Science in Christian Perspective
Letter to the Editor
Alternatives to Creation--Evolution Theories
David O. Moberg, ASA Fellow
From: PSCF 52 (December 2000): 287-288.
A recent private communication responded to the sentence about "The Great Deceiver" in my article on "The Great Commission and Research" (PSCF 51 [March 1999]: 13). It summarized geological and radiometric evidences that allegedly reveal deceptions in evolutionary theory and support certain theories of creationists about how in the beginning Elohim (the plural-form name of God in Genesis 1:1) went about the entire process of creation during six "days."
I am sure both creationists and theistic evolutionists acknowledge that they do not fully understand the how of God's processes in creating the universe and all of the earth's relatively inert and living "equipment." (The alternative secular theories of agnostic and atheistic evolutionists rest heavily upon presuppositions and speculations that influence their observations and bias their often- dogmatic allegations about how the universe and life on earth emerged.)
I have a strong suspicion that all Christians, even we who devoutly believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, will be greatly surprised when our Lord explains creation to us in Glory, if we still care about that in our permanent home. We now see "only through a glass darkly" as we try to piece together the multifarious and increasingly amazing evidence from God's creation with his revelations in the Bible, which, to be sure, is neither a modem research report nor a scientific textbook.
Who is developing a better theoretical integration of the increasingly in-depth scientific knowledge that is expanding so rapidly in astronomy, astrophysics, genetics, geology, sociopsychology, spirituality research, and other areas of investigation? Many more HOW theories of creation may emerge as alternatives to those now widely shared. I am sure that they, too, eventually will lead to as great a surprise as Saul experienced on the Damascus Road when he, who so fervently supported the Hebrew Scriptures and the institutionalized Jewish religion of his day, had his eyes opened to the fact that it was the Lord himself whom he was persecuting, even though Messiah had been revealed repeatedly in Saul's Bible (Acts 9:1-22).
Is there a better alternative than Creationism and Theistic Evolution for Christians while we are in "this vale of tears"? Both theoretical schools have significant flaws, but each tends to stack up evidence for its own views while squelching or ignoring evidences from God's creation to which the other side appeals. Alongside the issues of interpreting evidence from scientific observations of God's creation, there also are important hermeneutical questions about how literally, rigidly, or figuratively we should interpret certain Scripture passages. This is especially true of Genesis 1 through 9, which some Christians read as if they were scripted under modem scientific and historiographical standards, but others as if they simply report prehistoric human myths or poetic accounts of God's work.
As Christians, we should continue "honestly seeking the truth," loving the Lord with our minds and reasoning powers, not only with heart, soul, and strength (Luke 10:27; Romans 12:2). Thank God, our salvation does not depend upon faith in any particular theory of creation, but only on God's grace through Jesus Christ! So let's trust in him and love each other even if we disagree on our human interpretation about HOW he did his wonderful works (see Heb. 1:2; Phil. 2:3-11; Col. 1:14-17; 2:6-3:4, etc.). As we seek scientific evidence to test each tentative theory, let's remember that our differences will be fully resolved only when we are forever present in person with our Lord.