Storied Theology: Scripture and Science… Again…
Over at Don’t Stop Believing, Mike Wittmer makes an observation and asks a question that I hope we don’t find the answer to anytime soon, though such hopes are often disappointed.
He draws our attention to a recent issue of a science and Christianity journal:
This month’s issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (published by the American Scientific Affiliation) is devoted to this question, and three of its four essays conclude that we must dramatically revise the Christian faith in light of genetic research. Specifically, the authors claim that the human genome project has demonstrated that humans not only evolved from lower life forms but that we came on the scene by the thousands rather than from an original, historical Adam.
Yes, this would elicit a collective yawn from the outside world. But here’s where things start to get interesting in our evangelical Christian world:
Two of the contributors are Bible and Theology professors at Calvin College, Daniel Harlow and John Schneider, so I immediately wondered how their views mesh with their positions at this denominational school. Schneider concedes that his Christian Reformed Church “prohibits ‘espousal of theories that posit the reality of evolutionary forebears of human beings’ as ‘ruled out by Scripture and the Reformed confessions,’ yet oddly does not intend this prohibition to ‘limit further investigation and discussion on this topic’” (209)…
... And, if we insist that the world as scientists know it is incompatible with the Christian faith, our children will believe us! And, when they go to college, they will learn beyond a shadow of a doubt why Christianity must be abandoned. As with certain views of the Bible, we have to learn how to hold on loosely (not to the story of God or the gospel, but our traditional understandings of how these impact other issues) or else seal the fate of future generations.