Evolution and missing out on the fullness of scripture

@thoughtful I was hoping you’d be willing to flush out this comment in some more detail. What in scripture do you believe Christian’s who accept “evolutionary origins” are missing out on?

I ask this as someone who has shifted from believing a theology required a YEC viewpoint to accepting “evolutionary origins” relatively recently. One of my fears in fully exploring the possibility that I was incorrect about YEC, was that it if turned out that I no longer accepted YEC was the right view, I would be forced at the same time to give up what I considered to be correct and even necessary theology that is often tied to a YEC interpretation, with the ultimate concern being that it would lead to a loss of faith on my part.

As it has turned out, the opposite has occurred. My faith has been strengthened, and I find a new richness in scripture.

But I ask, not to convince you that I’m correct, but to honestly seek to understand what you think I (or others like me have lost).

And if I could make a request to any or all who get involved in this conversation, let’s stay away from the question of whether or not evolution or YEC is the correct view, we have enough topic’s on that already.

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I’m not a bibical scholar to describe all the ways we can read scripture, but I see many possibilities:

Christological, literal or allegorical, historical, scientific, cultural context, poetic, metaphorical, allegorical, and probably many more.

Psalm 104 is perhaps a good example. If you accept evolutionary origins, you are pretty much forced into a belief (unless someone can show me otherwise) that the flood was a literal, but local event (I suppose someone could think it was not literal either, but that’s an extremely low view of scripture IMO)

But if you view the flood as global, you get to pick out all the historical, scientific, and cultural details in this Psalm that I think you’d have to ignore with other interpretations:

But I do agree that for many with a YEC their focus has been on defending Genesis 1 as a literal, historical, and scientific text, and sometimes that means missing out on other layers of meaning, perhaps poetic, and metaphorical. So I can see that you’d find your faith to be strengthened when you came to appreciate the texts in other ways. Mostly I’d love the scientific, historical fight to be behind us, so we could be reading it all of these ways together :slight_smile:

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Why do you see it that way?

That Jesus is the Savior and Messiah for all who believe, not just the Jews.

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I always took it as non literal. And that was back before I had even heard of evolution. I don’t see that as a low view of scripture. With just a plain reading of Genesis, the flood story reads as having the genre of a fable.

Are you asking for Scriptural reasons why Christians should not be evolutionists? If yes, I can start a list for you.

You are not a Christian, but grew up with the story? Sorry I cannot keep everyone straight here.

If the flood isn’t literal in some form, most of the Bible will seem like a fable. There’s no reason it’s more of a miracle or more of a fable than David and Goliath, Jonah and the whale, Daniel in the lion’s den, etc. The Bible is chock full of supernatural, fantastical stories. But we humans sure seem to like those kinds of stories anyway - there’s something in us that resonates with it. :slightly_smiling_face: It was obvious to me once I began researching legends on giants.

I was a Christian at that time.

Not really. But some of it is. I never took the story of Jonah as literal. I suspected that the book of Job was a morality play rather than an actual report.

Psalms are “literally” sacred songs and poetry, and in that sense are not meant to be taken literally. I mentioned in another post that I read “waters above the mountains” in reference to clouds, and the psalm in general addressing the constant regeneration of nature, not creation…nor a flood.

And I can start a list of why his list would be a very limited Christian view.

Evolution and Christianity are not at odds. Creationism is not Christianity, though a portion of Christians are the ones that press it. Evolution and Creationism are at odds for sure, but Christianity does not require one to hold on to creationism in any scriptural sense other than that God is the Creator of all, including the process of evolution.

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Less than you may think if you do not include the popular version of Evolution.

There is no reason to fight over these issues. It should be obvious that sincere Christians can disagree (which suggests to me they aren’t all that important). If a Christian’s ability to enjoy another Christian is impacted by their few of how God created the world, I’d suggest their Christian priorities are out of line.

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There is every reason to “fight” over these issues. The implications have huge ramifications how we read scripture, view life and death, etc. Should the church not have cared about the doctrine of the Trinity, or the person of Christ? To me, this is not a trivial issue. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy one another’s fellowship, but it does mean we should work towards truth.

Mark put it well:

Your idea of the Christian God seems more like my idea of Zeus.

Are you saying that this only applies to Jews? That’s there’s no lesson in this for you, today?

Is this “your” referring to me? Please show from the Bible and Greek mythology how my idea of God (whatever you think that may be) is more like Zeus than like the Bible.

No, and no. All of scripture is profitable for reproof and correction.

It is. You are misrepresenting what I wrote. I will not respond to your blatant straw-man fallacy.

So why didn’t you answer my question?

What lesson is there for YOU?

I would disagree. I think how we read scripture may impact on what we believe about how God could have created the world. But our view on the science of evolution should not change how we read scripture.

I guess we have to each decide what are core truths for our faith, and what are secondary issues. I would view how God created the world as a secondary issue that has minimal impact on my faith.

I think your comments point to something however. I do thing how we read and interpret scripture will impact on whether we accept evolution. Our focus therefore as Christian’s should be on discussing and seeking truth in how to understand scripture, and not focus our energy on “fighting” over secondary issues like how God created the world.

I think of the best things a Christian can do is take one of the free online courses on hermeneutics. It really helps you understand how and why you read/interpret the scriptures the way you do, and if that is an appropriate way to interpret that particular passage.

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My church teaches YEC. I’ve discussed the issue with multiple elders there. One thing we all agreed on was that my acceptance of old earth and evolution was not a reason to disfellowship (and my church does practice church discipline). You see, in our discussions, we found that we all got the same theological ideas from the text, even though our ideas of how it happened exactly were different. My acceptance of old earth and evolution didn’t affect any major doctrine, nor did it affect our ideas of the work and worship of the church or how to become a Christian or any of that.

So no, a “fight” is not necessary at all. That “fight” is what drives Christians away from the faith. Please, stop fighting.

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But there’s plenty of evidence on the forum that people read Scripture a different way because of their views that evolution is a correct origins theory.

It isn’t about how God created the world - it’s about what norms were instituted at the creation of the world - life, marriage, the image of God and the equality between the sexes, along Eve being created of Adam and them being one flesh as Adam and Adam being part of Adamah as the head and pinnacle of this creation.

See above why it does.

You are entitled to your opinion but that does not mean it is the only one and that does not mean it is right. If you were to come to my church and express your evolutionary views, well, it would be a totally different outcome.

Contrary to your statement about “not fighting”, I am persuaded that original and pure doctrine in the church be fought for. How about the book of Jude where we are supposed to

“earnestly contend for the faith delivered one-time (once and for all) to the saints”?

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I’ll be sure to stay away from your church then. :slight_smile:

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I don’t differ on any of those topics from my YEC brethren at church.