Thoughts on Atheism and Faith: Creation & Creationism

I’m always surprised when an atheist thinks I’m a “creationist” because I’m a Christian. Can’t blame them too much.  Polls say just under half of Americans have creationist views.*  Personally, it’s embarrassing to be lumped in with those spouting ignorant beliefs about science and creation.

To me, it’s just this simple:
Science asks “how,” not “who.”
Faith asks “who” and should leave the “how” to science.

Atheism received a huge boost when Darwin published his Origin of the Species, but so did a lot of Christians as well, who had questions about scripture.  Predictably, some theologians and many in the Church circled the wagons instead of doing a little evolving themselves! (If I had to depend upon organized religion and old ways of thinking for proof of anything, then I’d have become an atheist long ago.)

Oddly enough, I recently learned that Darwin himself moved back towards the idea of God late in life, adding room for a Creator in his sixth and final edition of Origins. Deathbed confession? Guilt? Or synthesis?

The root of the problem is how atheists and the religious “right” read Genesis: as either “fact” or “fiction,” when it’s neither.  What Genesis really is, is this:

Genesis is a song, not a recipe.
It is poetry, not prose.
It is Shakespeare, not reality tv.
It is truth, not history.
It says there is a God, and we are not it.

Reading Genesis as science is as much an affront to God as it is to science.

 

Until Darwin, if you didn’t want to believe in God and super-natural explanations for things, you had to keep your mouth shut. I’m glad those days are gone. I’m glad Darwinism and science have done away with such a SMALL GOD, and small thinking.  

toosmall

One of the first theology books I ever read was titled,  Your God is Too Small, by JB Phillips.  This famous book had a lot of mind-blowing things in it to a younger me, –like the idea that God is not a policeman or a punisher.  But it was the title that stuck with me most. God was too small in Darwin’s day, and is still too small in some people’s minds.

God is bigger than the Bible, and the truth is more amazing that words can describe. And recognizing our “smallness” seems to be one of its original points.

The more astounding and complex our understanding of the universe becomes, –the smaller we become.

Psalm 8 has always been a favorite of mine because it captures that sense of smallness…

You have set your glory above the heavens.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
  the moon and the stars that you have established;
 what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
    mortals that you care for them?

~Neil MacQueen

*I have found that many who hold to “creationist” views are not “Creationist” in the anti-evolution sense. Most are simply intellectually and spiritually lazy, relying on a belief system about their Creator, rather than a relationship with him.

This entry was posted in Atheism & Faith Project. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *