October 21, 2017

IM Book Review: The Language Of Science And Faith

Oh, boy. Here we go again, wading into the murky waters of how-we-all-got-here. Strap on your galoshes and let’s hope we don’t get too messy.

Frequenters of Internet Monk will already be fluent in the language of the conversation. For the newly initiated: on one side, at its most extreme, we have those who say the account given in the book of Genesis must be taken as the word-for-word truth and that any deviation from a literal translation is a slippery slope to apostasy. On the other side, at its most extreme, we have those who say the world is old, we all evolved, the Bible is a myth, and God isn’t real, so grow up, accept the truth, and have a nice lunch, because that’s as good as it gets.

But is there middle ground? Is there room in this world for anyone who might fall into the middle? Is there even such a thing as a middle?

I’ll get to the book review in a minute, but first, a personal story. I have a friend named Sean who grew up in a conservative  home, not unlike the first extreme I mentioned above. Sean grew up believing in a literal interpretation of the first few chapters of Genesis, and he was pretty dogmatic about it. Through high school and college, these things weren’t constantly on the forefront of his mind, but they were always preached to him as being an integral part of his faith.

Sean meandered around in the professional world for awhile before deciding to go to grad school and embark on a career in the sciences. And as he dug deep into his studies there, he began to encounter overwhelming evidence that the worldview he’d grown up with wasn’t all he’d thought it was. Suddenly, he was faced with the very real possibility that the world was older than he believed and that there may be some validity to this dreaded “evolution” stuff.

And so, Sean had a crisis of conscience that essentially went like this, “Hey, all those people who taught me stuff about God and Jesus might have been wrong in their histrionic denouncement of the evils of evolution and old-Earth geology. What else might they be wrong about? Perhaps the whole thing?”

He hung it up. All of it. His entire faith swung from one extreme end of the pendulum to that other one, the one where the most you can hope for out of life is a decent lunch and a contribution or two to the ever-expanding ladder of mankind.

Overly dramatic, you say? Possibly. But it’s true. And I have a sneaking suspicion that  Sean isn’t the only one who has experienced at least something like this.

If only someone could’ve handed Sean The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions by Karl W. Giberson and Francis S. Collins, either during his hyper-conservative days or his atheism-dabbling days. What a resource it could’ve been.

The authors of this book are both respected scientists, Giberson a physicist and Collins–the DH of the two–a geneticist who headed up the Human Genome Project. But beyond that, they are also committed Christians who, with others, founded the BioLogos Forum, an attempt to find middle ground in the whole debate between science and faith.

Conceived as a beefed-up, tricked-out, printed-and-bound version of the FAQ section of the BioLogos website, The Language of Science and Faith is a monumental undertaking that nimbly traverses the sticky subjects of evolution, the age of the earth, Charles Darwin, the Intelligent Design movement, the “fine-tuning of the Universe,” and how all these things fit together with robust interpretations of scripture.

Yeah. Tall order.

And yet it is so much more. The book flows in a question-and-answer format that leaves no stone unturned. As one question leads you to consider others, you find those questions being answered in later chapters. It is a heartily researched, extremely thought-through endeavor that never condescends or gets smug. It is simply the work of scientists who say, “Hey, we love Jesus, this is what we found in the world God created, and this is how we make sense of it.”

The authors definitely come down on the pro-evolution, pro-old-earth side of the debate, but they do so not as a knee-jerk reaction to combative YEC rhetoric, but entirely from a scientific standpoint. Indeed, Giberson and Collins take a reasoned approach: “Here’s what evolution is, here’s what it isn’t. Here’s what we know, here’s what we don’t know. Here’s what we think we know, here’s what we want to find out.” They are not part of a shadowy cabal of conspiracy- and agenda-minded scientists eager to tear down the traditions of the church; instead, they are honest seekers who want to shed as much light on the subject as possible.

I guess now’s the time in a book review when I’m supposed to give you a few quotes, right? Okay, obligation filled, first with the authors’ overview on the debate about origins:

We submit that all Christian positions on origins share a commitment to a mysterious and transcendent divine action, and we might as well acknowledge that we are all in that boat together. The conversation needs to be about what is revealed in the details of the creation, not who can explain exactly how God works (for nobody can). We should all start with the affirmation that the world is the product of a transcendent intelligence and then inspect that world to see what we can find out.

