As conflict over the relationship between science and Genesis continues, scholars keep proposing new approaches to resolve it. Yet most, if not all, these approaches involve limiting either the Bible’s revelatory power or nature’s revelatory power or both. These restrictive interpretations raise questions about why God would want people of any era to remain mostly in the dark about such an important matter. Is He not a God who desires to make Himself known?
These new attempts to “keep peace” among Christians and the scientific community may help temporarily, but they fall short of God’s call to “make peace.” What’s the difference? Peacekeeping seeks to avoid conflict. Peacemaking seeks to resolve conflict. Peacekeeping serves to separate warring parties from one another. Peacemaking means laboring to transform warring parties into full allies.
God knows each of us needs trusted allies to live and grow in obedience to Him as well as to complete the disciple-making assignment He placed in our hands. While serving as a minister of evangelism I first observed that for most adults outside the church to become followers of Christ, they need to see God’s handiwork, God’s character, and God’s plan revealed in both the words of Scripture and the record of nature, where the two join forces as allies to validate and reinforce each other. Meanwhile, I found most Christians will not even attempt to discuss their faith with educated nonbelievers without being convinced that the two “books” convey a consistent message.
Admittedly, peacemaking demands much greater effort than peacekeeping. Diligent research is necessary to see possible pathways toward resolution and reconciliation. However, that is exactly the kind of research whereby we learn more about our Creator and our created realm, including our own life.
In this endeavor we need not and must not fear being forced to embrace one revelation and reject the other. The God who inspired the Bible is the same God who made the universe, Earth, and all life. This God is the very definition of truth; therefore nature’s record will never contradict Scripture and vice versa. When a seeming contradiction confronts us, we can know with certainty we have either misunderstood (one, the other, or both revelations) or perhaps we haven’t yet dug deeply enough. Whatever the case, we can embrace the opportunity to gain greater knowledge and appreciation for the Bible, for nature, and for the God who is responsible for both.