Continuing the discussion from More on Immortal Soul: When did humankind aquire one:
Tell us more of that story? I’m intrigued.
Continuing the discussion from More on Immortal Soul: When did humankind aquire one:
Tell us more of that story? I’m intrigued.
I’ll try to address the topic soon. (If I forget, feel free to remind me! Much on my plate this week.)
I grew up in a Young Earth Creationist church and got very interested in creation science, so-called. But I got more and more frustrated with the blindness, the deceptive quote-mining, and my relying too much on the abilities and assumed piety of my spiritual heroes within that world. I found my way out through the study of the Bible itself when I saw so many problems with the traditions biasing the hermeneutics.
Not until some years later, long after abandoning Young Earth Creationism, did I begin to look at the scientific evidence. That was an amazing eye opening experience. What I saw struck me as a plan of such complexity and wonder, and yet not hard to grasp in its fundamentals, that only an amazing God of great omniscience and omnipotence could establish.
I began to see a great difference between “magical poofing”, where God instantaneously zapped everything we observe into place (with pervasive, deceptive “appearance of age”) versus a universe which God created to unfold according to the laws of physics in ways which inevitably would produce biological life and the evolutionary processes which adapted and diversified that life. I think of the beginnings of the universe as like a tiny briefcase with an “on button” which God pushed—and everything started unfolding from there, rapidly expanding space-time itself and setting in motion countless processes which didn’t need a constantly-tending engineer to nurse along (even though there are times when anthropomorphic descriptions help finite human brains to grasp such things.) I see a Creator of that kind of universe far more amazing than one who simply “poofs” everything into being. It seems so much more amazing. A deity who has to constantly supervise and nudge along a creation 24/7 which is failing to operate as the complex mechanism the creator intended is a weak deity.
There was a Star Trek movie which had a small version of a similar concept. Someone invented “a Genesis Device”, a small capsule which could take a barren world and turn it into an earth-like, vibrant place. That’s just a very rough analogy to how I see the universe in God’s plan. Yes, God created humans, but not by making a man-shaped clay figure and doing an artificial respiration type of procedure. (That was just a story of illustration composed by a worshiper of that God. If it were part of the Psalms instead of the second chapter of Genesis, Christians probably wouldn’t be so stumped by it.)
By choosing the mathematical constants and physical constants as he did, God designed the entire biosphere (as my favorite professor likes to call God’s grandest product.) When God established the laws of physics, he ordained all that was to follow.
As a Molinist, I believe God chose the reality which would unfold exactly as he chose. This fits perfectly with a God who is sovereign over “random chance”, even to the outcome of the casting of lots, as described in scripture. (I’ve always found it amazing that Young Earth Creationists think that random chance somehow would frustrate God’s will.)
Long ago I learned all of the YEC objections to evolution in great detail. And that probably helped shape my confidence in the scientific evidence today. (I know well just how weak the objections to evolution have always been.) And my study of Biblical languages has led me to distinguishing between traditions about the Bible and what the Bible actually says. I find nothing in the Bible which conflicts with billions of years or the Theory of Evolution.
Only an amazing God of great power and wisdom could create a biosphere which unfolds in this amazing manner via evolutionary processes.
@Socratic.Fanatic thank you so much for sharing. I love you story. Can you tell us a bit more about how you came to encounter Jesus specifically? Why did you decide to trust in Him?
@dcscccc and @deliberateresult and @Struggling and @Wookin_Panub and @Celticroots, I would really be curious to hear your comments. What do you think of his story. To be clear, I am not asking for a litany of scientific arguments against his position. I am just curious how you as fellow Christians receive his story.
(TRUE STORY) A bad movie led me to Christ, but I don’t go around quoting Constantine in my theology
That is true =). Bad arguments, biblical interpretation, and movies can still lead us to the True God. Let us turn our attention to Him, and leave our idolatry of these other things.
I’m not adverse to providing more detail—but I’d first like to see more reactions to what I’ve already shared, considering that my story could be considered the “inspiration” for the OP of “Evolution led him to Jesus”. However, keep in mind that I was already a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and had been part of the Young Earth Creationist persuasion for many years. So it would be a better description to say “Evolution led him to a deeper understanding of God’s will for his creation and to a freedom from the unnecessary conflicts and self-contradictions of YEC traditionalism.” and “A proper grasp of the harmony between God’s revelations in the scriptures and God’s revelations in his creation spared me from the agony, decline, and even apostasy I saw in so many disenchanted Young Earth Creationist peers.”
And based on some of @Wookin_Panub posts, I wonder if he considers my story disingenuous or even some sort of ruse.
I won’t say that coming to understand evolutionary biology allowed me to preserve my Christian faith in circumstances which would otherwise have destroyed it----but I have reason to disagree with those who do make such claims about their faith trek.
One of the bottom line truths for me, @Swamidass, is that I refuse to believe that the God of the Bible would fill his creation with irrefutable evidence for a history of evolutionary processes and geologic processes which never happened. I no longer accept the traditions of my childhood churches who treated the evidence God provided in the Bible to be trustworthy while considering the evidence God provided in his creation to be suspect and subject to blind dismissal whenever it appears to threaten sectarian traditions. Indeed, if one truly believes that fallible man misinterprets evidence, isn’t it obvious that that confusion over misinterpretation is far more obvious in disagreements over the scriptural evidence than the creation evidence (i.e., the evidence which is all around us on planet earth and the entire universe?)
@Wookin_Panub, I’m glad to see that you’ve joined this thread and have apparently read my account. So I’m very interested in reading more of your reaction. Do you regard everything I learned about the overwhelming evidence for evolutionary processes and praising God for his omnipotence and omniscience as exhibited therein as nothing more than a bad movie?
