The following is my story of how evolution and faith have interacted in my journey. This was originally posted on another blog: http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com/2008/05/factors-involved-in-shift-to.html
I would love to hear your thoughts….
I have grown up in an evangelical environment. I went to youth groups and attended a Christian high school. Although I did not grow up in a traditional or hyper-fundamentalist setting, seeds of fundamentalism have been popularized amongst most in evangelicalism. I grew up learning that it was ‘Christian’ to believe in a literal 7 day creation or at least some kind of gap theory. For the most part, plain sense of the text was assumed as the best reading of the Bible.When I was 16 I was called to full time ministry at a summer camp. Since then, God has opened doors that have led me into ministry opportunities and bible education. In college, I was highly involved in a church and was given an internship. At this time, I was turned on to the emerging church conversation. I began reading McLaren, Bell, Martoia, McManus, and others. I also, began to listen to lectures and messages by these and other individuals (NT Wright!).
Well, I have for the past four years of my life been reshaping my understanding of the scriptures and how they influence how I interact with my world. All of this to give you the background to my ‘evolutionary journey.” This year, over Christmas break I read the entire series for McLaren’s “A New Kind of Christian” for the first time. One of the major themes that stood out to me was the openness to evolution. I had not realized previously that this was up for negotiation. As soon as this issue began to be stirred up within me, I googled the topic and came across this blog (http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com/). I since have realized that there is no biblical reason that I need to have antagonism toward evolution. Many Christian leaders that I respect seem to hold or at least allude to an open posture toward this issue. In this journey (one of which I am still newly walking) I have realized how we have damaged many people by telling them that they must defend either faith or science. Why do many college freshman walk away from church? Because we have spent 18 years trying to convince them that faith rests on young earth creationism, and without it everything blows up! Unnecessary polarities like these have done more damage than good to the cause of the Gospel!!!!
So, for me, my journey has been more spiritual/ theological than scientific. Why fight against something that science continues to affirm? This summer, my reading list includes Collins’ book “The Language of God” which I have perused some already. I am thankful for this blog and for other brave evangelicals who are not afraid that intellectual inquiry will destroy faith!