One response I get to my teaching and writing on creation and evolution goes something like this: “You’re just a liberal who’s trying to do away with the Bible, so it’s natural that you go along with the secularist society around you on evolution as well.” But that isn’t the case. For example my company (Energion Publications) publishes Elgin Hushbeck, Jr. who would best be described as an Old Earth Creationist. You can imagine that as I edited his books for publication, not to mention in our personal friendship and dialog that has gone on for a number of years longer, we have engaged in a few debates on this. But the fact that by almost any measure you choose, Elgin is more conservative than I am, in the area of creation and evolution, there is no difference in the way we would handle the Biblical materials.
That’s my long way around to get at the point that creation vs evolution need not be a conservative/liberal issue in Christianity. I may be a liberal (though I prefer “passionate moderate”) but you can’t determine that by my stance on evolution.
Steve Martin, an evangelical Christian, has a blog titled An Evangelical Dialogue on Evolution. He left a comment on my previous post linking to a post on his blog Evangelicalism and Evolution: Why the Discussion Matters. I agree with the additional points that he makes there, and would like to call this to everyone’s attention.
I had an experience with my pamphlet God the Creator that supports his point. A college student told me that he was talking to a fellow-student who was interested in Christianity, but whose scientific training convinced him that evolutionary theory was the best explanation for the diversification of life on earth. The Christians he talked to were telling him that he had to give up that belief in order to be a Christian. This young man had attended my seminar “God, Dinosaurs, and You” (I’m not responsible for that title), and told him otherwise. At the time he shared this with me, several more people were attending church simply because that barrier to faith had been removed.
I would add also that as I believe the primary Christian witness is the individual Christian (and Christian congregation or community) through whom Christ is shown to others, a lack of individual integrity is critical to the gospel.
OK, enough rambling. I’ve gotten in my commercial plugs. I don’t do that much all that often on this blog. Really! I’ll be adding Steve’s blog to the blogroll.