It’s all like that. Sidestepping pitfalls and sticking to the heart of the matter, keeping our focus on what really counts when it comes to faith, but without getting into wishy-washy, everyone-is-right theology:

Consider the popular young earth creationism position where God creates everything over six days. Given God’s relationship to time, is this really any different than God creating over fourteen billion years? In either case we are confronted with the transcendent mystery of God’s action. Is it really any different to ask how God creates a cow in twenty-four hours or twenty-four million years? …If God does intervene in natural history to make a cell, a flagellum, hemoglobin or eyes, how does God do that? How long did it take? Did God do it at the level of the gene or everywhere all at once? Is it any more mysterious to claim that God… constructed irreducibly complex structures along the way than to claim that God constructed such structures  by working through the laws of nature?

Whatever your beliefs about the origins of mankind, you would be well-served to pick this book up for a thoughtful, respectful, and ultimately hopeful take on the synthesis of science and faith.

Oh, and as for my friend Sean? A few years ago, in the midst of his atheistic wanderings, he started to notice that a few of his Christian friends lived their faith deeply, like it was something real to them, something that had a foundation deeper than his faith ever had, and he came back to the embrace of his Savior. He started to work out a synthesis of science and faith, but he was very much against the idea of church. Too much pain.

And then he was introduced to a guy that had some radical ideas–that it was possible to be a dedicated scientist, a committed follower of Jesus, and an integral part of a vibrant church community. That guy? Was Francis S. Collins. In a strange way, it’s almost like evolution saved Sean’s faith. Weird, huh?

Comments

  1. Christiane says:

    “…methodical research in all branches of knowledge (SCIENCE),
    provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws,
    can never conflict with the faith,
    because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God.
    The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the Hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.”

    from ‘Gaudium et Spes’

  2. “But is there middle ground? Is there room in this world for anyone who might fall into the middle? Is there even such a thing as a middle?”

    In one sense, Giberson and Collins are trying to stake out that middle ground, between the YEC crowd on one side, and the naturalists on the other. In my mind, it would be foolish to belittle their strategy, even if one does not agree with their conclusions. As they have no doubt found, in the middle you get shot at by both sides. But the middle is the only position that is actually interacting with the two sides.

    Another way for us to be “in the middle” is simply to state that the scriptures do not specify a position on the details of human origins or the age of the earth. This became my position after studying Genesis 1 and 2 in more detail than I had before. I came to the conclusion that the YEC reading of Genesis actually eliminated the doctrine of creation ex nihilo. Here is why: if Genesis 1:2 is a description of the beginning of creation, (as the YEC position maintains), then creation began from pre-existing material in the form of a watery earth.

    If, however, Genesis 1:1 is the complete account of the cosmic creation, then the rest of the chapter is understood as either a description of the preparation of the promise land (“earth” can just as easily be translated as “land”), or as the theological re-telling of creation. In either case, dates and details are not issues we have a stake in.

    • This is almost exactly the position I’ve come to. Growing up in YEC churches and schools, the issue of creation ex-nihilo is a big reason why I think YEC breaks down, and that YECers are spinning the facts when they claim to be the only ones taking the text literally. The fact is, every side is fudging on literalism at least a little bit.

      • I think what has surprised me the most is that the Genesis account just doesn’t say what the YECers want it to. There are a lot of things that enter into the discussion besides the text, but I am surprised that the text has been handled somewhat flippantly. Do you how many times I have heard “there is no conflict between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2″…hint: if you have to say that, then there is a conflict, eh?

      • “The fact is, every side is fudging on literalism at least a little bit.”

        I agree. Try listening to Ken Ham explain how the light for the earth appeared on day one, but the sun was not created till day four. He argues God created some other source of light, which He then extinguished on day four. Try to find that in the text!

        Also, on the YEC scenario, all of Gensis 2:4-25 (creation of Adam, God’s instructions to Adam, Adam naming ALL the animals, Adam distraught that he, unlike the animals, did not have a suitable counterpart, God causing Adam to sleep, God creating Eve, God presenting Eve to Adam) all had to occur on one day (day six).

        The difference, though, is that YEC claims to interpret it literally, while failing to do so. Other approaches of interpretation are more consistent, since they recognize the symbolical nature of the language from the beginning.

