Hello. Some scholars say that religion will lose meaning and authority when its origins are explained by evolutionary origins. Also, sociobiologists explain the altruism of people as something that appeared due to evolution. How should Christians relate to these things, are there any arguments against such statements? Does evolutionary origins really make religion worthless? I have always believed that religion is the revelation of God. Thank!
Tim Keller says that Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a Person. There is no scholarship that will in any way affect who God is or how he relates to us.
The word “Christianity” names a religion. But the value in Christianity isn’t that religion, far from it. In fact, the Bible often explains that the religion can get in the way (like in Isaiah chapter 1). Or like with John 5:39, where Jesus says, “You search the scriptures that you may have life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” It is not that scriptures are not important. Jesus constantly quotes scriptures and shows that it has authority. But it is kind of a necessary evil – a signpost meant to point us to God, but which often distracts us. So that we end up focusing on the signpost rather than what it points to.
So no. Finding “evolutionary origins” to religion (even if you buy into there being such a thing) will not change the value of it.
Which ‘scholars’? Its origins are explained by evolutionary origins. Religion has therefore gained meaning. What meaning could it lose? How is altruism diminished by being evolved? There are no rational arguments against these realities. Religion is worthwhile for evolution or it would have become extinct. Religion is our organized, social response to our sense of the numinous, our existential awareness, meshed in with our other evolved morality. It binds us together in something bigger than ourselves as it says. That’s good.
[What religion we build on God’s self disclosure in Jesus is truly defined.]
I just look at it like this.
If God is real, as he’s more than just this glorified fairytale then he will always be able to reveal himself regardless of what science uncovers or don’t uncover.
Since I believe that God is real there is nothing that can explain him away because I can always fall back on God made it that way on purpose.
He makes with purpose not revealed directly in what He makes, except Jesus. [His purpose is that He makes, His makings do not show that He makes. They show that if He is, Maker, what He is like.]
Just saying the only reason I believe in Jesus is because I believe in God. Without God Jesus was just a guy.
Without Jesus we have no warrant for believing in God, having faith, whatsoever. Although billions do.
For me Jesus plays no role for my faith in God. It’s the opposite for me.
So if there were no Christianity, you’d still be religious? Like most of humanity. Why in your case? A world without Christianity would have Hinduism, Buddhism and a slightly different form of Islam. Judaism would marginally survive better. There’s be more Jews. European civilization would have been second rate with nothing internal to cohere around. So what kind of faith in God would you have?
I go back to my original response. If God is real he would find a way to reveal himself. In the same way you find people from predominantly Muslim or Jewish areas that become Christian, I believe that I would have simply ended up Jewish through the power of God seeking me out. I would have s come a gentile convent to Judaism.
How could God have revealed Himself? Why would He have sought you out? Why would He have chosen for you to be Jewish? Why would you have chosen Judaism?
The same reason why he did so for Christianity.
Anyways. Those are my answer to why regardless of what science uncovers none of it affects my faith negatively.
Hi! You might like the podcast episode featuring Agustin Fuentes, who discusses where humans might have started evolutionarily developing “belief!”
He did so in Christ. How else could He have done so? And no, science can’t ever touch that.
This scientist is Edward Wilson. He said that the ultimate victory of materialism will come when sociobiologists explain religion as a product of evolution.
I agree with you
Not the scholars I know. This would seem to imply that the meaning of scripture is somehow dependent or the nature of evolutionary origins … and that just can’t be right.
He’s a bit of an outlier. As I said, it’s been done for decades if not centuries. It can make no difference at all.
Oooooooh, Dan. It certainly can be. If there is no God then it certainly is, and if there is, it certainly is too.