I’ve been trying to get beyond the public Christian discussion about creation to what the Bible really says. Quite frankly, I think most of that debate consciously or unconsciously tries to divert us from central biblical teachings. We attack the natural sciences for their take on what happened long ago, so we can continue living as pagans now.
The debate attempts to make room for resurrection in evolution or divine intervention in weather or miraculous cures in medical science. That is all well and good, but about as helpful as replying to the question “Who are you?” with a list of chemical ingredients or humanity’s place in the evolutionary process. A relevant Christian response is “That’s nice, but so what?”
We want to know what you believe and what you are going to do. We want to know about your social relationships- where you live, who your family is, what your politics are, how you plan to treat us.
Perhaps science operates somewhat deterministically, but certainly society does not. Faith speaks to that social level where we live and breath, make and break, give birth and kill. Obviously there is freedom, singularity, and all kinds of possibilities there. On that level there are constant resurrections, miracles, and interventions. I have the freedom to change at every moment. I can decide to continue loving you or breaking off any contact. I can decide to help you or reject your request. I can decide to reach out to them or blow them off the map.
When the Old Testament proclaims God creates by uttering words it makes this point. We are engaged in a conversation with God which recognizes freedom on both sides. It is a conversation on which our lives depends. It is much more about the future than the past. I hear the Word of God and change my mind and my actions.
When the New Testament proclaims Jesus is God’s Word, it claims his kind of love makes the world go round. Love gives life to the world. You say, “God loves you” and my whole outlook changes. You say “I love you”, and I am never the same again. You say love is the moral standard for business and government, and I am challenged to be creative from here on out. Faith is not a rational decision we make after weighing facts. It is an uncontrollable response to God’s Word from which we can not free ourselves.
To say love makes the world go round is not very helpful in science class, but it gives meaning to our lives with one another. It guides how we use scientific information in building a better or worse world.
When we eliminate politics and religion from our conversations, we are left with small talk. Those in power love it, because we are diverted from what really matters. To pretend that creationism and intelligent design are fundamental biblical positions is also to focus on the trivial rather the essential. It diverts everyone from the living Word, so we can continue living as pagans in our businesses, politics, and social lives.