Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to talk to a woman in charge of running Vacation Bible School for the church she attends. As she recounted the week to me, she excitedly proclaimed that one of the highlights of the week was the teaching of creation, and how it is far superior to evolution. And to be honest this caught me off guard. First of all, out of all the things to teach kids ranging from preschool age to twelve-year-olds, one of the eight teaching topics was proving to the kids that creation trumps evolution. This greatly disturbs me and begs me to ask the question, “Are we teaching our kids to know certain things in order to be a Christian, or are we pointing them on toward becoming reflections of Jesus Christ our Lord here on earth? Sadly, all too often I think the former, not the latter, is the case. When it comes down to knowing Jesus Christ, does it matter if we believe in creation or evolution? Is this just a matter of filling young peoples guns with ammo in order to fend off the world’s sneering glare at Christians for what they believe in? Last time I checked, the apostle Paul called the gospel “foolishness”. As Christians, we DO NOT have to validate our faith in the secular or academic worlds. The gospel is a mystery . . . let’s keep it that way.
After that little side note, let’s get on to evolution. One of the big debates in the creation vs. evolution saga is whether or not it was seven literal days or if it was a figure of speech. Herein, lies the first struggle. In the creation account of Genesis 1, day not only refers to a 24-hour period but also the time of light during those 24 hours. But day can also refer to a period of time. One needs to look no further than the common adage, “Back in the day.” This is not referring to one specific day, but rather an era or a time period. In this sense, ‘day’ and ‘times’ become almost synonymous. The Psalmists often use the phrase “day of trouble” which I believe would we be better suited for a time period rather than 24-hour period (Who ever knew of one losing a family member and not dealing with the grief for more than 24 hours?) Not only does this start throwing up red-flags, but we must also remember what man was formed out of – dust. Doesn’t the Big Bang Theory advocate for gases combusting together with particles and life was formed? Dust and particles sure sound similar to me.
If we believe our God is all-powerful enough and smart enough to speak and there creation was, who is to say that this all-powerful, omniscient God isn’t smart enough to create a process such as evolution to succeed to the point that humans were created? I find that it is very easy to limit God when we say that although God could simply speak and create, God could not brainstorm the idea of evolution.
With all this said, I recognize the two accounts of creation differ (and yes, there are actually two creation accounts in the Bible. Look no further than the first two chapters of Genesis) and cause many problems when looking at it scientifically. But the Bible is not a science book. It is a book about God and his people. Thus, we may never know how God created. Instead of finding more ammunition to support our point of view on this menial topic, why not read the first two chapters with a theological lens, looking more at why God did what he did rather than answering the question how? The Bible doesn’t answer very many ‘how’ questions but it does seem concerned with the ‘why’ questions.