Geology MW 2
29 October 2008
The Decision that Only Indirectly Matters to Me
One thing must be stated before I begin this essay and reason in favor of one explanation of creation over another: this argument, as I see it, only indirectly concerns to me. I really have no personal interest in the debate besides the realm of possibility that a non-christian hinges his faith decision on this matter of creation. Other than that, there are two inhibitors in my care for and/or attention to this matter of the manner of creation. First, the fact that there is no way to ascertain direct proof, scientifically, Biblically, or otherwise, to solidify either of the main claims, I feel that we are caught up in a, many times, needless debate, primarily when it divides or causes hostility between and within the body of Christ. Secondly, it is enough for me to know that God did it, that He not only set it all in motion, but is sticking around and is in utter control of it. To me, the “why” is much more fascinating that the “how.” But, I’m an idealistic philosophy major, so perhaps that somewhat explains my bent towards cutting out the realistic application of the absolute truth that God did, in fact, create the world and the orders contained within it. (Not that I should allow my indifference to become an excuse for ignorance in the subject matter.) I suppose what I really mean is that I consider the fleshing out of how God created the world to be a secondary issue, one not to be confused, however, with the fact that God did, undoubtedly, create it, which is indisputably, in my mind, primary in it most strong sense.
As I previously stated, there is no doubt in my mind, due to the order and beauty present in this world, that God created it. There is uncertainty, probably because of my conservative, Presbyterian upbringing, surrounding the “how” of creation. I’ve been taught my whole life that creation is a literal 24-hour, 6 day process--condemning all who would adhere to this “faulty” theory that rests on little more than equally faulty carbon dating. It is made to sound like anyone who does not agree with their “how” is denying the “what,” denying God’s power and presence in the act of creation. Well, as one who currently adheres to the centrist view, resting on the idea of old earth creation, I cannot believe and do not believe that denial of the less scientific view makes me somehow less holy. Mostly because I know that my opinion in this matter really changes nothing about how I live out my life in Christ.
It is a dangerous and slippery slope to begin asserting that just because an atheist may have made us aware as to the age of the earth, we must automatically reject it. Why do we have to be so prideful? Are atheists not able to discover God’s natural processes; is this not a part of General Revelation? Should we reject all kinds of other natural findings merely because they weren’t discovered within the evangelical community? I believe that a good Christian can adhere to the Old earth creation view, without believing that God had to use this process. This may, in fact, be the main difference between theistic scientists and their atheistic counterparts. Christians can believe that God used these processes in his ordering, while atheists believe that somehow this order created itself. We do not say that God needed millions of year, but if he used them, does that in any way diminish the amazing work of a creation ex nihilo? And if we are to use this same line of reasoning, I suppose He didn’t need to send his Son either, but He did, and praise Him for that. In the same way, we can praise God whether he created the earth over millions of years or millions of seconds.
Perhaps if those in the Evangelical community have such a problem taking evidence and research from those outside the faith, they must be proactive in discovering these things for themselves instead of waiting on other people’s research. We don’t need to be a community constantly reconciling what we believe with scientific study. We need to be a community convinced of what we believe, allowing science to only add to and solidify our faith, not divide and detract from it.