Coffee, Creation, and Theistic Evolution
This may shock some of you, but I love coffee. Hot, iced, espresso, dark roast, light roast – it doesn’t matter. It’s delicious. In case you don’t believe me, here are just a few of the brewers that I have in my kitchen:
- Black & Decker Drip Pot
- Moka Pot
- Melitta Pourover
- Kalita Wave Pourover
- French Press
- Filtron Cold Brewer
Each of these methods makes a slightly different type of cup – some produce a more full-bodied cup, some bring out the sweetness of the coffee, some are just quick and easy to use. On any given morning (or afternoon…), I’ll use whichever one best fits my needs at that time.
If you were to ask me which one is the best way to make coffee, I’d have a hard time answering. Certainly they each have their strengths and weaknesses (and everyone has their personal preferences), but I can make a great cup with any of them. All else being equal, the distinguishing factor between a great cup of coffee and a poor one is usually not the method of brewing – it’s the skill of the person brewing it.
Young Earth Creationism vs. Theistic Evolution
One of the big sticking points in evangelicalism these days is the debate between young earth creationism and theistic evolution.
Young earth creationists say that the Genesis account of creation should be read as historical fact. They maintain that God created the light and separated it from the darkness, and that was Day 1, the first 24-hour period in history. The next day, God spoke and separated the water from the sky. The third day, he created dry ground and plants. And so on until the sixth day, when he created mankind.
Theistic evolutionists, on the other hand, describe the Genesis account as being mostly symbolic. They say that the “days” referred to in the opening chapter of Genesis aren’t literal 24-hour days – they are ambiguous “long ages” of time (this is based on an alternate meaning of the original Hebrew word).
In addition to contesting the length of a “day” in Genesis, theistic evolutionists say that the account of God speaking the universe into existence is metaphorical and that he used the scientific process of evolution as his tool to accomplish it.
Among Christians, this debate is a heated one. Simply mentioning the terms “young earth creationism” or “theistic evolution” is usually enough to get the opposing side worked up. For Christians on both ends, the issue has seemingly become a cornerstone of the faith.
Indeed, we often behave as if a person’s perspective on creation determines whether or not he follows the one true God.
And this division breaks my heart.
[bctt tweet=”We act as if a person’s perspective on creation determines whether he follows the one true God.”]
Remember the Maker
I opened this post discussing coffee and how the most important factor in preparing a cup wasn’t the method used to brew it, but the skill of the person brewing it. Plenty of people make the mistake of marveling over a coffee-brewing device, but the real credit belongs to the person brewing it.
In the debate over how the universe came to exist, we similarly make the mistake of spending so much effort focusing on the method of creation that we forget about the One who created it.
[bctt tweet=”We focus so much on the method of creation that we forget about the One who created it.”]
Could God have spoken and instantly created every species of animal on earth? Yes. I completely believe God has that much power.
Could God have created a system of evolution that resulted in every species of animal on earth? Yes. If he was able to create life by breathing a simple word, he could certainly have put into motion a scientific phenomenon to populate the earth. I completely believe God has that much power.
Could he have used some other method that we can’t even begin to fathom? Yes. We may discover, years from now, that everything we thought we knew was false.
We don’t know with 100% certainty what method God used to create the universe, but rather than arguing about it, let’s enjoy the world that he made for us.
I want to end this post the same way that I ended “Freedom in Biblical Inerrancy”:
My God and my faith are big enough to handle both literal and metaphorical interpretations, because the truth is that God, the creator of the universe, created me, saved me, and loves me. And the story of how he’s rescued me is perfect.
I founded this website, although it certainly wouldn’t exist without the encouragement and support of all of the site’s writers (not to mention the countless others in my life that have pressed me to deepen and explore my faith). I live in Kansas City, MO. I’m married to the beautiful and brilliant Shannon Greene (yes, the same one that writes for this site). For a living, I design and build websites. I love what I do.
About This Blog
This is a blog for challenging assumptions, building faith, and developing a stronger community. The two channels of this blog – Faith and Narrative – push us to know ourselves and the world around us more intimately. Want to learn more about us?