Evolution and Evangelicals

There is movement within the Evangelical community toward a more positive attitude toward science, and evolution in particular.  Dr. Francis S. Collins, former head of the Human Genome Project and devoutly conservative Christian, in his book The Language of God (2007) makes a case for the Big Bang Theory, organic evolution, and a non-literal interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis.

Travis Loller writing for the huffingtonpost.com observes that there is a friendly dialogue going on between Southern Baptist seminary professors and evangelical scientists.  One of the places that this discussion is occurring is on the website BioLogos. 

While there is disagreement, the authors are quick to emphasize places where they do agree, such as the reality of the miracles described in the Bible, including the bodily resurrection of Jesus.  And there is room for give-and-take on both sides.

The discussions came about after Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Academic Dean Kenneth Keathley and Biologos President Darrel Falk met at a Christian scholars conference in 2011.  Keathley agreed to ask seminary professors to contribute essays describing their disagreements with Biologos, a nonprofit foundation “committed to exploring and celebrating the compatibility of evolutionary creation and biblical faith.”

On the Utah level there seems to be movement also.  Corey Hodges, pastor of the New Pilgrim Baptist Church in SLC, writes in the sltrib.com that science and religion need not be at odds:

The Bible was not written as a science or history book.  Therefore, many details are not included and facts not explained. . . .

. . . God and sciencce need not be mutually exclusive.

Science can enlighten us on some of the unknowns. . . .

. . . [T]he Bible does not discourage reason. . . .  Numerous verses challenge Christians to seek wisdom and knowledge.

According to a recent survey in Christianity Today, the numbers of those who subscribe to creationism decrease with education level.  This observation can’t be good new for conservative Christians (or Biblical literalists of any ilk).

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2 Responses to Evolution and Evangelicals

  1. susan says:

    Your blog makes it sound as though Christians and non-Christians have agreed to accept the “miracles” of the Bible, i.e., Noah and the Flood, Jonah and the Whale? What about the talking donkey (can’t remember the details on that one)? Does the agreement between the authors include ALL parts of the Bible? Is there room for give and take as to which “miracles” are acceptable between Christians and non-Christians?

    • roger hansen says:

      What I meant was there are areas of agreement between Evangelical biblical literalists and Evangelical scientists. I didn’t mean to imply that there was a general acceptance of all OT and NT miracles among the world’s population.

      All Jews, Christians, and Muslims have to decide for themselves which miracles they literally accept, and which ones they believe are metaphorical. Did the earth really stand still? Was Jonah swallowed by a big fish? Was the earth created in 6 24-hour days? Did Jacob really wrestle with God? Did Noah live for nearly 1,000 years? Did Moses really part the Red Sea? And the list goes on and on.

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