Friday, July 3, 2009

Fully gifted creation

One of the hot button topics these days, at least in terms of Christianity and science, is evolution. Most of the time, the debate/discussion is artificially polarized/caricatured into two camps: creationism and evolution. If you're a Christian, you believe in creation, and if you're smart, you believe in evolution. (Whatever "believe in evolution" means.)

Some refuse to be part of that partisianship. Prominent scientists like Ken Miller and Francis Collins (both authors as well) ascribe to a view commonly called "theistic evolution", which loosely means they affirm both God's existence (both would accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior), yet also naturalistic evolution. That is, both would deny that God had a hand in creating any of the life by fiat miracle, as many creationists would state.

Howard van Till calls this point of view "fully gifted creation", in that God, when He created the universe, did it in such a perfect way, with the just-right initial conditions, such that everything would unfold according to His plan.

What is interesting about this point of view is that it isn't just a concession to mainstream science, as some creationists claim, but indeed it demonstrates the existence of an Intelligent Designer. If the universe unfolding this way is according to God's plan, then life's history on earth does have a purpose, even if it can be fully explained by "mere" naturalistic forces. In other words, even in a theistic evoltionary worldview, we would expect to see design and fine-tuning in life's history. It is an inevitable consequence of believing in a God "who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Eph 1:11)."

I'd really like to hear someone's (anyone's?) thoughts on this topic.