Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

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How did we and our world come to be?

God directly created the world and the species as we see them during six 24-hour days.
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39%
Each day could have lasted for thousands or millions of years, but otherwise I agree with #1.
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46%
God directly created humans through the process of evolution.
9
15%
Life arose spontaneously as a result of the natural laws of the universe. We're the culmination of a long process of natural selection.
0
No votes
Life on earth originated due to the involvement of an advanced civilization on another world
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No votes
 
Total votes : 61

Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby jochanaan » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:41 pm

Johannes_1965 wrote:bn2bnude, I agree.
After following this strip for a while I would say I rather believe in an evolution founded, steered and directed by the Creator than in any form of creationism. The "days" in Gen 1 are a way to account for the evident intelligent order in nature, in space and time, nothing more.
Johannes
That's what I tend to believe too. Yet I keep my mind open pending future evidence--which may either confirm Creationism, confirm Evolutionism, or render the whole question meaningless. :)
You can live your life in fear--or you can live your life.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby geologist2007 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:38 pm

I have hesitated posting on this topic and there is no way could I read through all 15 pages of comments to see where the conversation is going.
I did want to comment on this though as a geologist. When I graduated way back, I was taught evolution and had no problems accepting it as fact. A few years later I accepted Christ and decided it was easiest to slip into the scriptural manipulations needed to make it fit my new faith.
A good friend challenged me to study it more objectively. What I realized was that I was accepting scientific interpretation at the same or higher level than scripture. The interpretation that I had was biased. And the bias was based on a system devised to answer the questions of who I am and why am I here and where am I going without God.
Rather than look at scripture through the filter of scientific interpretation why not look at scientific facts through the filter of scripture?
Fact: there are fossils in the rock indicating a progression of life and death and burial. The fossils do not tell us how they lived or even how they died usually, just the results after they were buried. Relative age can be determined in that assuming the beds are not overturned (as they are in the mountains a few miles from where I live,) then the fossils lower in the section are older than ones above. Rather obvious. But in no way does it say how old they are.
Cutting out the World filter and looking at with Scriptural filter, I can more easily account for the units I map every day and explain the bone beds and other fossil deposits by fitting it with the Flood. Not fit the flood with evidence. Scripture has to come first. That is the only bias that I want to be biased with. Unfortunately I struggle with recognizing the other influences in my thought processes. I think we all do.
Just another thought, if there was death in the original creation, then Gods pronouncement of death to Adam and Eve was a bit hollow. But before they sinned, there was no death.
Can you believe evolution and be a Christian? Of course. The gospel is acknowledging your sin, accepting Christs payment for that and believing that God has raised Him from the dead.
My boss one told me that he could not accept Christ because it would mean that all of his life including his professional life as a geologist was a sham.
It takes more faith to believe evolution than creation.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby prairieboy » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:49 pm

A co-worker was mocking people that believe in creation. I said that I believed in creation. "You do?" he asked. I replied that it takes a leap of faith to believe in creation, but it takes a million leaps of faith to believe in evolution, and many of those leaps of faith are as great, or greater, than the one required to believe in creation.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby King_David » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:55 am

:butbut: The Bible states pretty plainly that, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," (Gen. 1:1), "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth..." (Gen 1:21), and "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them." (Gen 1:27). In the Wilderness, God created manna to feed the Israelites. Then, in the gospels, we have God creating fish and bread to feed the multitudes. Yet we have members claiming to be Christians, who do not believe in "any form of creationism."
Last week in seminary class, we studied the time that the Philistines captured the ark of the covenant. They took it to their city of Ashdod and put it in the temple of their god Dagon. The next morning, they found their God flat on his face beside the ark. They set him up again, and the following day not only was he fallen on his face before the ark of the Lord, his head and hands were cut off. :dizzy: The Philistines said, "The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us; for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god." Then they made haste to send the ark to another city because they knew that the God of the Israelites was much more powerful than Dagon. Our professor shook his head in amazement and asked, "Why in the world would you want to serve a god you knew was inferior?" :?:



Perhaps one of you, who is serving a god who can give evolution a helping hand now and then but can't seem to create, while I am serving a God who can and did do what the Bible said (probably without even breaking a sweat), can answer his question.



