on learning and faith

I recently gave a talk on evolution and creationism. It involved some very challenging research, with some pretty challenging implications.

I was raised in the tradition of literal six-day creationism, but reading about the other ideas of creationism (and evolution) gave me a lot to think about. What did God really do? Did it really happen in six days? Is it really that important? Was it literally like that? If not then how literal are other parts of the Bible? Did God use the imagery in Genesis merely to speak to what we know? What then are the implications for the other imagery of Scripture? What is God?

These questions have probably bugged others who have thought through them. In fact I think questions like these drove some of them completely off-chart. It was striking and sobering to read of fired-up Christians who through exploring philosophy and naturalistic science came to renounce Jesus. What did they think through? Who is to say I am so different from they?

At one point there was a free-fall kind of feeling, dizzying and scary. I felt like a fool for doubting now, after all these years of supposed surety. But while I wrestled with guilt and confusion I was reminded of a truth from outside myself. It felt like someone took my face in his hands, gently saying “It’s me, it’s me.” And as I felt the scarred wrists on my cheeks I knew who it was.

No matter where your learning and exploration takes you (and don’t stop learning or exploring) your anchor will be Jesus Christ, crucified for you but now alive, whose life guarantees irrevocable life for you. The Bible tells you so.

Study and mediate on the Word of God always, that must take precedence and priority over exploring the world. But while exploring don’t be surprised if learning about what’s out there runs smack into what you’ve always assumed. Do we choose to learn or cover our ears for fear that learning will challenge our faith? If Jesus is the Truth I won’t be afraid to learn new things and test what I’ve always known. The Truth can take it. Because it’s the truth.

You might not find satisfying answers for months, years, or even during this lifetime. Some questions may even cause you to stray from Christianity. But when wrestling with questions and implications remember what Jesus did for you, for us, the lengths and depths God went to rescue his people, of whom all of you as Christians are proudly part. When struggling and wrestling and sinking, remember those scarred wrists, remember what they’ve done and what they promise.

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