Friday, June 14, 2013

Which is easier to believe?

Read more at the entire report, “A Survey of Clergy and Their Views on Origins,”
Here are the seven points of summary BioLogos gave from the information gleaned from this survey. Click the link above or below to read the detailed annotations.
  • Pastors hold a diversity of views on origins (the chart above shows the breakdown).
  • Most pastors think science and faith questions are important.
  • Clergy think disagreements on science and faith harm our witness (but for different reasons).
  • Pastors aren’t avoiding science.
  • However, they are concerned about evolution for biblical reasons.
  • The majority of clergy accept parts of scripture as symbolic.
  • Clergy are concerned that changing their views on origins might compromise their ministry.
My Comments

I hardly waste my time arguing creationism.  I would rather argue the cause of truth.  Either God's Word is true or it is not.  It helps us not to have a Scripture which includes truth but is not true.  How are we to know which is truth and which is less?  Do we leave it up to the experts?  Do we leave it up to reason?  Do we leave it up to us?  There is nothing more dangerous that truth unhitched from fact.

Speaking personally, I find it amazing that people continue to hold to the incarnation of the Son of God by the power of the Spirit to the Virgin Mary, the death of the Son of God on the cross, His resurrection on the third day, and His pledge to come again in glory... and then reject the idea that all things have come from God and were deliberately created according to His intention and power as Genesis records.  The creation miracle is at best a whimper compared to the big bump of the second article of the Creed.  Clearly, rejecting God's creative work creates the platform for diminishing and ultimately rejecting His work of redemption.  The two are not completely separate. 


Chris Jones said...

Either God's Word is true or it is not.

Of course God's Word is true, but that does not mean that every woodenly literal interpretation that comes down the pike has to become a hill to die on. Genesis does not have to be treated as if it were journalistic reportage to be regarded as true, and in fact reading it as such (or worse, as if it were in fact science) distracts the reader from receiving the fullness of the truth that Genesis offers: its Christological and soteriological dimension.

How are we to know which is truth and which is less?

A false question. Genesis read figuratively and typologically is not less true than a literal reading, it is more true, because it points more clearly to Christ who is the Truth. And in any case, the answer to your question How are we to know? is by the Church's rule of faith. There is nothing in that rule of faith mandating a reading of Genesis as pseudo-science; but there is everything in the rule of faith telling us not only to put our faith in the Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection, and Parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ, but also to read all of Scripture in light of those realities.

Clearly, rejecting God's creative work creates the platform for diminishing and ultimately rejecting His work of redemption.

No one is "rejecting God's creative work." To say that Genesis is not a literal or scientific account of how God created the universe is not the same thing as saying that God did not create the universe (or that somehow the universe created itself). It is saying that the creation of the world, in any sort of detail, is beyond the ken of human thought and so cannot be described "literally." Type and figure, metaphor and symbol, all have to have their say as well, if we are to see the creation in the light of Christ.

Even the most brilliant theories of the physicists and cosmologists, for all their mathematical precision and meticulous observation, cannot plumb the depths of God's acts of creation, because they have no reference whatsoever to Christ, through whom and for whom all things were made. Let us make sure not to read Genesis in that same impoverished way: without reference to Christ.

St Maximus Confessor's dictum applies as much to the creation as to all else: For the Word of God and God wills always and in all things to accomplish the mystery of His embodiment.

David Gray said...

Seven 24 hour days is the wrong hill to die on. However there is no room for theistic evolution. Death entered the world through sin. Evolution only works through vast quantities of death.

Without the historicity of Adam you don't really have the fall as orthodox Christians have understood it and in a sense you do not need Christ. It also opens the door to the evil of feminism when you reject the fact that there was a time when man was and woman was not. Paul bases his ordering of church and family on that fact.

None of that gets in the way of a typological, Christ-centered understanding of Genesis.

Pastor Peters said...

My point seems to have been caught by David Gray. I am not in the business of dying on the hill of creation BUT at the same time, regardless of Gen 1-3 alone, the rest of Scripture reads it as historical event -- including Jesus. This is not the big mystery. It is a very little one compared to the mystery of the faith -- Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. The fullness of that mystery makes the literal creation a slam dunk. I can say that without joining the army of those ready to fight to the death to defend 7 24 hour days.