I recently had lunch with a friend from high school who grew up Catholic. He told me about how he’s seen his faith and views evolve over the years and how he feels the Catholic Church has made some progress.
One of the issues he’s come to change his mind about is that he now believes in evolution. From what I gathered, he believes in the basic points of Darwinism as far as how man and animals have come to be and where they are now. He said that he still fully believes in a Creator God, but he also thinks evolution makes sense scientifically.
I personally believe that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman that God created and they were created like we look today, but I also believe that certain principles of evolution exists and that species have evolved. Even if I may disagree with my friend on some aspects, I still admire his courage in choosing to believe in two views that have traditionally been so opposing towards each other.
I’m not here to argue for or against the theory of evolution. (You can listen to much smarter men talk about that kind of stuff here.) I just think it’s funny how super-right-winged, Christian culture has traditionally had its defenses up against science, when really I don’t think that the Bible has to be on the complete opposite side of the spectrum from science—like you have to either believe in science or believe in God. If you’re asking me, I say that God created science.
I feel like there is a perception in the Christian community that we are the smartest people around. If you’ve talked to me for more than 20 minutes, you’ve probably realized that I am not someone who pulls the class grade point average up anymore. (I used to. I think I peaked academically in 7th grade.) I don’t try to talk much science with people that know science because they’ll talk circles around me in scientific facts. I think that the reason most atheists are atheists is because they’ve put so much intelligent thought into their logic and reasoning. And the existence of a God doesn’t make scientific sense. And I get that.
I don’t believe in everything that science has called a fact because the fact is: science has been disproving itself for ages. (Like are we supposed to be drinking milk now or what? It’s yes then it’s no then it’s yes. Just pick one and go with it.) There are scientific views that don’t conflict with the Bible that some conservatives still stand their ground against. Like the earth being 6,000 years old. (Personally my view is “Who cares?” But that’s me.) I think when Christians choose their battles poorly and stand in defiance over petty, irrelevant issues then we just make ourselves look silly.
John Lennox, a brilliant mathematician and philosopher of science said, “As both a scientist and a Christian, I would say that [Stephen] Hawking’s claim is misguided. He asks us to choose between God and the laws of physics, as if they were necessarily in mutual conflict… For me, as a Christian believer, the beauty of the scientific laws only reinforces my faith in an intelligent, divine creative force at work.”
I love that.
I have friends who are atheists that I love talking to. I don’t think I’m smarter than they are just because they can’t grasp the concept of a God. I’ve accepted that God is bigger than logic and reasoning, and that’s why I put my faith in Him. But I don’t think my atheist friends are talking to me because they want me to prove them wrong. They already know what they believe. Could it be they are talking to me because they want community with me? And if that’s true, then they are more Christian than they think they are. Because that community junk is biblical.
I used to think our job as Christians was to prove everyone wrong who disagreed with us. And that if I had friends who didn’t come to Jesus, then I had failed.
That is just wrong thinking. Bad theology. Ignorant.
The book of Acts tell us that even the Apostle Paul didn’t see everyone he preached to join him in his faith. I think the writer Luke put that there for a reason.
He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.
It’s not my job to out-talk someone. My job is to love and to listen. And to learn. Atheists don’t need to hear Christians’ minds. They need to hear their hearts. We have power when we open our mouths, and we have power when we shut them.