Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"The archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the world's Anglicans, says he is opposed to teaching creationism in schools."

"And for most of the history of Christianity ... there's been an awareness that a belief that everything depends on the creative act of God is quite compatible with a degree of uncertainty or latitude about how precisely that unfolds in creative time," Williams said. (Story at CNN)


So as I understand it, this is fallout from a 1982 resolution which basically said that literal creationism is too rigid, and too dogmatic.  Personally I'm not inclined to agree with the literal story of creation, though certain abstinations from scripture make it a lot more plausable.  Does the matter in which creation occurred really make that much difference to people?

Let's say, for instance, that God is more the laissez-faire type, letting things run on their own until things get a bit out of hand, at which point He steps in and takes the reigns in a bit on this Universe of his, i.e., the Flood.  What would keep an omniscient being from being any less likely to set our creation and evolution in process at point X, rather than creating us in an exact form which remained constant throughout eternity?

On the other hand, let's say God is more controlling in this existence.  Let's say he has His hand in everything, and constantly tweaks our existence to best fit his 'plan'.  Again, I think there is no incompatibility with the theory of evolution to this point.  Causing families to be swallowed up whole by the Earth or killing all the firstborn of Egypt are inconsequential to the larger being that is God, so why would it seem less likely that he has guided our evolution through steps?

I guess the inherent inconsistency with arguments for creationism lies in the timespans assigned for the purpose of the argument.  Some might state that God did in fact create the Earth in six literal days.  Some state that they were not literal days, but that He created the Earth over a span of many millions of years, perhaps even through the natural means science has explained to us at this point.  Still others state God set the whole thing into motion, and let the planet form through the aforementioned natural means.

Now, when explaining the creation of the world, those who use the non-literal argument (as a form of apologetics, in some cases) that it was not in fact six days of creation will also state that we were created in God's own image.  Why if God required more than six days for the creation of the Earth must the creation of humanity have been instantaneous and perfect in terms of the end result.  Is it possible that our evolution from 'lower life forms' or from slightly different humanoids was also a part of His plan for humanity?

If God can take His sweet time creating all that we see and hear, why force the same being to be so quick in creating us?


Blogger JLF said...

Interestingly enough, if you pick up John RW Stott's commentary on Romans, he's got a rather large excursus in there on the evolution of man. Basically, he says that we gradually evolved from apes and when we got far enough along the line, got gave one ape a "soul", which then created "adam" from ape.

I think it's bunk, myself, but whatever. To be honest, I've been wondering how much it really matters to people these days (as you've wondered in this post).

To me it seems that there's something to God's desire to shame the wisdom of this world, and something to the blinding effect (and nature) of sin and man's autonomous desire to rebel against God altogether that makes me think the simplest answer (God created the world in six days) is the best.

But that's coming from someone who definitely has zero science knowledge. It just seems to fit the biblical picture better. But I'm not up for having an Inquisition over it, that's for sure.

3:19 PM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger JLF said...

Sorry... "got gave" = "God gave"

3:21 PM, March 29, 2006  

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