I don’t like confrontations. I’ll drive halfway across town (and trust me: Dallas is a s-p-r-e-a-d out town) if it means avoiding conflict. Arguing politics or religion makes me nervous…in fact, one of the reasons I started this blog was to give me a format in which I could share the good news of Christ — without the risk of argument and without a bunch of questions that I don’t know how to answer and that might make me doubt my own faith.
If God is good, why does he allow such evil to be in the world? How can a person literally be born from a virgin? Why does the church hype on homosexual behavior and abortion but turn a blind eye to orphans and divorces? If perfect love drives out fear, why do I still feel such anxiety?
So here I am, living in my small world, interacting with people who mostly look just like me and believe as I do. My heart and my prayers have been asking God to show me how to abide in His love and grace and share his love with others outside my little bubble.
Why am I always taken by surprise when He begins answering my prayers?
It started when he expanded my bubble to include a speech and debate club for my daughter. Being a debate mom has changed my DNA. Well, probably not literally, but it has made me realize that arguments and questions aren’t anything to fear. At least, not much! The first time I watched my daughter debate, I became flustered when her opponent trashed her arguments in the rebuttals. How dare that girl speak about my child’s ideas in such a way! I laugh now to think of my indignation because that indignation was born out of ignorance. I didn’t know how debates worked and couldn’t see the structure within them. Now I know that my daughter’s opponent was only doing what she was supposed to do, and I love debate so much that I look forward to judging tournaments!
In a similar way, I get flustered and emotional when I am questioned about my faith. I really don’t have all the answers. In fact, the older I get, the more I realize how much I really don’t know. This hit home for me last week when I watched the Bill Nye/Ken Hamm “debate.” Neither side of the debate actually followed a debate format, but in terms of evidence presented, if I had been judging, I would have handed the win to Nye. The debate, rather than being creation vs evolution in general, became a debate about Ken Hamm’s model of creation vs evolution. I became frustrated when Ken began using the Bible as evidence for his position. This tactic allowed Bill to begin attacking the Bible, and Ken ended up scrambling to try to refute Bill rather than continuing to present real evidence on intelligent design. I think that many people who watched the debate were skeptics, and I am afraid that those who watched it came away with the FALSE idea that Christians are unintelligent dolts (sadly, Twitter agreed with me).
The night after the debate, my husband and I had dinner with some speech and debate parents who shared my view of the content. It was in our discussions that I first learned of Christian apologist William Lane Craig. The parents suggested that I find his debates on youtube and to look into his organization called Reasonable Faith.
Dr. Craig’s desire to is to help people like me learn the logic and reason behind the Christian faith so they can engage in clear-headed argumentation gently and with love. He’s a research professor of philosophy and an excellent debater, as seen here, on the evidence that mathematics proves the existence of God:
So I’ve been watching some debates and reading Dr. Craig’s book, On Guard, in the hopes that I will collect some scientific and logical evidence to back up my faith. I feel compelled to tell skeptics that Ken Hamm’s narrow view of creation is not my own.
So if you are a skeptic who watched last week’s debate and are reading this blog, I ask you to consider this:
Yes, the Bible says in Genesis that God created the heavens and the earth in six days. But does that mean six literal days?
The word used for day is yawm, and it does mean day as we know it, but it also means (according to Strong’s concordance) time, year, lifetime, and period of time.
Now take a look at the words used at the end of the creation story, in Genesis 2:4:
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
That word for generations is towlĕdah, and it means generations, genealogy, course of history, proceedings, and begetting or account of heaven. Also intriguing is the fact that the word “day” is used again in verse 4, and it is not plural, as in six days, but day, as in period of time.
This evidence is why I disagree with the “young earth” creationists and Ken Hamm. (If this is you, please know that I respect your interpretation of the Bible and hope we can agree to disagree without sacrificing either of our salvations. Ok?) Instead, I see that it is entirely possible that the “light” that God made in the beginning could have been in fact, a bang. A great, Big Bang would certainly have produced much light!
To me, there is no giant controversy or division between faith in God and science. Science is just the way we humans try to ascertain the HOW behind the DEEDS of our Almighty God, creator-in-chief. I’ll take a side of science with my faith, please.
2 thoughts on “I’ll take some science with my faith, please”
My two cents: Strict Biblical literalism was a MAJOR factor in my spiritual collapse. I was raised that way and had it strongly reenforced as an adult…and now I am an agnostic because of it. Denying the truth only led to me losing all sight of what was true and what is a lie, and ultimately I stopped being able to trust that anything at all was true. If you allow yourself that room to reconcile your faith with your gut, I truly believe it is a good thing. Go with that.The rigid, stubborn, unbending form of Christianity that pervades America these days is doing MUCH more harm than good, in my humble opinion. I could go on and on, but I won’t.
Also, I highly recommend the book Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans.
I can relate to Missy in some sense, though my story and hers are very different.
As a teenager in a casual Catholic and non-oppressive, somewhat doctrinally liberal home, I experienced Jesus in a manner that was both profound and inspiring. I wanted to know more about God and devote my life to that one aim. At college, however, I ran into two very oppressive forces. The first was a very strange church that claimed they had the truth and also claimed they were the one true church. I was young and impressionable and my experience with that church was horrible. On the other side was the secular campus, with great animosity toward religious faith — asking questions that I too had no answers for. Though the form of Christianity before me was undesirable and I was without answers, I knew in my gut my experience was genuine, and so I prayed for guidance. Short version is that God not only led me to a series of very good churches throughout my life but also, much later, began answering the questions I had — I began a quest and that quest led me to people like William Lane Craig, of whom I am a big fan.
Thanks for sharing your story.