I am not generally considered a religious person. I attend church sporadically, pray when I remember to, and seldom sit down to read the Bible. However, one firm belief that I have in my life is that God has continued to speak to people long after the writers of the Bible put down their quills. I believe that God speaks to the people of every time in a language and in stories that they can understand.
This conviction surfaced recently when I was on my local elementary school’s textbook selection committee, making recommendations for a new science series. An acquaintance, who belongs to a conservative church, was also on the committee. She asked me informally how our school district deals with the topic of evolution.
In truth, I didn’t exactly know the answer, since my oldest child was a seventh grader, and the subject had not yet come up in his classes. After I told her that, I decided to share my feelings on the subject. I have too often hedged on making controversial statements, but this time I felt moved to speak my mind.
It was then that I first put voice to a belief which began to form when I was confronted by an earlier round of creationism while growing up in the Bible Belt.
I told her this: I believe that the concept of evolution is not incompatible with the biblical story of creation. With what authority do modern, self-proclaimed experts claim that God could only create once and in only one way? Why do they suppose that God could not have chosen evolution as His plan? If I look closely at Genesis, it contains two different stories of God creating a world for His people to populate. Those stories can be seen as simplistic, step-by step explanations of evolution for primitive people, using a language of wonder and miracle, which fit their culture and time. Today, God speaks to us through the revelations of science and technology, because He has given us the tools to understand them.
I believe that we all need to listen for the voice of God in our world today. I can find nowhere in the Bible which says that inspiration stopped two thousand years ago. Look in the arts and science; look in the hearts of people around you, because I believe that God is still speaking. We should be willing to listen. Maybe it even happens in textbook selection meetings!
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