Saturday, May 4, 2013

Reading Darwinism though the Bible's lens

As a follower of Christ, I draw certain conclusions about reality from my understanding of the Bible.  One conclusion that is simple to me, is the origin of the universe.  I see the handiwork of a Creator in the Big Bang.  Even though I disagree with Darwin's idea on evolution and I disagree with his disciples's view of the origins of all physical-matter, I am deeply enriched by reading widely from authors who are Darwinists.  I find many benefits of reading widely, even from reading people who hold the complete opposite views on natural/supernatural realities.  

One of the best books on understanding people I have ever read was "The Social Animal" by David Brooks.  I couldn't put the book down.  It was based on research about how our brains and our emotions control us. It was written not as a textbook with quoting dry data, but written as a narrative, I'd even say in the form of a parable, on the lives of two people from pre-birth to death.  I literally was so moved by the book, I cried as I read the ending!  The book as as "Pro" Darwin as you can get, and I loved it!

Another great author, who embraces Darwin and who has blessed me is Daniel Pink.  I could go on listing several, phenomenally talented authors, who write about important ideas but hold contradictory belief systems.  My point is, I have read several books written from an anti-theological/militant-Darwinist perspective and I have grown personally from these works.  My faith wasn't shipwrecked.  I guess the old saying about reading books is like eating fish, has some truth to it.

Some of you might think this is risky to one's faith, reading books from an evolutionist's perspective.  I guess that might be true for some who have a fragile faith to start with; for me it has strengthened my faith.  I've read on all kinds of subjects from the inner workings of the human brain to multidimensional universes, to physics and math, to leadership and emotional intelligence -- and all written from people who believe when we die we cease to exist.  These authors no more believe in God than I do a "man on the moon."  And, I've grown so much from their writing, it pains me to think where I'd be if I refused to read their books because their core ideas clashed with my faith system.  

For me, the benefits of reading authors who strongly embrace evolution and reject the supernatural,  include becoming more articulate in important conversational realms.  It has also contributed to the formation and personal ownership of my Christian faith.  No doubt, I have grown intellectually too along the way here.  I want to add, you can't say you don't believe "Darwin" if never read him, or, you reject modern scientific conclusions, if you don't really know what they are.  That type of an anti-intellectual approach is embarrassing, and has done more harm to the Christian faith.

Final thought: Throughout history, both science and the church have gotten it wrong, plenty of times. We must admit we are all on a growing curve.  Plus, theories on science are transient; who knows what the next 200 years will reveal.  A worthwhile question to mull over as you compare and contrast your beliefs is: Which system can offer a why?  In other words, science can offer a "what" when it comes to investigating physical realities, but it will never be able to offer a "Why" as to reason there is in existence the very cosmos it is investigating.  Humanity can live any "what" but it is driven by the "why"


David Russell Mosley said...


You should read Darwin's Pious Idea by Conor Cunningham. Cunningham shows that true Darwinian evolution is not only not anti-Christian, but fits well within the tradition of the Church. I did a post on it at my blog here: Sorry for the shameless self-promotion, but I think you're right that we need to be reading things that stretch us.


Craig Cottongim said...

I will read your post, thanks for sharing it and thanks for your feedback!

David Russell Mosley said...


Thanks for your post!