Are you expecting me to believe that God filled his creation with deceptive evidence for a history which never happened—perhaps as some sort of grand test of the faith of his people and as a way to confuse atheist scientists? (I had an IFCA pastor friend who preached that explanation for “the deceptions of paleontology” on exactly that basis.)
Your story sounds very similar to my own, which is unfolding even now.
I am very nearly done reading Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True.” All throughout the book, I’ve said to myself, “Holy cow! The evidence for evolution is all over the place!” Brushing aside Coyne’s obvious atheism and readjusting some of his statements to fit the Christian worldview was no trouble at all; I was taught to be a critical reader, after all.
Science has always left me in utter awe of God’s creation; all throughout high school (which I just completed), science class fascinated me and what I learned about the creation testified of God’s grandeur and his greatness and wisdom. Evolutionary theory has been no exception. I find myself praising God even more now that I understand evolution than I did before (I come from a YEC background as well). The creationist strawman of evolution does no good.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Sorry I didn’t get around to typing my reply earlier. Thank you for sharing your story. God and I have always been close, so when I heard the gospel in my teen years I accepted it. Then God did some more stuff to draw me close to Him in my early 20’s.
Your story has reaffirmed my belief that you can be a Christian and believe in evolution.
I was hoping that many more people would jump in and tell their stories. With so many anti-evolution Young Earth Creationist ministries claiming that anyone who studies the Theory of Evolution is at risk for sliding into atheism and hell itself. My story of seeing my appreciation of God’s power and wisdom exponentially increase due to my observations of the many wonders of evolutionary processes is hardly an unusual reaction to the science.
This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.
This is literally almost how It was for me. I love to hear how Evolution leads people to Christ. Often evolution is depicted as Anti- Christ or anti-God. This is so very wrong. So it’s good to here stories like yours! This happened to me about 7 or 8 months ago back in July 2016. Now my faith was never in serious danger i was just neglecting it because many things seemed off. Especially Science. So, here’s how it went: I want to be an Astronomer when i grow up (I’m currently in 9th Grade). So I have gotten many Astronomy books and at the time, I was a YEC, and I was SO confused on the age of the Universe and Earth also Evolution. Normally, every time millions or billions of years popped up I just brushed it aside and said that’s not true. So then after awhile I began to not focus on my faith as much for other reasons that honestly I forget, I think it was I was just “busy” with other stuff. But one day in about mid-July 2016, I was sitting on my couch watching something on Netflix, I forget. I either saw a Dinosaur or something, but it somehow triggered a thought in my mind which was “what if the days in Genesis were longer?”. So after that I slowly began to study in depth about what the Bible said and what views on Creation are. The main ones that popped up were Young Earth, Old Earth, and Evolutionary Creationism. At the Time I read Old Earth Creationist sites mostly because I was raised Anti-Evolutionist so I instinctively chose something that still opposed Evolution. But I think God used that to allow me to accept Evolution eventually. If I would’ve made a jump from YEC to EC, it would’ve been a big “leap” for me and I would’ve been confused. First, I had to accept that the Bible didn’t always have to be literal. Second, i had to be able to accept Physical death before the fall. Then, After sometimes, on January 20, 2017 (still remember surprisingly probably because it was Trump’s inauguration day) I officially accepted Evolution. I had studied it some and I began to see that Evolution actually shows a creator and that God would be glorified more with Evolution because it shows that God is powerful enough to design the Universe as well as Life, to unfold in such a beautiful way that it really shows God’s creative mind. Now whether you believe God made the first life directly or through Abiogenesis is another matter and isn’t too important to me. But even if God chose Abiogenesis to make life, that still shows that God is smart and powerful enough to design a universe to produce life. Now I have actually strengthen my relationship and understanding with Jesus. others (YECs mostly) accuse me of not having Faith in God or believing a different God.But I know that isn’t true. I have even been inspired to create my own blog. If you guys want to check it out it’s https://christianoldearthblog.wordpress.com/. Now to warn you guys, you may not agree with me on my views on the End of the world stuff but if you want to read my science stuff then that would be great. Also, if you see any error in my thinking or anything please let me know, I don’t want to post anything false.
Smart 15 year old you are.
Thanks😊 I seem to be smarter at this than most other 15 year olds
@DarkX_Studios, you are fortunate to live at a time when someone your age can learn in a forum like this one. I would have loved to have had such wealth of resources at your age. (It took me a very long time and a lot of effort to learn my way out of Young Earth Creationism. That was long before the Internet and I was largely on my own. My steps were extremely slowly.)
This is one old man who is very encouraged to see you here. Good for you! God is going to use your learning to bless others.
Thanks! I hope to show many Christians that evolution is not at war with the Bible. I went to the Ark Encounter as a school field trip and I saw many signs that were anti evolutionist. They portrayed 2 options : YECs (“God’s word” so they put it) or Evolution (Man’s word as they put it). Obviously this is a false dichotomy. There aren’t 2 options. I do agree that the Ark was real but that’s about all that I agree with them on. Sometimes I get lots of rebuke or ridicule for believing in Evolution. I just pray that I will be able to endure it in the future.
Right ON! And if God designed a Cosmosphere that would eventually bring forth Life (without any special intervention), then someday we may find life exists on one of the extra terrestrial planets we are discovering–even intelligent life with which we can converse (as in the Sagan movie “Contact”) This need not be seen as a threat to Christian Faith and Jesus’ role as Christ (Messiah) for planet Earth. As humans, we are almost unbelievably fortunate that the Father values our companionship enough that he would send his Son to lead us on the way back to Him–to show us how to rise above our animal nature to become Image Bearers.