My question is, why would anyone want to think he is a sinner or believe that God raised Christ from the dead, if we think of the Bible as just another book like Grimm's Fairy Tales rather than God's truth? :?:
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby Petros » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:41 am

It is interesting to note that in MOST - we will not claim all - Christian or Jewish [for heavy duty Muslim I cannot say] environments there is no stance on evolution that will gt you into deep dark trouble. If you are operating in academia - even in fields where Darwin's ideas have no relevance - you can find yourself in serious difficulties if you suggest that creation happened - in any sense other than the cut one of calling the Big Bang creation and explicitly sweeping away any shreds of a creator.

Some years ago I noticed an interesting phenomenon, and wrote it up for publication in a journal dealing with language origins. I do historical linguistics, which rests on regular sound correspondences - at least as practiced by the serious types. The attempt to "see" ancestral languages is blocked at a certain point - there may be shared words, but past a given point you will not find regular correspondence.

It turns out that around the globe the time beyond which we cannot see anything but confused similarities roughly matches the time when cities started to be built. Intriguing, why, one asks?

Well, I wrote it up, including a note that this correlation between cities and failure of regular correspondence dovetails neatly into the account of Babel - confusion of tongues coinciding with urbanization.

The editor of the journal, a good friend, called me up, told me he would publish if I insisted, but urged me to excise that bit, because of what it would certainly do to my reputation.

I fear I laughed. Told hi, publish, please - my reputation could not get much worse.

Now, I did not say - the era of confused reflexes IS Biblical Babel. I did not even say, Biblical Babel shows the writer knew about the ways cities mess up language relationships [a couple lectures worth on that topic], I just said, this is interesting.

But that is all it takes to be persona non grata.

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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby bn2bnude » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:34 am

King_David wrote::butbut: The Bible states pretty plainly that, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," (Gen. 1:1), "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth..." (Gen 1:21), and "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them." (Gen 1:27). In the Wilderness, God created manna to feed the Israelites. Then, in the gospels, we have God creating fish and bread to feed the multitudes. Yet we have members claiming to be Christians, who do not believe in "any form of creationism."
Last week in seminary class, we studied the time that the Philistines captured the ark of the covenant. They took it to their city of Ashdod and put it in the temple of their god Dagon. The next morning, they found their God flat on his face beside the ark. They set him up again, and the following day not only was he fallen on his face before the ark of the Lord, his head and hands were cut off. :dizzy: The Philistines said, "The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us; for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god." Then they made haste to send the ark to another city because they knew that the God of the Israelites was much more powerful than Dagon. Our professor shook his head in amazement and asked, "Why in the world would you want to serve a god you knew was inferior?" :?:



Perhaps one of you, who is serving a god who can give evolution a helping hand now and then but can't seem to create, while I am serving a God who can and did do what the Bible said (probably without even breaking a sweat), can answer his question.



My question is, why would anyone want to think he is a sinner or believe that God raised Christ from the dead, if we think of the Bible as just another book like Grimm's Fairy Tales rather than God's truth? :?:


I think you are reading more into my post than I state... Maybe you aren't but are misunderstanding.

I do believe God created the universe and all that is in in. What the Bible does not say is how. The word for day is ambiguous enough that it could have been anywhere from a solar week to billions of years.

I know that this sort of thing (leaving out the how of things) makes some people uncomfortable. I also don't believe that normal science is looking at things objectively... For that matter neither are either of the variations of creationists, although if hard pressed, I would probably lean more toward an Old Earth camp.

Are we not supposed to read the Bible for what it does say and not try to interpolate what it does not say? Isn't that how we get to a point where "nudity is wrong under any circumstances" is being preached from church pulpits?
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby geologist2007 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:02 am

bn2bnude wrote:I do believe God created the universe and all that is in in. What the Bible does not say is how. The word for day is ambiguous enough that it could have been anywhere from a solar week to billions of years.


I am not the Biblical scholar that I know some people on this site are, but every time the word 'yom' is used it refers to a normal day when coupled with the terms evening and morning. What more could God say to make it clear it is a 24hr (or perhaps less) period? To tie it into 2Peter 3:8 and a day being like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day and say that therefore the days in Genesis could be very long time periods is a very weak argument and really is trying to tie the Worlds wisdom to Gods.

bn2bnude wrote:I know that this sort of thing (leaving out the how of things) makes some people uncomfortable. I also don't believe that normal science is looking at things objectively... For that matter neither are either of the variations of creationists, although if hard pressed, I would probably lean more toward an Old Earth camp.


