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Beyond Evidence: Responding to Creationists
One of the truly great insights and gifts of a sacred evolutionary worldview is coming to understand the nature of human language. For example, we now know that there is always at least one factual, literal, day language, way of speaking about something and innumerable meaningful, religious, night language, ways of speaking about the very same thing, process, event, or relationship. This realization alone goes a long way toward bridging science and religion, and understanding religious differences.
Yesterday I received an email from a Christian who rejects evolution and considers himself a "young-earth creationist". This happens quite regularly, of course, and invariably I'm asked, "What evidence do you see for evolution?"
I usually begin my reply along these lines:
"I am not a scientist; thus my evidence begins with this striking fact: well over 95% of the world's scientists and tens of millions of religious people from every faith tradition embrace an evolutionary worldview precisely because of the overwhelming empirical evidence uncovered (revealed) over the past two hundred years. As a species, collectively, we no longer merely believe that the entire Universe has been in a process of evolutionary emergence for billions of years—we know it. And we know it thanks to the mountains of measurable evidence discovered in disciplines as diverse as cosmology, astronomy, physics, astrophysics, chemistry, botany, zoology, primatology, microbiology, genetics, anthropology, archeology, evolutionary brain science, and evolutionary psychology."
That is only the beginning, however. Because perhaps the main reason I wholeheartedly, even evangelistically, embrace an evolutionary worldview isn't the evidence. I unabashedly celebrate evolution because (to use traditional Christian night language) a sacred view of deep time gives me a far more intimate, personal relationship with God and a closer walk with Christ than I had when I was a anti-evolution creationist. More, by knowing my brain's creation story and why "Christ-like" evolutionary integrity is everything, I now find it infinitely easier to live a life of ongoing victory over my "sinful nature". When I interpret cosmic, biological, and human history (which is what I mean when I use the word "evolution") in "God-glorifying, Christ-edifying, scripture-honoring" ways, I experience heaven as undeniably real in this life: here, now, eternally, without fail.
My heart aches when I meet someone who claims to have "accepted Jesus as his or her personal Lord and Savior," who reads the Bible and goes to church faithfully, yet who still regularly struggles with his or her sinful nature or has sour or less-than-loving relationships with family, friends, or coworkersâ€”all for lack of an evolutionary understanding of human instincts. My hope and prayer is that young-earth creationists and others who reject evolution will view a free pdf version of Thank God for Evolution! (available on this website November 1st) and read Part III "The Gospel According to Evolution" and Part IV "Evolutionary Spirituality". That way, even if they continue to think the world was created 6,000 years ago, they'll at least know how to enjoy a truly victorious life in Christ and have the tools for ensuring that all their relationships thrive in ways truly "pleasing to God."