  3. It seems as if we’re at one of those “defining moments’ in the history of science and theology. This is a time of reformation and major shifts are underway on both these fronts. One salient factor that touches recent discussions is the debate about human origins. We need to engage here and not turn a blind eye to the evidence that is there for closer examination. In the midst of these larger questions as to where we are today and where we are going tomorrow, however, there is a real need to not lose sight of the personal defining moments of our lives, which include God’s faithfulness and answers to prayer.

    Science and Scripture are both valid informers concerning God, ourselves, and the world. One significant marker for the veracity and credibility of the Christian faith, at this moment in time, is hinged on these informers being in dialogue and a willingness to see what comes of it. Collins and Giberson are making a fine attempt to do this, whether one agrees or disagrees with their conclusions.

  4. I was raised and remain Catholic, so the young earth theories never touched my life in any way until I was studying Comparative Relgion in college. However, I do recall have a similar discussion with a young friend about how long it took God to make the earth. We both agreed that a week of 24 hour days seemed unlikely, given the fossils and dinosaur skeltons we had seen. I postulated to my friend. “Gee…..since God can do anything, maybe those ‘days’ were really like a thousand years each or something?”. My friend concurred, and we went about our day.

    We were both nine years old.

    • Richard Hershberger says:

      You indirectly raise a good point. This debate is largely (though not entirely) a peculiarity of American-style Evangelical Protestantism. Christianity is larger than that.

  5. “Is there middle ground”? ? ?

    Of course there is. The question is, Is that middle ground quick sand or solid rock?

  6. I’m not entirely sad that my schedule will keep me away most of the day…

    If any Old Earther is up to it, I am still looking for a satisfactory resolution to how God’s creative pleasure (that the world before sin is exactly what God was pleased to create) does not contradict the moral law (which can be summarized by the ten commandments). (to say the world before human sin was not pleasing to God either postulates an impotent God, or makes God the author of evil)

    That is, how pre-human animals (hominids before Adam, or pre-homo divinus, or whatever your model is) can lie, kill, and commit sexual sin and please God – but post-Adam man cannot.

    Thank you.

    • That Guy says:

      THAT is a very important question which so many want to ignore so that their model is respected by one side. The funny thing is is that we want respect when it comes to the Genesis story which is very wild and completely crazy if you are a YEC but when it comes to Christ, He is a stumbling block to the wise. We don’t need to explain away Christ but we think that every minutia of Creation MUST have an explanation…WHY?

    • Ryan Hover says:

      That is a very good question that we need to wrestle with. I don’t pretend to have the answer at this point, but one biblical reality to consider is this: presumably there was an Angelic Fall predating the Fall of Humanity (hence the Serpent of Gen. 3 telling lies before Adam and Eve sinned). The nature of Satan’s influence in the world before human sin is not clearly laid out for us in Scripture, but we know that it was great enough to lead humanity astray. Is it possible that Satan and other fallen angels could have had something to do with evil in the world before human sin (e.g. causing animal suffering and death).

      At least, I hope it’s clear that the world before human sin was NOT entirely pleasing to God because, at minimum, there was a Serpent in it spewing filthy lies! And this does not imply that God is impotent nor that He is the author of evil, just that humanity’s Fall was not the beginning of evil.

      • Hi Ryan, it’s important to realize that Satan is not in anyway comparable to God (as if there were some struggle between equals or near equals). Satan does precisely what God allows him to, and nothing more.

        Again, the problem isn’t just the existence of natural evil. The problem is that, if evolution is true, man-like animals were sinful and pleasing to God for probably millions of years. Then, suddenly, God is angry at sin.

    • As an Old-Earth Pseudo-Theistic Evolution ID proponent, I admit that this is a problem that I’m not totally sure how to solve. The best I can say is that those creatures were not moral beings, just as animals today are not moral beings, and are therefore incapable of moral choices. But to be honest, this is a weak point in my beliefs on this topic. What I’ve realized is that each of the views has some kind of problem like this. I just try to find the one that has the fewest problems and figure God can explain the rest in Heaven.

