Saturday, December 17, 2011

Open Letter to Creationists - Why You Should Learn About Evolution

The first evangelist I met was a Catholic missionary to China called Father Michael O'Neill. He was a rebellious sort and spent some time in Chinese police stations. When asked if Ireland had a communist party he replied "Yes! They held their last meeting in a phone box".

Thankfully for his sake the joke did not translate well.

I remember in my eight year old innocence asking him why he had to learn Chinese at all. Surely the simpler approach would be to learn how to say "Jesus died for your sins", and wander the streets with a bell and a loud voice?

I don't recall him laughing, but I'm sure the temptation was there. Instead he explained that he'd spent five years preparing for his first mission. He learned the language, the culture, appropriate ways to eat, interact and discuss beliefs. This was not a case of memorising set answers and proofs but a five year process of intense study. He said that to give people directions to where you are, you need a clear understanding of where they are.

Later, when I read the Bible, I saw a similar message in Luke (24:49) and Acts (1:4). Jesus told his followers not to immediately spread the good word but to wait until they were endued with power from on high. When this power came it was not the power to convert people by touch, or the power to instantly crush any argument or belief, but the power to talk to people in their own language.

If you feel Creationism is a necessary component of Christianity, know that it is in your power to gain a similar gift. You can talk to we Christian and non-Christian 'evolutionists' in our own language with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15) like the apostles did. All you need do is learn about evolution. Feel free to search for counterarguments or refutations, but also look at the material we read, even if you consider it wrong. is an excellent free resource. Your Inner Fish is an entertaining read if you'd like to buy a book on the subject.


Matthew said...

Hey Geoff,
I'm a molecular biologist, and a creationist. I'd be happy to have a friendly discussion of any length with you why I think the evidence does not favour evolutionary explanations. What say you? (But for the theological reasons why evolution is contradictory to Christianity, I'm not sure I have too many of those.)

Geoff said...

Hey Matthew,
Sounds interesting, I'd like to do that. Do you prefer Skype or written? If Skype, I'm in the GMT timezone, that's EST + five hours. Would you prefer recorded or not recorded? I'm easy on all counts.

Matthew said...

Definitely written. I don't have skype on my computer yet, and my available times are usually unpredictable (three small kids). Otherwise, I'm easy. It's the sort of thing to dabble in over the Christmas holidays.
Where do we start?

Geoff said...

Sorry, life occasionally gets in the way of my blogging.
I've made a new post - I'd like to keep this one focused on 'should Creationists learn about evolution?'.
Maybe you could start by outlining your position in a comment there? As in where do you lie between six day young earth creationism and theistic evolution?

Geoff said...

Sorry, link should be