Thursday, October 3, 2013

It Turns Out... I Believe the Bible!

I was having an interesting conversation with a friend the other day.  She has started reading the Bible for the first time ever.  She does not believe in God, but she is searching for more that she seems to know is there (prayers for her would be awesome!)  Anyway, she is starting with Genesis, and we were discussing a bit about the Creation accounts.  I told her that while I believe that there is truth in the accounts (that God created the world), I also tend to believe that certain parts of the story are telling us important truth, but not literal truth.  Like the fact that the account with six days of creation points to a certain orderliness and logic of creation, but that I don't believe that the world was created in 6, 24-hour days (I do believe that God could have done that, but given my understanding of science, I don't believe that He did.)

The conversation moved on fairly quickly (I think we got distracted), but later something occurred to me.  The Creation account starts with chaos and moves to light and water, then life in the form of plants, then gradually more complex creatures. It doesn't necessarily directly correspond to evolution, but it is the same general idea. Now, I have to say that I don't believe that life started spontaneously where there was no life (so, a Creator).  I believe that there was a Big Bang, but God seems to be the kind of God that starts things off with kick sometimes.  And I do believe that evolution occurred, but I also believe that when there was a transition from animal to human (having a soul), God was directly involved in that.  But then again, I also believe that the world is too orderly and diverse to have all happened randomly.  Plus, things left to themselves don't tend to get more complex, but rather tend toward entropy (chaos).

Then, for some reason I was thinking about how, according to evolution, humans can track our ancestry back through apes, other mammals, reptiles, etc, down to the first amoeba or whatever single-celled life first came out of the soil.  And then it hit me.  Where else have I heard about life coming out of the soil?

[T]hen the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed 
into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Genesis 2:7

Oh, yeah.  There.

Maybe there is more literally true about the Creation account in the Bible than I thought.  It's just because I had this anthropomorphic image of God shaping clay into human form that I never saw it before. So, yes.  I believe the Bible.  And I believe that evolution happened.  I don't have all the answers for either, and though I do like that these kind of go together, I'm not suggesting that we turn to the Bible for scientific answers any more than I'm suggesting that we turn to science for all the answers to the meaning of life.  I'm just saying that they are not as incompatible as some (including me, apparently) seem to think.

This is the view of creation, formed through billions of years, that interrupted our conversation.


  1. I was just telling one of our RCIA students that God and science are not separate. God gave us a mind and science is how we try and figure out God's design. I personally love science and the more I study my favorite sciences physiology/anatomy, geography and geology the more in awe of God I am. Whenever someone thinks I am a "creationist" because I am a Christian I tell them that the Church does not approve creationism or evolution as dogma and they are always surprised when I say this. If there was a Big Bang that happened I believe that God was the one that made it happen, as you said He likes to start things off like that ;)

  2. I always think God is chuckling at us as we (in we, I mean the brilliant scientists that make discoveries) figure out his design little by little. He's probably proud of us, too. Fun post to read and ponder!