  7. I’ve long been familiar with the arguments about “old earth” vs. “young earth” being a professional geologist. About 2 years ago I decided to read more on the biological arguments as my knowledge of biology was only undergraduate at best. I wanted to pay particular attention to Christian biologists so I’ve been following Biologos as well as Uncommon Descent and others and paying attention to the arguments in the comments; following links etc. It is an interesting conversation in the middle. The extreme ends like Ken Ham on the Christian end and Jerry Coyne or PZ Meyers at the atheistic end are tiresome and I seldom waste my time there anymore. The treatment of the Biologos folks by Meyers and Coyne is revealing in my opinion. I expect them to heap scorn on the Ken Hams, but why so contemptuous and dismissive of the Biologos people? To me, I can see a reasonable argument for some sort of developmental process to bring forth our physical bodies. After all we are all born of sexual union via a developmental process and none of us thinks it strange or contrary to the Bible’s assertion that we are “created in the image of God”. I think eventually some sort of “anthropic principle” as in physics will become equally as obvious in biology and God will be glorified in His Book of Works as in His Book of Words. Also I must say that science never provides “Truth” it is always a provisional explanation of the causes for which we can see the effects. Truth is what Jesus is- and nothing can contradict Him.

    • Great, Mike the Geologist. This especially: “I can see a reasonable argument for some sort of developmental process to bring forth our physical bodies. After all we are all born of sexual union via a developmental process and none of us thinks it strange or contrary to the Bible’s assertion that we are “created in the image of God”. I think eventually some sort of “anthropic principle” as in physics will become equally as obvious in biology and God will be glorified in His Book of Works as in His Book of Words. Also I must say that science never provides “Truth” it is always a provisional explanation of the causes for which we can see the effects. Truth is what Jesus is- and nothing can contradict Him.”

    • David Morris says:

      The interesting thing about those guys is that they will also heap scorn on “accommodationists” such as Michael Ruse. There’s not a lot of leeway to be found there. It’s the (very) narrow way 😉

  8. The young earth folks I know will not go with any grand statements about what all of us as Christians can agree upon because any sort of concession to an older earth view means that you do not hold to inerrancy. This makes both Hugh Ross and Francis Collins enemies. I am not optimistic they can participate in a charitable if spirited conversation.

    DSY

    • Almost all of those who hold to inerrancy believe that the bible uses metaphor. Often passages are put into terms that the people of the day could understand. Even from the days of the early church there have been questions about the age of the earth.

      • Richard Hershberger says:

        I would take this further and omit that “almost”. But not all are willing to admit it, even to themselves.

        My usual example is the first clause of Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd”. Try reading that “literally”. It is an interesting exercise. But of course everyone recognizes that the Psalms are examples of a literary genre which is not intended to be read literally.

        The question of the day is what literary genre do the opening chapters of Genesis belong to? The young earther answer is “history”, but I know of no principled support for the assertion.

      • Yes, but what they will say is, “Of course there are some things we don’t take literally, such as when it would be foolish to do so.” They just don’t think it would be foolish to take Genesis literally. You can use logic and reason and you and I might “get it,” but a Six Literal Creationist (and likely PreMil Dispy) will not go there. To them it is a slippery slope/test of orthodoxy issue. Again, I am quite pessimistic a good conversation can be had with them. I suppose someone out there knows of some exceptions, I have not met them.

        DSY

  9. Excellent post. There are lots of folks like Sean. May the good work of the BioLogos Foundation rescue more of them.

    For folks struggling with this, I’d also recommend Peter Enns’ book Inspiration and Incarnation. It settled a lot of things in my mind.

    peace.

  10. Thanks for this book recommendation CM. As a fairly young believer (8 yrs believing – much, much longer on the planet) I have been growing in my faith by leaps and bounds (thank you Lord!), but often have questions like the ones raised in this book. Sometimes I am afraid to ask my fundgelical brothers in the SBC such questions and be labeled a liberal or worse (heretic)! I will absolutely give this a read.

    Thanks again CM and all the IM’s for your frank discussions of our walk. You all have been a tremendous blessing to me.

    • sorry for the CM shout-out Adam, I just assumed….guess I need to brush up on my reading/comprehension skills…Thank You Adam!

  11. “And I have a sneaking suspicion that Sean isn’t the only one who has experienced at least something like this.”

