Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Does it matter?

The topic of Creation and origins has come up quite a lot recently: online, in church, and in my JTerm class on historic Christian belief. The more I have thought about it, the more I realize how insignificant all our debate is over our ancestry and the age of the universe. I see a lot of unbelievers and believers alike tripping over this apparent controversy when both sides have got it very very wrong.

There's so much inter- and intra-faith debate over things like
  • How old is the earth?
  • How old is the human race?
  • How did the human species develop?
  • Was the universe created by God?
  • How involved was God in the creation of the universe?
  • What does the word day in Genesis mean?
  • How special are humans?
  • How "random" is evolution?
  • Are scientists right?
  • Is science itself right?
  • Did God lie to us?
...etc, and after years of thinking and debating and listening to all sides and forming and changing my own views, what I come to realize is that it doesn't matter! There are some key points that, because of my faith and who I believe God is, I must believe to be true. Consider them axioms.
  1. God exists.
  2. By definition, God is everything that is good and is the epitome of love, power, and selfishness.
  3. God created all matter and energy in the observable universe.
  4. God created humans to be different from animals, in that we are created in His image (meaning we have sentience, free will, intra-species relationships, and so on).
  5. Everything that God created was good and perfect, including us.
  6. We royally screwed up our perfection by disobeying Him (who is by definition good).
  7. Because God is good and because He is selfish, He can do whatever the hell* He wants with us.
    * literally!
  8. Because He is all powerful, we have no right to question Him.
  9. Because God is love, He offered His perfect Son to take our place in hell so we may live eternally with Him.
  10. Because the Son is perfect and everlasting, He was resurrected three days after death and will spend eternity with us and God.
Granted, these core beliefs span a greater range than just the topic of Creation, but I believe them to be essential to the gospel and essential to my faith. Whether or not God used evolution to form humans, or whether the earth is thousands or billions of years old...who cares? Well, I guess most people. But does it really matter? I don't think so. One can still be a Christian, good or bad, no matter his views on the origins of the universe. We Christians tend to keep condemning people for the fact that their beliefs about secondary issues are different from our own (and the details of Creation is certainly a secondary issue). What's worse, Christians condemn each other over this...a lot. Can this stop? Can we learn to keep an open mind when there is enough direct evidence from God (read: science) showing us we're wrong?


Anonymous said...

My my, this blog has gotten to be a real blog! I'm impressed. Oh, and I agree too.

Robert said...

Just curious, if the bible and science clearly disagreed on topic, which would you choose to be the ultimate truth?

denaje said...

I don't believe that the Bible and science can disagree on anything. Now, our interpretation of the Bible can disagree with our limited view of science, and when this happens, careful investigation into both is needed. Are we sure we have our scientific findings right, and are we sure we are interpreting the Bible correctly? Answering both of those questions should clear up any apparent inconsistencies.

Robert said...

Ok that makes much more sense at what you are getting at. Thanks