Evolution. It almost seems like a swear word in Christian circles. It certainly evokes strong feelings. Atheists often use evolution as a way to eliminate the need for God. Christians regularly demonize the concept (ever heard it pronounced “evilution”?) and blame it for many of society’s ills. As believers (especially those of us who are parents, teachers, and youth pastors) we must prepare ourselves (and those we know) to handle this emotion-laden topic with Christ-like character. But how?
When I face antagonism from various camps in the evolution-creation debates, the counsel I received from a wise pastor guides me: “Before arguing against a position, make sure you understand it well enough to argue for it!” To start, Christians must know what the Bible does and does not say about when, how, and why God created. Without this understanding, we might generate confl icts where none exist or even miss out on powerful support for creation. Such knowledge also provides a firm, biblical foundation for studying what evolution really entails and why most scientists think it an apt description of life’s history.
Studying biblical creation teachings and examining scientific research (instead of avoiding it) will help believers develop a robust theology of creation that strengthens our faith and prepares us to guide the next generation through the evolution-creation maze. After all, is it not better that students navigate this often-contentious issue under the guidance of wellequipped, knowledgeable Christians? Will it not also make them (and us) better able to listen to and encourage our nonbelieving friends and family to consider the truth of God?
To help you on your journey, Reasons to Believe has developed an online video program entitled Through The Lens. One of the two series produced thus far addresses various scientific and biblical issues related to evolutionary theory (the other, to astronomy) and is now available on DVD. These videos are designed to help you understand general principles of how science and the Bible intersect. They also highlight specific areas for fruitful, in-depth study.
The ideas entailed in the theory of evolution need not evoke fear or defensiveness. Instead, appropriate preparation will enable Christians to show how God’s creation and Scripture agree, and to do so in a way that engages the skeptic and demonstrates God’s love and mercy for all.