Re: Science Education and the Church

From: Jan de Koning (
Date: Tue May 21 2002 - 15:55:50 EDT

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    If "evolution" is purposeless, yes, than you are right. But, just others
    think that evolution is purposeless.does not mean that everyone thinks that
    evolution is purposeless. As a matter of fact, I believe, that the Bible
    clearly reaches that nothing is purposeless. We do not have to accept the
    thinking of any unbeliever on any point. As Christians we know that all
    things work for good for believers, despite the fact that believers are
    sinners as well. I believe, that everywhere God uses development
    (evolution) in order to prepare His people for eternal life.

    At 05:39 AM 21/05/02 -0400, Walter Hicks wrote:
    the way that a significant fraction of the people think one means by the
    >term "evolution". Because of the influence of vocal atheists,
    >"evolution" carries the connotation not of factual data but rather of
    >Darwinian evolutionary theory. Specifically it means that change took
    >place in living organisms by purely random events.

    Maybe you should say that unbelievers think so, no Christ believer does
    attach that meaning to the word.

    > The reason that
    >different species survived is because of "natural selection" or
    >"survival of the fittest" in the search for food. You killed and ate
    >your adversary before he killed and ate you. If the randomness had
    >tugged a different way, then we could have had smart pigs or intelligent
    >giant grasshoppers, rather than humans as the dominant species. As such,
    >one has the options of believing
    >1.) That God is capricious
    >2.) There is no God involved
    >3.) Scientists are wrong about evolution.

    Sorry, I cannot see the conclusions you draw. We know that people who are
    not Christians think about many things different than we do. For example,
    we pray before our meals, because we know that our food comes from God, not
    from our efforts. That unbelievers think, that they deserve the food
    because of their work and diligence does not mean, that it is true. If we
    follow your reasoning, we should stop eating, and expect our bread from
    heaven. Of course, God gives us our bread. And, of course, we work and
    ask God to bless our work. It does mean, that there may be jobs that we as
    Christians cannot take. It means as well that God prepares some people for
    the eternal punishment. However, not everyone who accepts the fact of
    "evolution" accepts your conclusions, that "evolution" happens randomly.

    >Given this perspective, those who know God reject 1 and 2 and adhere to
    >3 as the only logical alternative --- and frankly they are not to be
    >faulted (IMO).

    So Christians working in science believe, that God has designed every step,
    and they glorify God for His work in evolution. Biologists tell me that
    evolution still goes on, and we glorify God because of it.

    >Notice that I have said nothing about the Bible.
    >If the Bible is brought into play, then one has a better story that what
    >science has to offer --- a "literal" story that may be read as history
    >and has none of the above flaws.

    My objection to this line of reasoning is, that you believe that God is
    trying to fool everyone in designing the world in the way He did. On this
    forum, several people have tried to explain how to read Gen. 1 - 11, and
    the only answers I read (and I must admit that I gave up reading most
    postings on this subject, since I was involved 14 years ago studying this
    subject for our church. The study lasted three years. It struck me at
    that time and still does, that many people give up listening as soon as you
    mention that you read Gen.1 -11 different than other people do. Or, when
    you point out that there are other difficulties with reading the Bible as a
    "literal" story, "literal" taking in the modern sense of the word. Just as
    if there is no development in the language, and in telling history.

    I know the reactions I will get, but I would that someone would finally
    start listening to the possibility of other ways of exegeting any Bible
    story. Why are some stories without any question accepted a
    "parabels'? Or, why did I not receive any "believable" answer about what
    "thousand" might mean in OT stories, or why Jericho was so small and needed
    so many soldiers to be conquered. Or are there other solutions?
    Think of the pyramid building. How were they built and how were the Faraos
    (in general) able to use many people? I heardjust in the beginning of
    last week that bakeries were found which indicated that the cities might
    have had millions of inhabitants. Connect that with the posting a couple
    of weeks ago which mentioned that the gorge of the Nile was (in the past)
    deeper than the Grand Canyon. Is it possible to compress all that in a
    few thousand years? Or, . . .
    IF possible, give other explanations than the ones given. I do not believe
    that God is trying to fool us.
    >It will take far more than the article you cite. Until ASA or somebody
    >takes the high ground of evolution by refuting the notion of
    >purposelessness that the term "evolution" evokes, then the Dawkins
    >version will survive and the battle is truly lost.

    The term "evolution" does NOT evoke purposeless. I don't know were you got
    that idea from. Nothing is purposeless in this world. Everywhere and in
    every subject, God is involved. Just taking one word out of context to say
    it is involves purposeless and is therefor against God is very
    dangerous. It might mean that other words are for God? We know
    better. We know that none of our works is sinless. I find the searching
    out one word, and saying it is against God a dangerous business.

    Personally, I find it extremely dangerous when certain Christians take out
    one theory and declare it against God and His Christ, and by doing so
    estrange many students from the Christ of Scriptures. I met several of
    these when I was still teaching, who were on their way out of the church,
    and thus out of community with Christ, because somebody told them that they
    were not Christians if they "believed" in "Evolution." My answer took
    weeks of talking, but came down to: "Do you believe, that our faithful God
    is trying to fool us in nature?"

    Jan de K.

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