It is the most wonderful time of the year, but not because of the reasons given by Emmy winner and American singer Andy Williams. It is the most wonderful time because we are reminded of a God who moves toward us, who breaks free, and who cannot be contained. In Christ, God shows up and pours out his love by taking on flesh and dwelling among us.
This Christmas, think about how our wise, loving, patient God entered the ancient Middle East—“Taking the very nature of a servant”—and trusted himself to the developmental processes that had been created through him.
Many Christians feel stuck somewhere in between their faith and evolution. The issues are complicated but here is one place where I find agreement between the two. Observation clearly shows that Earth’s biology entails both competition and cooperation. It is the kind of world one would expect if you believe in the theological truths of fall and redemption. It is not implausible that the God revealed in scripture would use both cooperation and competition to advance life on our planet.
I don’t think I was the only member of our family who dreamed of seeing a lurking big cat pounce and chase down its prey. We saw several big cats but never saw one go in for the kill during our five-day safari. Instead, what we saw was lots of cooperation, like oxpeckers on the backs of wildebeests and hippos, or hyenas crunching bones leftover from a nighttime kill, or all the birds who would sound out danger to all the animals within earshot.
Any plausible Christian response to the question of human uniqueness must, of course, account for Genesis 1:26: “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness.” The opening chapter of the Bible is clear: God created us, and there is something like God in us.
Can Christians with a high view of scripture accept the biological theory of evolution? These authors respond with a resounding, “Yes!” As Todd Wilson, co-founder and president of the Center for Pastor Theologians, commented, “The authors guide us through a complex thicket of issues—biological, theological, biblical, and pastoral—with both wisdom and grace.”
In his 2019 book, Joshua Swamidass offers a potential path to bring together both the findings of evolutionary science which point to humans arising as a population and a literal understanding of Adam and Eve as a biological couple specially created by God.
It’s hard to wait, especially when you know something exciting and life-changing is just around the corner. A cell’s life, much like our own, is characterized by moments of excitement and action and moments of monotony and waiting.
Are you looking materials to help your congregation think about the nature of life, or human persons, or the mind? The Ian Ramsey Centre has gathered experts from around the world in a collection of 51 short videos (nearly every one is less than 3-minutes).
Evolution is the primary example of the conflict thesis between religion and science. But The Clergy Letter Project has over 15,500 (as of August 2021) signatures of clergy on a statement that suggests “evolutionary theory [is] a core component of human knowledge, fully harmonious with religious faith.”