Letter To Kevin

Posted on April 29, 2010


This is my response from a long conversation with my new friend Kevin about evolution, Genesis, and other questions. I’m just posting the end of the correspondence, without his questions and our talk about Muse and U2, but it’s enough to get the idea.

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Concerning evolution, it’s about biology. It starts with life. Darwinism has nothing to do with the origin of life, our planet, or the universe. The Big Bang is a cosmological model that was developed long after Darwin and involves non-living things. If someone is a naturalist or materialist that denies God and the supernatural, they would accept a natural origin of the universe and life and then would also use evolution to explain the diversity of life. Evolution is a useful and effective tool, and seems well proven, so I think it’s available for Christians as well. We still affirm the supernatural and God as the first cause.

In Psalms, King David writes “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him?” He was gazing up at the stars, yet unaware of how large they really were and how incredibly far away, yet he still felt small. Now we have a better understanding of how vast and ancient our universe is, and we have seen God send his Son to die for us. We should be much more inspired than David! Whether we were made from dust or developed from other animals, we are humbled. We are not angels, we are not gods, yet the True God cares for us. I find that quite inspiring.

As for Genesis, I don’t think we can read it literally. For one, there are some very difficult internal contradictions if one assumes they are reading a straight-forward, historical account. To me, the Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 stories are irreconcilable if taken completely literally (did God make man or vegetation first?) I believe that God created the heavens and the earth. I don’t believe that He revealed all the answers about how the universe works in the Bible. Really, in most fields of study we as humans are left to use our own tools to gain understanding. I don’t think that God handed us a history book, a biology book, or a medical guide. Thankfully, humans have learned how to carry out life-saving surgeries and developed vaccines that have eliminated terrible diseases. The revelations from God throughout history seem to have a different focus, and Jesus is the culmination. Even after sending His Son, God gave us a Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Some people want to believe that God also gave us the complete guide to parenting, an explanation of the universe and so on, but I believe that stretching the Bible to fill all of those roles is unwise and misses the point. We have to do our own work to learn about this universe we are in, the human body and mind and other things. God could have revealed the solar system, quantum mechanics, and the cure for cancer, but it appears that He never intended to do that. If someone puts the Bible up against a science book or medical journal, the Bible will lose not because it is inferior, but because it is being used improperly – and the defeat makes it appear as if God was wrong about the position of the sun and the shape of the earth when He in fact knows much more than any of us ever will about the nature of such things.