Friday, November 10, 2006

how now shall we live?

A couple of days ago I started reading How Now Shall We Live? by Charles Colson, Nancy Pearcey, and Harold Fickett. I actually received this book for Christmas 6 years ago when it came out, but it always looked too long to read. Colson is pushing Christians to see that there is much more to following Christ than personal salvation. Colson is saying that God is in the process of redeeming the entire world and culture and everything. Actually, this sounds very familiar to the point that Brian McLaren likes to make as well. But Colson comes to this without seeing the need to decontruct almost two millenia of theology. The first 150 pages are spent showing how the idea of Darwinian evolution is incompatible with Christianity. Here's Colson's view on the topic (taken from his ministries website):

Many Christians do accept both the Bible and Darwinism. What's wrong with that?

To answer that question, we need to look closely at what Darwin really said. Even in Darwin's own day, many Christians tried to combine his theory with the idea of divine purpose and design. For example, the botanist Asa Gray tried to find a divine plan in natural selection.

But Darwin protested that this was not what he meant at all. If God was behind evolution, he argued, then each variation in living things would be predetermined by His purpose. But in that case, there would be no need for natural selection.

Darwin's motives were ultimately religious.

After all, the whole point of natural selection is to demonstrate how limbs and organs that appear to be designed might actually result from random changes. The theory is that natural selection sifts through those random changes and preserves those that happen to be beneficial.

But if the changes were not random--if God preselected only beneficial changes in the first place--then obviously you would not need any sifting. In Darwin's own words, if God ensured that "the right variations occurred, and no others, natural selection would be superfluous"--unnecessary, redundant.
so far, very good stuff

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