Summary: More Than A Monkey: A Thoughtful Yet Incomplete Attempt, In Less Than 30 Minutes, To Address Questions Of Creation, Evolution, And The Origins Of The Universe And Why Such Questions Have Any Relevancy Or Importance In A Community Of Hurting People Stumbl
More Than A Monkey: A Thoughtful Yet Incomplete Attempt, In Less Than 30 Minutes, To Address Questions Of Creation, Evolution, And The Origins Of The Universe And Why Such Questions Have Any Relevancy Or Importance In A Community Of Hurting People Stumbling Towards Christlikeness In The Power Of The Risen Lord Jesus
Series: In The World But Not Of It Genesis 1 April 10, 2005
Back in January, we began a series of sermons looking at how we live as Christians in our world today. What should we think, as believers in Jesus, about the many different, complex issues that we face as a society? We began with a Biblical look at why we should be involved in the issues of our world, then looked at natural disasters such as the tsunami, and then spent two weeks on the issue of marriage. We took a break from that series to focus on the season of Lent and a journey of repentance, and are now jumping back into that series which is driven, overall, by Romans 12:2 as both guide and prayer: “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” I’ve included the upcoming topics and dates in your sermon notes this morning.
The next four topics we are going to examine are the questions of life: today, questions of origins; then questions of life at its beginnings (reproductive tech, conception); then questions of life and health (issues in research, cloning, stem cells, etc.); and then finally questions of life at its end (assisted suicide, “right to die”, etc.).
The Driving Question:
As I hinted at in my title, why should we bother talking about creation and evolution? What does it matter in our lives today?
Let me step back into what I believe is the big question, and maybe we will see. “Who are we?” If you want to be more individualistic, “Who am I?” Part of that question entails wondering where we came from, and the two extremes of “creation” and “evolution” present very different answers: am I nothing more than a slightly more “evolved” form of a monkey, existing out of pure chance and gifted with a life that must be ultimately pointless and futile? Or am I a precious child of an intimately involved God, who lovingly formed me and then placed within me a spark of eternity and an ability to know and be in relationship with my creator? Those two answers lead to drastically different ways of living, of interacting with others, and of facing difficulty and ultimately death.
It is always a good idea to state your bias up front, so let me do so. I believe that all truth is God’s truth, and that ultimately truths discovered by science will lead to God.
While there may be some scientists with an agenda to disprove the existence of God, there are many many more who see no conflict between their pursuit of truth through science and their pursuit of truth through God. I am married to one of those scientists who sees God with great admiration through the eyes of science, and who in many ways has a much deeper understanding than I will ever of Romans 1:20 – “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” I will even go a step further and say that the tools of science are a gift of God that can lead us to a more full life, and offer as evidence the simple fact that in 1920 the life expectancy of a Canadian was 60 yrs; in 1990 it was 78.
Science and faith have different underlying philosophies, and so there is an expectation of conflict. I see that often in meeting new people, when they find out I am a pastor and my wife is a scientist… Let me do a quick poll – how many of you have post-secondary scientific training, ie: have taken college or university level courses in science. An entire science degree? And how many of you are still Christians?
Faith begins with the assumption that God exists and then seeks answers and truth and purpose from that assumption. Science is often perceived to begin with the assumption that there is no god and that everything is “natural”. And there is a lot of truth to that – much of science is driven by the philosophy of “naturalism” which rejects the existence of god and then seeks to understand everything from that philosophy. Note I did say “much of science”, because there are also a large number of Christians who are scientists and are not driven by naturalism, but rather by a fascination with the world God has created and a desire to use their gifts of knowledge to improve the lives of people everywhere. Because of these competing philosophies, there has been a great deal of tension between the scientific community and the community of faith. Even a history of significant conflict.