I was asked recently about my current thoughts on the topics of science and evolution, so I thought it was good time to restate the matter publicly. I’ve retooled some of my ideas, language, and argumentation over the last few years. I try to remain open minded, and this remains an area of great curiosity to me.
However, my basic conviction remains that Genesis should first be read on its own without scientific input, and only then we can have that second conversation, the one where we decide how science and Scripture either line up or fail to do so. As a result, I still basically believe that expressing the story of Genesis as describing a series of days like we are acquainted with each week is the best way to convey the intent and message of the text. Mostly, I remain committed to this interpretation of the text because I imagine that this is the conclusion that Hebrew slaves would have reached on the subject a few millennia ago, and I do not presume to understand the Hebrew Scriptures better than they did. If you find that a bit simplistic, it is possibly because I have tried to state it simply, and the nuance gets rubbed off in the process. Regardless, I have a few other reasons, but it is not the purpose of this post to express them all.
I do not hold brethren who think otherwise in disdain, and I hope they return the favor. I know this view can engender a lot of scoffing – I know because I have listened patiently to a great deal of it – but I still think there is room in the kingdom for people with differing views on this topic, presuming that we all learn to behave ourselves a bit better when we discuss the matter. I also insist that we all learn to approach this subject with greater humility and an increased capacity to be surprised by what God has done in the material universe (as I have previously written).
To clarify my views a little bit for any who might care, I am posting the outlines for two lectures which I gave in 2013. The first deals with the general concept of how science and religion relate to each other. The second deals with the specific concepts of evolutionary theory as they relate to the church and canon. None of the material is original to me, but this is my construction of it. I hope it is a blessing and received in the spirit of sincerity with which it was written.