the Truth of God” (to our poor reach of mind, by notions of our day and sect, crude, partial, and confined – to complete the opening thought). The last line states, “The Lord hath yet more light and truth to break forth from the Word” (words by George Rawson in 1853). We finite humans can only have a limited understanding of our infinite God’s truths.
Regarding evolution specifically, Ted Peters, a Lutheran theologian, and Martinez Hewlett, a Roman Catholic scientist, wrote a book, “Evolution from Creation to New Creation,” which surveys major thoughts on the creation – evolution issue. They write on page 11, “It is our conviction that Darwinian science and belief in God are not mutually exclusive.” (Yes, people can be Christian and still embrace evolution in their theology.) Their book describes the science of Darwinian evolutionary theory; discusses social applications of this theory, particularly social Darwinism, sociobiology, and evolutionary psychology; then it discusses scientific creationists, followed by the Intelligent Design, and the theistic evolutionists who develop theories showing how God uses evolutionary processes for creative purposes. Finally, they offer a constructive model that integrates evolutionary change with God’s transformatory promises for redemption.
I heartily recommend this book.
Please note that I am not promoting either the Lutheran or the Catholic faith when citing the works of these two. I am neither and yet am both in the unity we share in Christ.
The Rev. Ron Stair, Fredericktown Christian Church