I came across an article in the NY Times titled Seeing Darwin through Christians Eyes, in which a Christian politician proposed naming February 12 (Charles Darwin’s birthday) as “Darwin Day” as a measure to “recognize the importance of science.” Many Christians believe that evolution is a credible theory.
Note that the Theory of Evolution is still only a theory. There are major gaps in the fossil record that science cannot explain. There are also evolutionary leaps like the Cambrian Explosion that disprove the gradual change that Darwin theorized. There is also the issue of Irreducible Complexity that would seem to be an evolutionary leap within the organism. Lee Strobel explains irreducible complexity better than I can (The Case for a Creator). Basically, irreducible complexity shows that there are some complex organs that seemed to come from nothing, for example the flagellum, a whip-like organ that works like a propeller. There is no pre-flagellar organ.
Note also that at the end of his life, Charles Darwin recanted his own theory of evolution—something that is still hotly debated. Whether he did or not, there are still such enormous gaps in the fossil record that even 154 years after the publication of Origin of the Species it remains only a theory.
Lots of Christians believe in evolution: 58% of Catholics, 54% of Orthodox, 51% of mainline Protestants, and 24% of Evangelical Christians. So why do so many Christians believe in evolution?
I have a theory of my own. My theory is that a lot of Christians believe that God needs their help. They don’t really believe in an omnipotent God. I’ll give you a couple of very common examples:
- How do you picture Samson (Judges 13-16)? Most people immediately picture in their minds someone who looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger: big and muscular, right? Wrong! Why would the Philistines want to know the secret of his great strength? If the secret of his strength was his big muscles, they wouldn’t have to ask. After all, nobody asked what made Goliath strong. Samson’s strength was supernatural and had nothing whatsoever to do with the size of his muscles. Most likely, Samson was a proverbial 98 pound weakling (at least in appearance).
- Most people think that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. But the Bible says “a great fish,” (Jonah 1:17). I checked and the word whale is not found in the Bible. Although whales have been spotted off the coast of Israel, it is very rare that they enter the Mediterranean Sea. There was a whale sited off the coast of Israel on May 12, 2010 (Whale Sighted off Israel). There is also the strange case of James Bartley, who was swallowed by a whale and survived. It is said that he was in the whale’s belly for 15 hours, and the experience bleached his skin and left him blind. If you can believe that God provided a whale at that precise time and place to swallow Jonah (thus allowing him to breathe, being a mammal) and protected his body from the whale’s corrosive stomach acids. How much more of a leap is it to believe that it was a literal fish?
Many people, even Christians, treat these Bible accounts as myths, stories to tell children. Here’s the thing: do you believe in a God that is able to make a man supernaturally strong without big muscles? Or preserve Jonah’s life (and skin and eyesight) for 3 days inside a fish? Or create the whole universe simply by speaking it into existence in just six 24-hour days?
Only you can answer for yourself, but my answer to all 3 questions is yes. I don’t have to know exactly how He did it to believe that He can do it.
If your prayers are not being answered, could it be because you don’t believe in a God that is able to help you? Jesus didn’t do many miracles in His hometown because of the people’s lack of faith (Matthew 13:58). Maybe you’ve been overexposed to lukewarm Christianity—a Christianity that teaches a big, muscular Samson and a whale that swallowed Jonah and evolutionary creation. If your idea of God is too small, ask for wisdom. James 1:5 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Wisdom is what you need to believe in a truly omnipotent God. And all you’ve got to do is ask for it. God is good!