Why continue to run this blog? It has connected us with new friends but it has also garnered plenty of rebuke and opprobrium from platforms and magazines around the community. Our purpose in starting this blog was twofold. Firstly to provide a place to engage politely on the questions of creation and secondly to demonstrate an acceptance of basic science doesn’t mean an end of faith. Aggression and a dogmatic refusal of reality doesn’t honour God’s word, it damages his children – especially the young.
The contributors to COD have one thing in common. They were all literal creationists once. Most of us have given talks opposing evolution in the past. No-one lightly changed their mind but instead consumed copious amounts of anti evolution material from within and without our community. However all were eventually convinced, usually kicking and screaming, that our erstwhile convictions about God’s miracle of creation were incorrect as it related to His methodology.
Part of the motivation for starting COD was to build a space where disagreement could be discussed in at least a polite manner. We don’t always get the tone right but on the whole the site (and facebook page) have maintained a better tone then many of the previous conversations. There is still a marked absence of detailed engagement – particularly with influential brethren who condemn EC from the platform and in magazines. Their volume will not solve the issues raised by the last 100+ years of scientific observation. Nor will excising the voices of those foolhardy enough to point out the challenges. These are shared problems and shooting or silencing the messengers isn’t a solution.
A critical additional motivation was watching misinformed pronouncements on creation drive people away from the gospel. From young people to interested friends, many of us have seen people walk away from Jesus’ path because of stones dropped on the way by well meaning but misinformed believers. More and more of our young people are entering higher education. Even in unrelated fields, they are learning critical thinking and the importance of reliable sources. Technology gives these young people the ability to fact check speakers who rail against science or misapply cherry picked findings of science. They fact check them, and do it in real time, often before the speaker even sits down. The threat to their faith caused by a false dichotomy is real.
This threat will continue to grow. Simple example. Climate science is typically well accepted by young people. They learn about it in school. Often the climate science is rejected by the older speakers who also rail again evolution. At least this is consistent for the existence of climate science depends on hundreds of thousands of continuous climate records recorded in ice cores and geological samples (ie this doesn’t reconcile with young or old earth models). However as the effects of climate change grow more obvious, our young will perceive this link and see the shortcomings of their elders.
By providing a resource which tries – with varying degrees of success – to work through some of the interpretive questions that flow from the reality of the physical world, and to look again at some of the rich heritage of Scriptural understanding that is so ignorantly twisted to conform to the Young Earth doctrines, we hope at least to illustrate it is not an either or situation. You can fully trust in God’s word and his grand plan of salvation while accepting the long history of developing life on earth.
Although the pathway might be different, there is no bar to the certain truth that “[we are] fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are thy works” (Psa 134:14). Nor is there any less truth in the statement that the “ways of God are past finding out” (Job 9:10). That the creative work of God was more nuanced, complicated and patient than we may have traditionally imagined is no barrier to recognising that the whole creation still – as it ever did – witnesses to the power and divinity of God because He made all (Rom 1:20).
It seems a vain hope but maybe, just maybe, the hyper literalists who seem so threatened by evolutionary creation might eventually decide to let it go. and take Gamaliel’s advice. For around four years we have seen ongoing attacks, talks, boycotts, bans, disfellowships and public denunciations while most evolutionary creationists (including many quietly within “strict” meetings) just try and carry on living and hopefully growing. So much time and energy which could have been better spent. Sure, evolutionary creation might not be your cup of tea. No-one is asking you to drink it. Frankly, stick to what you’re drinking, conversation isn’t a priority. Providing a safety net is. We are preventing young people walking to atheism – please don’t make it more difficult!
Time to give peace a chance surely.