Hope Strelow: Theology Questions

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Hope Strelow: Theology Questions

Post by hstrelow on Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:47 pm

1. Can someone be a sincere Christian and still believe in evolution?
I want to start by saying, I don't think I am comprehensive in my understanding of evolution. My basic understanding is that species change over time and are all closely linked to one another. From this, I would assume that a Christian who believes in evolution sees God as the ultimate Creator, but also believes that species change over time and have links with other species. Based on this information, and what we read in Evangelical theology, I believe that someone can believe in aspects of evolution while also holding true to the belief that God is Creator. I think it is possible to hold fast to the belief that we have evolved in thinking, stature, and manner, while also holding fast to the belief that we were made by God, in His image, and were different than the rest of creation. If someone is trying to claim that we evolved from other animals such as monkeys, or we began as bacteria, I would say that this person could not be a sincere Christian because they do not know God as Creator. They would also be rejecting the truth that God created humanity as distinct from all other creation, with the power to rule and have dominion over this creation. In sum, I do not believe that science and creationism are at complete odds. In the words of Michael Bird, "[The] orderliness of creation establishes the possibility of science for understanding creation and implies the necessity of science for gaining mastery over creation." Science is not an enemy to creation. Thus, a sincere Christian is capable of holding some scientific convictions on evolution.

2. Is there something extra special about the incarnation as a mode of divine revelation?
In short, YES!!! The incarnation is such a special revelation because it does not work through the means of anything else. The incarnation is not mediated through nature of human agents, or even the word. The incarnation is God literally revealing himself in the flesh. Jesus was not nearly a man who resembled God or a man who was most like God. Jesus himself was God in the flesh and reflected all of his attributes. Furthermore, everything that God used to revealed himself all points back to the Son. Bird writes that "everything in redemptive history has been preparing itself and getting reading for the unveiling of God-in-the-flesh." If revelation is where we find a personal encounter with God, then God in the flesh will the be ultimate completion of divine revelation. In sum, the incarnation most personally embodies all that God is, all that he promises, and all he has done.
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Re: Hope Strelow: Theology Questions

Post by Alicia.O. on Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:03 am

hstrelow wrote:1. Can someone be a sincere Christian and still believe in evolution?
I want to start by saying, I don't think I am comprehensive in my understanding of evolution. My basic understanding is that species change over time and are all closely linked to one another. From this, I would assume that a Christian who believes in evolution sees God as the ultimate Creator, but also believes that species change over time and have links with other species. Based on this information, and what we read in Evangelical theology, I believe that someone can believe in aspects of evolution while also holding true to the belief that God is Creator. I think it is possible to hold fast to the belief that we have evolved in thinking, stature, and manner, while also holding fast to the belief that we were made by God, in His image, and were different than the rest of creation. If someone is trying to claim that we evolved from other animals such as monkeys, or we began as bacteria, I would say that this person could not be a sincere Christian because they do not know God as Creator. They would also be rejecting the truth that God created humanity as distinct from all other creation, with the power to rule and have dominion over this creation. In sum, I do not believe that science and creationism are at complete odds. In the words of Michael Bird, "[The] orderliness of creation establishes the possibility of science for understanding creation and implies the necessity of science for gaining mastery over creation." Science is not an enemy to creation. Thus, a sincere Christian is capable of holding some scientific convictions on evolution.

2. Is there something extra special about the incarnation as a mode of divine revelation?
In short, YES!!! The incarnation is such a special revelation because it does not work through the means of anything else. The incarnation is not mediated through nature of human agents, or even the word. The incarnation is God literally revealing himself in the flesh. Jesus was not nearly a man who resembled God or a man who was most like God. Jesus himself was God in the flesh and reflected all of his attributes. Furthermore, everything that God used to revealed himself all points back to the Son. Bird writes that "everything in redemptive history has been preparing itself and getting reading for the unveiling of God-in-the-flesh." If revelation is where we find a personal encounter with God, then God in the flesh will the be ultimate completion of divine revelation. In sum, the incarnation most personally embodies all that God is, all that he promises, and all he has done.

Although you start off answering the first question by admitting you may lack in comprehensive understanding of evolution, I think that you answered the question really well. I agree with you that saying we evolved from something other than human attempts to redefine the creation story and messes with how we see our Creator. Therefore, one cannot be a sincere Christian and believe this, and the good news is that this idea of macro-evolution is just a theory Darwin came up with. There is a documentary called Darwin's Doubt and while it's not faith-based, it exposes the spiritual warfare that led Darwin to this theory of macro-evolution. Long story short Darwin was super anti there being any divine power.

You mention how you don't believe science and creationism is at complete odds and I really wish this could be a stance that all take. My dad, who thankfully came to Christ 3 years ago, had the hardest time coming to faith for many reasons but one being that he thought he'd have to throw science out the window. Just like what Bird said in the quote you used, science gives us an understanding of creation. Learning about science should lead us to worship our Father, not act like it's a threat to the True God.
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