Re: How to encourage a former creationist to persevere in faith?

From: Peter Ruest <pruest@mysunrise.ch>
Date: Sun Aug 21 2005 - 03:19:00 EDT

Iain Strachan wrote (18 Aug 2005 21:43:13 +0100):
>
> I'd welcome peoples' opinions.
>
> I've a friend who was once a creationist, but now no longer so, and
> accepts evolution. However, she says that now, as an evolutionist,
> she finds it harder to persevere in her faith, as evolution "somehow
> weakens God" in her mind.
>
> How would people on the list approach this and encourage said person
> to persevere and not to lose faith?

Iain,

you have already received a series of answers. Most of them contain excellent
points, with which I can heartily agree. Nevertheless, I'd like to add a few
thoughts.

It seems to me that one crucial point in your friend's thoughts is that _if_ God
is real, then the Bible must be treated as genuine revelation, implying that we
must not read it as any other odd book, but take seriously whatever it says.

I agree with Glenn Morton and Dick Fischer that this requirement is not really
met by relegating the first few Genesis chapters, wholly or in part, to
categories like myth and allegory. This implies that a way of harmonizing the
biblical text with reality must be looked for, and that the extreme
accommodationism often propagated, even by evangelicals, is inadequate.

Your friend will certainly profit from looking sympathetically but also
critically at the wide selection of proposed ideas you received in this thread,
so let me add - to Glenn's and Dick's versions - my own attempt at harmonizing
biblical revelation with evolution.

It is a day-age approach to Gen.1, combined with separating the "forming" of
Adam (Gen.2:7) from the (much earlier) creation of humans in God's image
(Gen.1:27), as described in the following articles in the Perspectives on
Science and Christian Faith:

A. Held & P. Rüst, "Genesis reconsidered", PSCF 51/4 (Dec. 1999), 231-243;
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1999/PSCF12-99Held.html
A. Held & P. Rüst, "Taking Genesis as inspired", PSCF 52/3 (Sept. 2000),
212-214; http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2000/PSCF9-00Held.html
P. Rüst, "Creative providence in biology", PSCF 53/3 (Sept. 2001), 179-183;
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2001/PSCF9-01Ruest.pdf + ... RustFig1.jpg
P. Rüst, "God's Sovereignty in Creation - a reply to Howard Van Till", PSCF 54/3
(Sept. 2002), 216-217; http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2002/PSCF9-02Ruest.pdf
P. Rüst, "Dimensions of the Human Being and of Divine Action", to be published
in PSCF 57/3 (Sept. 2005), 191-201

The most important consideration for your friend, however, as several people
have emphasized, is personal faith in God, trusting in his way of salvation
through the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and trusting
his wisdom and consistency in his creation and revelation, whatever the correct
interpretation of details.

Peter Ruest

-- 
Dr. Peter Ruest, CH-3148 Lanzenhaeusern, Switzerland
<pruest@dplanet.ch> - Biochemistry - Creation and evolution
"..the work which God created to evolve it" (Genesis 2:3)
Received on Sun Aug 21 03:21:41 2005

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