    My best friend in High School lost her faith while earning her Ph D, in biology. She was taught that a literal interpretation of Genesis was the only valid interpretation, so when she became convinced that evolution was true, she also became convinced that the whole Bible was false. It is very unfortunate.

    • Rick said:”My best friend in High School lost her faith while earning her Ph D, in biology. She was taught that a literal interpretation of Genesis was the only valid interpretation, so when she became convinced that evolution was true, she also became convinced that the whole Bible was false. It is very unfortunate.” And this isn’t the first time that has happened. Martin Luther famously said: “People Gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. …This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.” I have heard some historians say that the church insisting on “geocentrism” as the only valid scriptural interpretation led to a wave of Enlightenment skepticism and atheism. This led to the establishment of science as the only arbiter of truth. A proposition that, ironically, many YEC’ers buy into by arguing for “creation science”. Since science is the only arbiter of truth the scriptures must be able to be explained scientifically. But science NEVER establishes anything as “Truth” and believers should never bow before it or disparage its natural explanatory power. Augustine warned:”It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are.” He was right and yet many still do it and bring dishonor to God’s Word while they think they are establishing it.

  12. An interesting debate: one side reinterprets scientific observation to fit their view of the biblical timeline while the other chooses to define God to fit their interpretation of the scientific observation. Since I don’t care either way, I won’t weigh in except to say that using the adjective “extreme” to describe either end of the spectrum seems dismissive of our brothers and sisters.

    • I’m confused…which side “chooses to define God to fit their interpretation of the scientific observation”? Giberson and Collins are certainly orthodox in their understanding of the person of God.

      • If you made that same statement just 100 years ago, your definition of orthodox might be called into question. As scientific knowledge has increased, the redefinition I allude to takes the form of thinking of God in terms of one who initiated creation over a significant period of time, perhaps through evolutionary processes rather than the abra cadabra God of 6 days.

        • A list of church fathers who lived many centuries before modern science, and yet did not hold to YEC interpretation reads like a who’s who of the ancient church: Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, St. Cyprian, and, of course, Augustine. Martin Luther is one theologian that does agree YEC, but notes: “The days of creation were ordinary days in length. We must understand them as ordinary solar days, contrary to the opinion of the Holy Fathers”.

          You don’t get much more orthodox than Augustine.

          • Perhaps you missed the part where I said I don’t care? I was expressing my opinion of how I see each side arguing their POV, but appreciate your input.

          • “You don’t get much more orthodox than Augustine.”

            Don’t say that to an Eastern Orthodox.

  13. Being to simple minded to care either way, I find it interesting that both “sides” feel like they have to “win” simpletons like me to their side. Like a childhood game of capture the flag and I am nothing more than a flag for them to wave and say, “Look, we got one more!” While not dismissing the importance of the argument, I am really tired of it and my head hurts. I wonder what other believers around the world (outside of America) find to argue about? I’m going to lunch now and I don’t care if the lettuce in my salad took 7 days or 7 million years to create, I know it will pass through me in about 7 hours and be similar to what I think about this topic.

    • Josh in FW says:

      nice reminder to not take ourselves too seriously

      • Chris C. says:

        Isn’t their a difference between not taking ourselves too seriously and not taking ideas seriously?

        • I certainly don’t take myself (or most of us) seriously in regards to this idea because I think that I (and most of us) argue out of a place of ignorance instead of knowledge. I do, however, love the discussion about how we can all get along even if we disagree on certain ideas that are based mostly on opinion and hearsay.

    • There are two reasons for their trying to win people over to their side. In the secular realm, it reduces the dismissal of Christians in the scientific community. It improves science education in the United States and helps avoid debacles like Dover, PA. It helps advance human knowledge by increasing the pool of people who can become scientists without stopping their studies due to faith. On a practical level, advances in biology tend to lead to advances in medicine. Maybe not for us, but for our children.

      On the non-secular side, it, perhaps, will help people who feel they have to give up their faith for their knowledge. I don’t know how many atheists this will convince, but it will probably help those who are wavering.

  14. I have been following the debates at Biologos’ blog about this book, and even partook in them to a little extent. As a geologist, and a person who grew up (radically) YEC’ist, yet not holdingto YEC’ism any more, this topic is very close to me. I applaude the effort here – I haven’t put my hands on a copy yet, but am eager to do so. But at the same time I’m not everly optimistic about the results. Yes, for the Sean’s of this world, it is an absolute must.

