Reading Nature and Reading Scripture By Daniel Harrell (guest author) at BioLogos

[Note: I wearied at my former church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley of senior pastor Cliff McManis, with his two fake diploma mill advanced “degrees” including a “Ph.D.” that the U.S. Department of Education says is a fake and not from a bona fide, accredited, university that takes eight years of hard work to earn, telling us that the earth is 6,000 years old. My grandmother, a graduate of U.C. Berkeley in the 1920’s with a degree in science, the first woman dean of a California public college, was a Prebyterian who worked in science. She and her friends, including Nobel Prize-winning researchers, were Christians and scientists and knew the earth was old. Very old. GBFSV is anti-science and anti-real-education.]

©Daniel Harrell/BioLogos

“I recently led a seminar on faith and science at a large Christian music festival (of all places) in rural Illinois. While the reception was gracious (befitting Midwestern hospitality), there were those for whom any allowance of evolutionary thinking amounted to theological heresy of the highest order. One pugilistic gentleman bulldogged me all week, insisting that geologists and biologists were misguided and mistaken. And yet as I listened to his harangue, it struck me that the real issue was not that humans and monkeys are close cousins, or that the will of God looks willy-nilly when it comes to genetic mutation, or that organic life requires an enormous amount of death and decay to occur. No, his real concern was Biblical authority. If the world was not created by God in six days (like the Bible says) and people were not made in God’s image (like the Bible says) according to divine purpose (like the Bible says), then why should he believe that Jesus rose from the dead for his sins (like the Bible says)? If evolution is right, then the Bible is wrong about everything.

But what if, instead of the Bible, it is our reading of the Bible that is incorrect? What if the realities of nature mean we need to rethink the way we understand Scripture? Now I know that just because a particular theory makes sense of the way something could have happened doesn’t necessarily mean that it actually happened that way. But if evolution provides an accurate description of life on earth, how might we rethink what the Bible says? To rethink what we think about the Bible is not to rewrite Scripture, nor is it to capitulate to Christianity’s detractors. Instead, rethinking and reworking our theology in light of accurate scientific data results in a more dependable and resilient theology. To be a serious Christian is to seek truth and find it as revealed by God both in Scripture and in nature. If God is the maker of heaven and earth, as we believe, then the heavens and earth, as science describes them, have something to say about God. Natural selection need not imply godless selection. To be reliable witnesses of creation can’t help but make us more reliable witnesses to the Creator. – See more at: