Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Appendix E: Theistic evolution and the God of the gaps

This appendix analyses some common perspectives of God’s work and has helped me critique my own, revealing assumptions I have held. If someone asked you, “What is your evidence for the existence of God?” what would you say? Do you talk about the things we cannot explain like the origin of life or do you emphasise the consistency of natural processes like the sun rising? How does your answer reveal your view of God’s activity in the world?

I have found that often people accuse Christians of lacking evidence for their belief. That it is purely “blind faith” that we rely on. This partly stems from a view that God does not act in the day to day running of life. Reducing the extent of God’s activity to those things we cannot yet explain- the “gaps”. Therefore if we can explain how something occurs through Science then God is obsolete. But this is a false assumption and unbiblical. Job 36:26-28 “How great is God--beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out. He draws up the drops of water, which distil as rain to the streams; the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind.” Clearly Job has understanding of the water cycle and yet attributes this natural process to the work of God. As a Christian in this scientific age I need to ensure that I don’t exclude God from His work. I must remember the laws and processes we can describe and use were put in place and are maintained by our creator God. As Lennox puts it “I do not find the main evidence for God’s activity in the current gaps in the scientific picture. I see evidence of God everywhere in the science we do know- indeed, I see it in the very fact that we can do science.” (p165)

If we are accused of not having good reasons to trust God then the antidote is to know why we believe and be able to explain this clearly and succinctly. Our faith is not based on wishy-washy feelings but on a solid foundation and we are called to be ready to explain it (1 Peter 3:15). John the apostle cared about this, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31). Evidence, belief, life.

I have appreciated closely reading this book as it has challenged me to think through and articulate my belief. Areas in which I have been intellectually lazy I have had to do the hard work of thinking critically and deeply. Through God’s grace I have been rewarded with a richer appreciation of God’s work in the world and I look forward for opportunities to share this with others.

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