I have just returned home from a small after dinner gathering of Christians at the home of one of the members of the Washington area chapter of the ASA (The American Scientific Affiliation). The guest of honor, was Denis Lamoureux, a well known evolutionary creationist, whose books include “I love Jesus, and I believe in Evolution”, and “Evolutionary Creation”. I have known Denis for a few years, and he is a gifted speaker and teacher. I don’t agree with everything he says. He does not believe in the existence of Adam, and would accept none of the 6 possible interpretations of Adam that Jon so ably presented us with a week ago.
Most of the people at this gathering were church goers, who had never heard of theistic evolution, or the idea that an evangelical Christian could fully accept biological evolution. There was some discussion about Adam as a man, and Imago Dei (which was quite fitting for me, since my article “Evolution and Imago Dei” just came out today in the latest PSCF issue). But what struck me was not the details of whether Biblical texts reflect ancient science or should be followed literally, but the simple fact that no matter what sort of disagreements were present in the room, the basic tenets of the faith were shared by everyone, including those who still don’t see evolution as having anything to do with the emergence of man.
Denis made it quite clear. Imago Dei is a critical concept for all Christians, whether it was conferred on one man or many. It is the characteristic of human beings that defines us as God’s children. Furthermore, we are all sinners, and Christ died for us, and we are redeemed by His sacrifice. I understood, not for the first time, that it doesn’t matter about the details. Its good that there are so many Christian denominations, and that everyone has slightly different ideas even within one church. But we all know that Christ came to redeem us from sin, that He died, and that He overcame death to rise to Heaven. This truth unites us, and all the disagreements we might have over details should not divide us.
We will find out the truth eventually, we are making great strides in that direction. But meanwhile, I think our mission is to spread the word, the new good news that science is not the enemy of faith, that young people exposed to biology and geology need not abandon their Christianity or be forced to choose reason or faith, and give up the other. This mission is a holy one. The atheist followers of scientism on one side, and the fundamentalist deniers of God’s natural wonders on the other, have made common cause to claim we are foolish and in error. Denis made it clear that this is the battle that must be fought for the souls of our youth. Let us keep this in mind as we use this wonderful blog set up by Jon, to discuss, debate and learn. This is God’s work.