From The Christian Who Thinks Our Faith Needs To Evolve On Evolution
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Religion

From The Christian Who Thinks Our Faith Needs To Evolve On Evolution

The Christian emphasis against evolution that turns so many people away from faith desperately needs to stop.

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Original Photo Courtesy of Mikayla Stein

I, unlike a few of my fellow Christians, am under the impression that my love for God and my love for science can coexist.

As science advances and new discoveries are made, it is inevitable that religious beliefs and long-held predispositions will be disproved simply because the Bible is an over 3,000-year-old book filled with metaphors, man-made stories, hyperboles and many verses with room for interpretation.

A Christian philosopher named St. Augustine foresaw this predicament centuries ago and wrote:

"In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in Holy Scripture passages which can be interpreted in very different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search for truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it."

St. Augustine is basically saying that we shouldn't promote an interpretation of the Bible so firmly because, if new technologies can tear it down and science can make compelling arguments against it, we'll go down right along with it.

So, what did we do? Basically, the exact thing that St. Augustine warned against. Christians everywhere are completely rejecting the idea of evolution; they are setting up Christian institutions that teach only about young earth theories and times where both humans and dinosaurs walked the earth.

Because of this, I grew up believing that I had to choose between Darwin or God, science or faith. I was told that books containing evolutionary theories held biased opinions, when, in reality, it was many of the religious science books used in my Christian education that held these biases.

I was taught how to defend my faith and disprove evolution, which just ended up setting me up for failure because when I got to college, I learned about biodiversity, speciation, fossil records, DNA sequencing and radiometric dating. These theories were compelling and testable in many aspects. Accepting at least part of these science-supported ideas seemed inevitable, but that shouldn't mean I have to reject my faith.

So, yes, I personally chose to believe in evolution by natural selection, but that in no way takes away from my belief that God set creation into motion, that a man named Jesus walked this earth and was unrightfully crucified and that there are aspects of this world that cannot be explained by science alone.

I don't think any scientific advancement can undermine my confidence in who I believe God to be and what He stands for. I don't think I could look at the beauty of a landscape, the complexity of a single strand of DNA or even the theory of multiverses that scientists have proposed without believing that some higher entity or force set it into motion. I don't think I could understand my overwhelming love for my family, the acts of kindness done by people who don't benefit from them or human morality that surpasses any evolutionary and biological explanation without the role of a benevolent God.

So, I choose to embrace the fact that I don't know everything and that I can never be 100% certain about any belief. I have chosen to put my faith in a God that I cannot see, that I have no scientific evidence for and that allows things to happen for reasons that I may never understand.

Of course, I have my theories that I conjure up to help me try to make sense of it all, but, at the end of the day, I can never fully comprehend the vastness of the universe or the complexities of God. And that is where I think science and faith differ: science feeds our curiosity and provides insight and understanding, while faith humbles us and reveals our limitations as we choose to trust in something we cannot fully understand.

Amir D. Aczel puts it best in his TIME article:

"Science and religion are two sides of the same deep human impulse to understand the world, to know our place in it, and to marvel at the wonder of life and the infinite cosmos we are surrounded by. Let's keep them that way, and not let one attempt to usurp the role of the other."
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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