Friday, 25 December 2015

Why Biologos and similar organisations matter in helping people understand faith in the light of science

I make no secret of my admiration for the Biologos Foundation given its incalculable value in providing Christians with informed, reliable information from respected scholars in both Biblical studies and the life, earth, and physical sciences. Given how YEC is often a stepping stone to unbelief for Christians who unfortunately buy into the false dilemma of evolution OR faith, and lose the latter when they read outside the fundamentalist bubble and recognise the truth of the former, organisations such as Biologos are of vital importance in helping show that evolution is simply the mechanism by which God creates. By doing this, they defuse the destructive "evolution or creation" argument, and reframe the argument into evolution and creation.

Biologos president Deborah Haarsma's recent post reviewing how Biologos fared in 2015 shows how evolutionary creationism is becoming part of the Christian discussion on science-faith. Its impact is seen by the fact that as Haarsma notes, "BioLogos is now the top hit on Google for phrases like “fossil record”, “what is evolution”, “death before the fall”, and “2nd law of thermodynamics and evolution”." Given that such subjects are both fiercely discussed by Christians, and poorly served by YEC arguments, this is welcome news indeed.

Also reassuring are the positive feedback and stories from Christians who have found Biologos invaluable in their struggle to understand Christianity in the light of the facts of an ancient Earth and evolution. As I have pointed out many times, too often the intellectually honest YEC becomes an atheist when they recognise that the evidence for evolution is beyond dispute, so seeing evidence that such troubled believers are not always following that well-trodden path is extremely rewarding, something to which I can personally attest as a result of feedback I receive from readers of this site thanking me for helping them maintain faith in the light of evolution.

I can but pray that 2016 will see the regrettably vicious anti-evolution rhetoric in our community subside, and an informed, Christ-like attitude towards discussion - such as that seen by organisations such as BioLogos and the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion become the norm in our community. We simply cannot afford the current mood of poorly-informed rhetoric and hostility to continue in our community, if we want it to survive as a credible, informed community.