Faith Pointing to Science

PASTCFIn light of these discoveries, today with confidence we can affirm:

That God has been calling this universe into being for at least 13.8 billion years and continues calling upon the Creation to bring forth new creatures;

I love the Reformed Theology here; we are being “called.” This is not mere science we are talking about.

That God’s creative call has resulted in virtually countless stars and planetary systems, and new stars and planetary systems are continuing to be created;

That, in response to God’s creative call, the Earth took form at least 4.6 billion years ago;

That, in response to God’s call, living creatures emerged on the Earth at least 3.6 billion years ago;

These folks are getting specific yes? This group of Presbyterians are faithful and technologically savvy. They are sending to our summer General Assembly this overture for vote.  Denver Presbytery, one of 172 Presbyteries in our denomination, recently voted (with our Genesis delegates’ help) for Affirming Creation and to send it up the chain for national consideration.

That God has connected all life on Earth in a network of kinship by virtue of descent with modification from common ancestors;

That, in response to God’s call, we Homo sapiens emerged as a species over more than 6 million years of hominin development;

Now we are way into evolution without having to use the scientific word that provokes such reactivity. But make no mistake: this overture would put us at odds with a lot of Christians in our country.

That, since our line of descent split from the line that resulted in our contemporaries, the chimpanzees and bonobos, we Homo sapiens were preceded by at least eighteen already identified hominin species, all of which are now extinct;*

That, in the providence of God, we Homo sapiens have come to exercise extraordinary power over other creatures and their habitats, the Earth’s geological structures, and the meteorological systems of the Earth;

Here comes the application part! To affirm the previous is to inherit a political as well as theological obligation.

That, by virtue of the powers of intellect and creativity called forth in us by God, we bear exceptional responsibility for the future of the Earth and all its constitutive creatures.

***

I am often proud of our Presbyterian denomination. My own congregation of Genesis has “pro-science” as one of our core values, so the overture might strike some of us as just common sense! But it will make the news as being controversial. And rightly so. It’s great to belong to a tradition where growing and changing is expected.

 

You can find the full document at the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith at  http://www.pastcf.org/

 

 

5 thoughts on “Faith Pointing to Science

  1. All good and heartening as far as it goes, but I do wonder about the sheer awfulness of suffering our hominin-leading-to-Homo sapien forebears have had to confront as God was paving the way for us, many of whom, in many parts of the world even today, still suffer to quite awful degrees. And also about the fathomless interstellar spaces of the universe, vast beyond comprehension with dark empty matter, surrounding our own little speck of dust here. If relationality with us creatures was mostly the point of all that for a loving creative God, his/her universe-creation exercise would seem to reflect vast overkill and woeful inefficiency, rather like the construction of a 68-bedroom, 97-bathroom, unfurnished mansion, complete with three pools, for a childless retired couple who can’t swim.

    Your friend,
    Doubting Andrew

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    • no argument here Andrew; the “all-roads-lead-to-us” path is problematic for sure. I’m just hoping that at least acknowledging something more true than utterly self-serving theology might be a way to help some of the suffering you so eloquently refer to.

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  2. I don’t see a conflict between the overture and Gen. 1:1. The author of the latter wisely didn’t specify a date.

    This is a view from the back row, but I’m a little nervous about having General Assembly (or anyone else) defining an orthodox position on how we got here.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, Don.

    Ken

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    • Ken, I assume this is more stating basics than detailing a party line. This science is decades old and hopefully can at least put us on a page where science is acknowledged in addition to faithful foundation stories.

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