The Question of Creation
When I speak as a Bible teacher and I open up the conversation for questions, I typically get questions in one of two directions – sex or science.
Periodically, I travel and speak to a group and am introduced as an atheist (the listeners actually are in a skit in which they are led to believe that I am an atheist) and the audience and I have a conversation in which they are allowed to ask the atheist anything they want to ask. By far, the most common issues are about science.
I have been troubled by the incredible lack of scientific understanding that most people who claim the name of Christ have.
I know that not everyone is a scientist and not everyone needs or has to be a professional, but this world that God has created is amazing and fascinating! In my opinion, everyone is a theologian… some are bad at it and some are good at it. I believe the same thing about science. You are a student of the natural world and you have opinions about it.
You may have no idea what you are talking about, but you have opinions.
I believe that Romans 1, among other passages, reveals to us that God’s creation reveals a lot about Him! It is a wonderful thing when a Christ follower is enchanted enough with God’s creation to systematically study it… and that is what a scientist is.
I know it isn’t just Christians, but probably everyone in the Western world… but we should be motivated! When God is introducing Job to His power, He points to the natural world – animals, stars, etc.
This level of serious ignorance causes Christians to say scientifically very silly things, like:
References to the “fact” that men have one less rib than women do because of God using a rib from Adam to make Eve.
I will give you a second to count them…. Same number of ribs in both genders.
“God would never start with a single cell to create a human.”
Let that marinate for a second.
Pretty sure that every single time a human being comes into existence, God starts us as a single cell which we call a zygote.
* * * * * * * *
However, I think I understand why many Christians, who know little of science, have a science-phobia. They have bought into the idea that if we can understand the process, the designer/creator is explained away.
This is very silly. It borders on being nonsensical, in my opinion.
It is bad enough when secularists buy into this “god-of-the-gaps” mentality; a god who can be explained away with something as simple as a process is not a sound theological concept.
It is much crazier, and much less excusable, for believers to make this mistake.
Isn’t it your experience that the more complex a process is, the more likely it is intentional?
A watch, a gun, a car, etc… these operate by complex processes. Would it be rational to accept the assumption that they had no designer? That there was no intentionality behind their existence?
Does understanding the processes by which a revolver operates in any way indicate that Col. Colt did not exist? Does understanding how the combustion engine works does not somehow explain away Henry Ford? Of course not. Aposteriori (with experience) thinking shows us clearly that complex processes, at least typically, have a designer.
I say this only because in this world, it is becoming common for secular scientists (Sam Harris is famous for it) to present any belief in God as essentially mental illness. Quite the contrary, it is very rational to believe in a designer/creator.
As a believer, I should not be threatened by understanding a process theory – a theory that explains “how” something happens. Knowing the rain cycle does not mean that it is not God who “makes it rain.” (Jer 5:24) In fact, the incredible complexity even of something as simple as the water cycle motivates me to ask “why” and “who.”
Some secularist are so uncomfortable with these questions, that they seem unable to accept that the questions exist at all! I talk more about this in the series that starts here:
I understand why many in the secular world, whether scientific in their mindset or not, think of theistic thinking as the enemy. Though I understand how many theists have gotten to the point of thinking as scientific thinking as the enemy, it should not be that way.
Both the “natural” sciences and theology are seeking the true statement. The purpose statement of both are completely integrate-able. In fact, there are many who have made a point of showing the obvious and perhaps necessary connections between good theological thinking and the roots of good scientific thinking.
The two paradigms are not contradictory. For centuries, this has been the case. Why, then, is has there become such a divide?
We will pick up there next time… click here for part II