In December 2009, in response to an article on creation, a brother wrote to and was published in The Christadelphian Magazine saying (among other things), evolution challenges our interpretation of the bible (not the bible), a range of views needs to be accommodated and evolution is not atheism nor unfaithful. The full letter is reproduced below:
Dear Brother Michael,
Brother Morris has given us a most interesting and information statement of our belief in God as a Creator (November page 423). His article however, contained some unexpected features.
I was particularly surprised that “Darwin” and “the Gospel” were presented as being in conflict. The blow to Darwin’s Christian faith came from the death of his daughter, not from his studies of the natural world. His references to “creation” and “the Creator” in The Origin of the Species are mentioned and we are told that “People in Darwin’s generation were left with the comfortable feeling that one could embrace evolution and still believe in God”. That was true and it is still true (though one would perhaps prefer “assurance” to “comfortable feeling”). Without denying that God, if He had so chosen, could have created the whole universe from distant galaxies to amoebae, in an instant of time, why cannot we accept that the evidence may indicate that His method of creation may in fact have been very different?
The real issue is not creation versus evolution but creation versus atheism. We do ourselves as a community no favour if we insist that to accept evolution is to deny the existence of God. It is not biblical authority but some cherished interpretations that may need to be revised.
If some are disturbed by this, I appeal to them to consider that others may hold different views while believing equally fervently in God as Creator and the Bible as His inspired revelation.
Are we indeed, as Brother Morris states, a “community who believe in a God who made all things by specific acts of creation”? The Statement of Faith simple says “He hath, out of His own underived energy, created heaven and earth and all that in them is” (BASF, item 1). I sincerely hope that our community can continue to accommodate a range of views about how this actually took place.
What we can be certain of is that our frail finite minds are quite incapable of comprehending the glory and wonder of God’s ways.
I fully endorse the final paragraph in Brother Morris’ article. God has given us two books, that of His word and that of His works. “Ever since the world began his invisible attributes, that is to say his everlasting power and deity, have been visible to the eye of reason, in the things he has made.” (Romans 1:20 REB) – but only the Gospel can give us the meaning of life.
With love in the Lord Jesus
Bob Burr (Kings Heath, Birmingham)
As a side note it is interesting to contrast the publishing of this letter in Dec 2009 with the current practices of our magazines who (in one instance at least) refuse to publish letters from EC believers – regardless of subjects. In one unfortunate case the reason given was that “many readers would be unhappy with the magazine publishing material from you, even without your names appended to the letters in question. The matter is one of regret because your letters could make a worthwhile contribution….“