I used to as well, but there is no evidence of an old earth! We see it as old because as in 1Peter 3:3-7 is the very basis of modern geology: 'ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation' or as we are taught in geology 'the present is the key to the past.' But then verses 5 and 6 say 'But they deliberately forget that long ago by Gods Word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.'

From a Scriptural view, I am a young earth creationist. From a practical view as a professional geologist, I am a young earth creationist. Can I explain all geology? No, but neither can old earth evolutionists.

bn2bnude wrote:Are we not supposed to read the Bible for what it does say and not try to interpolate what it does not say? Isn't that how we get to a point where "nudity is wrong under any circumstances" is being preached from church pulpits?


Exactly what I am saying. Use the Scriptures as our starting point. Not the interpretations of those who (for the most part) deny even the existence of God.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby natman » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:12 pm

geologist2007 wrote:I am not the Biblical scholar that I know some people on this site are, but every time the word 'yom' is used it refers to a normal day when coupled with the terms evening and morning.


Geo,

The problem with that argument is that apart from Genesis 1, there are not cases where "yom" (day) is used in conjunction with "evening" and "morning". There is no place which defines "yom", specifically as 24 hours, and it appears to be used interchangeably with the notion of a literal 24-hour day and an epoc (extended period) of time.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby geologist2007 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:30 pm

Here is a quote from Institute of Creation Research that I think explains it well.

The Hebrew word for day (yom) is used some 3,000 times in the Hebrew Bible, and is almost always used to mean an ordinary 24-hour day-night cycle. On the few occasions where it is used to mean an indeterminate period of time, it is always clear from the context that it means something other than a 24-hour day (day of trouble, day of the Lord, day of battle, etc). Whenever it is used with an ordinal (1, 2, 1st, 2nd, etc.), it always means a specific day, an ordinary24-hour day.
The language of Genesis 1 appears to have been crafted so that no reader would mistake the word use for anything other than an ordinary 24-hour day. The light portion is named “day,” and the dark portion is named “night.” Then the “evening and the morning” is Day 1, Day 2, etc. The linguistic formula is repeated for each of the six days, a strange emphasis if the words were to be taken as allegorical or analogous to something other than a day-night cycle.
When God wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger (certainly the most emphatic action ever taken by God on behalf of His revealed Word), God specifically designated a seventh day to be a “Sabbath” day (rest day) in memory and in honor of the work-six-days, rest-one-day activity of God during the creation week (Exodus 20:11). In that context, spoken and written by God Himself, the creation week can mean only a regular week of seven days, one of which is set aside as holy.

I realize that this is a debate that has been going on for a long time. I am just saying that as a scientist I have no problem using God's word as the foundation for my studies. I see no conflict between the facts observed and what God says. The conflict arises from interpretation of the facts
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby pipermac » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:15 pm

I would be quite happy to buy into a literal seven days of creation...if I was blind. I have yet to come across a short-day creationist that can explain to me how I can see the light from stars that are well over 100,000 light-years away with my unaided eye. Most short-day creationists I have known date Creation at about 8,000 BC, which would make the universe about 10,000 years old. Even if they were off by a factor of two in their dating, the earth would only be 20,000 years old, and the universe a few days older. That simply doesn't square, unless God is an illusionist, which He is not. What we can see in the night sky is real, not an illusion. Ignoring any other physical evidence of an old earth, I still have to believe that the seven-days of creation are not literal 24-hour days. They are periods of time.

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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby Bare_Truth » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:57 pm

pipermac wrote:I would be quite happy to buy into a literal seven days of creation...if I was blind. I have yet to come across a short-day creationist that can explain to me how I can see the light from stars that are well over 100,000 light-years away with my unaided eye......
Have you considered that the speed of light that we usually regard as a constant was not always what it is today? Even advocates of the Big Bang claim that the laws of physics were different during the explosion from what they are now. Why would God during the creation event have to have a speed of light such as we measure now. So now you can happily buy in to short day creationism. However as I have said in posts elsewhere, I favor the "Gap Theory".
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby pipermac » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:51 am

God is unchangeable, therefore His laws are also unchangeable, and that would include the laws of physics. Even a significant change in the speed of light wouldn't account for a few billion years difference.

