I have set myself a little project this Lent, to explore the territory between creation and evolution. Nothing too demanding you understand! This study has partly been inspired by a recent strand on ASBO Jesus, where one chap says, “I don’t believe for one moment that fossil fuels contribute to global warming” and the other fellow retorts “You’re a Creationist, you don’t, for one moment, believe in fossils!” Ha ha. There ensued an interesting and lively debate. The American young earth creationist put up a lively fight but in the end I think he had his “pants kicked” The notion that the earth is very young, and that the flood narrative can explain all of geology appears to my understanding to be untenable as science.
To this end I have been reading “God After Darwin. A Theology of Evolution” by John F Haught. Its very good, although a bit technical in places for my slightly flabby and under exercised brain. I’m about half way through. I am not, though, going to give a synopsis or book review here and now. Phew I hear you gasp. Instead I just want to pull out a few reflections that might serve to edify our faith in this season of Lent. Here are a few quotes to whet your appetite.
“Indeed the fact of evolution now allows theology to apprehend more palpably than ever that creation is not just an original, but also and ongoing and constant new reality.”
“Evolutionary science has provided theology with a great opportunity to enlarge upon the ancient intuition – expressed so movingly by St. Paul – that the entirety of creation groans for ultimate fulfilment.”
“Evolution in all its wandering, struggling and temporally drawn out self creating, is perfectly consonant with this notion of divine grace, understood as God’s “letting be” of the world.”
“Evolution occurs because God is more interested in adventure, than in preserving the status quo.”
I am not sure I am yet ready to capitulate as much to Neo Darwinism as Haughty, but his reflections reveal a rich opportunity to see God in the dynamic, groaning, unfolding reality in which we move and have our being. I feel my understanding is evolving.