    But the Sean’s of this world are more likely to be driven away of violent and “prophetic” rhetoric thrown the way of any who, in evangelical/conservative/”bible-believing” circles dare bring this topic up and suggest that maybe YEC’ism isn’t the only answer is unbelievable. Non-YEC folks like myself have been called so many names, even on this very blog (by other commentators) that one despairs of any decent debate/discussion at all. At the same time, as a trained scientist, one sees the most insane falsehoods, half-baked ideas and the like being trumpeted by the YEC’ist crowd, without them being open to even a little prodding. It is all-or-nothing buddy, or you are on your way to hell. Then one walks away, wiping their virtual saliva from your face, and wonder why the hell you still bother??

    Then, one enters into a debate with an atheist, and the similarities are very evident: Abandoning reason and manners, you are blasted with caricatures, falsehood and re-written history.

    Thing is, both camps love their caricatures of the universe. Because it validates their existence, it corresponds to extreme examples of Taijfel’s Social Identity Theory.

    Now, not all atheistic folks, and not all YEC’ist folks, belong to these camps, thank God. But, through the efforts of people like Ken Ham, and Richard Dawkins, these camps keep on growing.

    It is very, very frustrating. My daughter recently lost her closes friend because she wuld not submit to the friends harsh propmotion of YEC’ism. She wanted to stay friends, but with radicals, it is all-or-nothing!

  15. BTW, modern YEC’ism is the grandchild of Ellen White, “prophetess” and mother of Adventism. Karl Giberson himself wrote a piece on it, to be found here: http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/Giberson-scholarly-essay-1.pdf

  16. Brendan H says:

    “the one where the most you can hope for out of life is a decent lunch and a contribution or two to the ever-expanding ladder of mankind.”

    I guess I don’t see what’s so bad about this.

  17. Randy Thompson says:

    Thanks for this review. I so very much appreciate BioLogos and Francis Collins. (I don’t know much about the other guy, but include him in my comment too!)

    Collins and company leave me with a sense that God is hugely grander, bigger and more amazing than the one fundamentalist young earth creationists talk about. The God who created Darwin (!) is jaw-droppingly amazing, and so is that God’s creation. The young earth creationists leave me with a sense that creation is little more than a cosmic parlor trick, where the creation is some sort of cosmic rabbit that God pulls out of His hat for our entertainment.

    The God who created quarks, muons, black holes, big bangs, chromosomes, genes, elephants, tigers, lambs, spiders and human beings is a God I want to worship. The God of the young earth fundamentalists doesn’t interest me, except for avoiding hell. That God is simply too small.

    • “The God of the young earth fundamentalists doesn’t interest me, except for avoiding hell. That God is simply too small.”

      Well said.

  18. That Guy says:

    The only thing that I have any queasiness with is not the duration of time it took to make something but the crowning of creation. Was Man not fully Man, made in the Image of God until a certain point in evolution. Since there were proto-societies of pre-Homo Sapiens at what point did the Lord call Man unto Himself? Well it looks like some time around 6000 years ago. But this is just Man who has been given the gift of Redemption, so we think that all things must revolve around that single point of doctrine. Before there was man there was still other aspects of creation from seraphim and archangels to quarks and cosmic strings. I think we get so caught up in our place in creation forgetting that the rest of creation is good and there is a lot more of it than of us. Creation only groans from the fact that man fell from grace but what of the rest of the universe? Ours is a story of redemption and restoration but there is a continuing story of every expanding glory of creation. I am not sure where I am heading with this but it seems like if we are 100% certain either way it still does not diminish the fact that God interrupted History and Creation one day and called man unto Him and since then has been involved in restoring and redeeming him with the crescendo of Christ Who was slain Before the foundations of the world.

  19. Neat post. Thank the Lord I didn’t lose my faith, but I did have a rude, albeit gradual, awakening.

    If anyone wants a superb example of how to treat science and scripture in a theologically responsible way, see Michael Horton’s chapter on Creation in his systematic theol. He has a long discussion on the doctrine of “continual creation” or creation by providence. He contrasts this with the hyper-supernatural explanations given by one extreme and the hopeless, mechanistic determinism offered by the other extreme.