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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby bn2bnude » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:30 am

pipermac wrote:God is unchangeable, therefore His laws are also unchangeable, and that would include the laws of physics. Even a significant change in the speed of light wouldn't account for a few billion years difference.

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Steve



A couple of comments on the post...

1) What do you mean by "Unchangeable"

2) Check out this post from the last page. The movie was hand crafted to argue that, if a day meant 'time span' rather than '24 hours', there are things around the speed of light and relativity that could provide very long timespans.

I saw the movie on Netflix streaming service.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby King_David » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:10 am

pipermac wrote:I would be quite happy to buy into a literal seven days of creation...if I was blind. I have yet to come across a short-day creationist that can explain to me how I can see the light from stars that are well over 100,000 light-years away with my unaided eye. Most short-day creationists I have known date Creation at about 8,000 BC, which would make the universe about 10,000 years old..

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A literal seven day creation mandates nothing more than 7 days of time for the original creation itself; it doesn't mandate an 8,000 year old earth, and an 8,000 year old earth doesn't mandate a 10,000 year old universe. Most scientitsts believe the universe is about 3 times as old as the earth.

I am surprised that none of your "Young Earth" (that's what they're usually called) brothers explained the "Gap Theory" to you, as it has much to recommend it. If you're still not familiar with it, look it up; you're in for a treat.

As Bare Truth pointed out, it is also entirely possible that the speed of light has changed. Your belief that "God is unchangeable, therefore His laws are also unchangeable," is easily disproven. Compare the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy (a Greek name which literally means "second giving of the law"). God had to give the law a second time because He changed it, based on conditions in the Promised land where they would be permanently settled being different from conditions experienced during 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. And if you are going to consider scientific eveidence, you also have to consider the scientific evidence that physical laws have changed.

A third possibility is Gosse's Omphalos theory. Briefly, it states that God created everything with built-in age. In its extreme form, which is known as "Last Thursdayism," you would reject it as "an illusion." Some Christians have no problem with that; some of them actually believe that God deliberately planted fake fossils and such just to test our faith and make sure that we trust him despite all evidence to the contrary. I repudiate such nonsense; we can take it for granted that God is honest, and the Bible itself says that God has revealed Himself in nature. I do not believe there can be any real contradictions between what God has revealed in nature and what He has revealed in the scriptures. But Omphalos isn't entirely unreasonable; most Christians believe that Adam and Eve were created as full grown adults and not born as babies, so why couldn't other things have had age built in as well? According to this theory, light from the stars was created in transit as though it had originated earlier.

I have tried to examine the evidence on both sides objectively, and my considered opinion is that there is way more scientific evidence for creation than for evolution; and probably more for a young earth than for a 4 or 5 billion year old earth. And if you take a critical look at the geologic column or the fossil record, particularly in view of Noah's Flood, I think you will find that the current scientific theories are completely contradictory and totally untenable.
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Re: Can you be both a Christian and an Evolutionist?

Postby Bare_Truth » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:53 pm

pipermac wrote:God is unchangeable, therefore His laws are also unchangeable, and that would include the laws of physics. Even a significant change in the speed of light wouldn't account for a few billion years difference.
I am not going to let you get off that easy. God has not given us a written copy of his law of the speed of light to read and ponder. So for us to say that we know that law and are sure that it says that the speed of light is constant at all times forever under all circumstances, would be pure human arrogance.

We thought we knew the laws of mechanics after Newton came up with them. Only later was it that Einstein proposed, and it was subsequently shown to be more accurate, that Newton's version was only an approximation that works until you start to get close to the speed of light. We have no way of knowing if God's law about the speed of light allows it to be different during a creation event, however physicists looking at the sudden creation of matter as a Big Bang event seems to require the laws of physics to function very differently when physical matter is being created as opposed to how we observe them the rest of the time. So even atheistic scientists would not be able to support your argument.

How did God get light from vastly distant stars here in time for us to see them ??? I guess we will have to ask him sometime. The laws of physics cannot be derived by man, but are only the result of repeated observation of the same thing happening when the same actions are taken. But the human formulation of those laws is only as good as the insight and observation skills of humans. Which is to say, "less than perfect".
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