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Why should Christians consider evolutionary creation?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…” Luke 10:27

Evolution is a challenging subject to consider in light of biblical faith, so it is often easier to ignore or reject it than to engage in meaningful discussion about the topic. Yet considering evolutionary creation has important benefits for Christians both in our relationship with the Creator, and in our relationships with other people—both believers and non-believers.

First, Christians should study evolution because, like all the natural sciences, it is the study of God’s creation. Creation itself is a complementary revelation to what God has communicated through Scripture, and through the created order God shows how and when he brought about the life we see today—to his honor and glory. The regular patterns in nature that we call natural laws have their foundation in the regular, faithful governance of God. Thus we believe that God created every species and did it in such a way that we can describe the creation process scientifically. The scientific model of evolution does not replace God as creator any more than the law of gravity replaces God as ruler of the planets.

Second, considering evolutionary creation aids the church in its gospel mission, including discipling young Christians in their faith. An anti-evolution attitude can harm Christian young people by presenting them with a false choice between pursuing science or holding to faith. One recent survey showed that a key factor in the evangelical church’s loss of credibility among young people is its assertion of anti-evolutionary creation models that contradict virtually all of the evidence we find in nature. Similarly, a hostile attitude towards evolution can hinder evangelism if seekers hear that they must reject evolutionary science before they can follow Christ. On the other hand, studying evolution as a God-ordained process helps Christians refute the argument that science leads to an atheistic worldview. By showing that the science of evolution is a description of God’s processes and not a worldview in and of itself, Christians can expose atheism as secular philosophy and not part of science.

Because today’s culture is saturated with science and technology—from the latest communication gadgets to new biomedical advances to discoveries of fundamental particles—engaging culture means engaging science. Since evolutionary science is integral to modern biology, the church must grapple with the evidence and implications of evolution in order to be an effective witness in the public square. Informed Christian voices are critical for leading bioethical discussions on issues such as stem cells and the use of DNA information in caring for the unborn, the aged, and the disabled. Today, evangelical Christians can show that we love God’s work in the created order by taking up full participation in cutting-edge research and advocating for science as a tool to protect rather than prey upon the helpless.

Science is a way of loving God with our minds. When we seek to understand the created order through science we bear witness to the Creator and glorify him through our work.

Learn More about how science complements Scripture:

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Blog article: "Come and See": A Christ-centered Invitation for Science

By Mark Noll
Classical Christian orthodoxy as expressed in the Creeds begins at the beginning: nature owes its existence to and is sustained by Jesus Christ. One implication is that the best way of finding out about nature is to look at nature.
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Blog article: Science and the Bible: Concordism, Part 1

By Ted Davis
God has written two “books” for our instruction, the book of nature and the book of scripture. Since God is the author of both “books,” they must agree when properly interpreted.

Read stories of young Christians who have struggled with evolution:

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Blog article: Saving Anthony

By Darrel Falk
Anthony had little room for mystery in his theology. Everything had to be nailed down tightly and he built his life around being-in-the-know about everything related to God. When he found that his tight theology didn't mesh with the facts, he thought he had no choice but to give it all up.
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Blog article: Confessions of a Failed Young-Earth Creationist

By Daniel Stork Banks
I became such an expert in young-earth creationist theology and science that it turned into a wrecking ball for my faith.
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Blog article: The Evolution of a Southern Baptist

By Jacob Crumb
Recent high-school graduate Jacob shares about his journey from young-earth creationism to evolutionary creationism, and how his faith was challenged and strengthened along the way.

Read about Christian scientists who are evolutionary creationists:

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Blog series: Seeing God in Everyday Work

By Deborah Haarsma
Bethel was where I learned that the science that I loved could be a Christian calling. Before that I had a vague notion that truly serving God meant being a pastor or missionary. Here I learned that in every profession you can love God with heart and soul and mind and strength, studying God’s world with your mind and caring for it with your hands.
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Blog article: Katharine Hayhoe: Evangelical Christian, Climate Scientist

By Katharine Hayhoe
As an Evangelical and a scientist, Katharine Hayhoe is already a member of a rare breed. As a climate change researcher who is also married to an evangelical Christian pastor, she is nearly one of a kind.
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Blog series: Genes, Cells, and the Changing Face of Technology

By Doug Lauffenburger and Emily Ruppel
BioLogos interim web editor Emily Ruppel recently traveled to Boston for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference, where she took an afternoon off from lecture-going to catch up with Doug Lauffenburger, head of the biological engineering department at MIT and a member of the American Scientific Affiliation.
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Blog article: Meet Jimmy Lin, “Medical and Scientific Doxologist”

By Jimmy Lin and Emily Ruppel
In our current culture, we’re defined by our jobs. It’s having a vocation. I wanted to shift away from that. I didn’t want to be a doctor first and foremost, or a scientist, but one who praises God.

Further Reading

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Blog article: Raising Children to Pursue Truth

By Joel Hunter
In this video Conversation, Joel Hunter articulates the importance of raising a child that can garner knowledge from a variety of sources and to be able to study science with integrity—that is, to be able to pursue the truth to where it leads.
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Blog article: What is Scientism?

By Thomas Burnett
Scientism is a rather strange word, but for reasons that we shall see, a useful one. Though this term has been coined rather recently, it is associated with many other “isms” with long and turbulent histories: materialism, naturalism, reductionism, empiricism, and positivism.