In one way, I sort of regret even writing these short posts on Why I am Not an Atheist, because they are short. And I have no wish to caricature these thinkers by misrepresenting them. But I am sharing their own words and reflecting on their meaning.
When it comes to Darwin, I need to open a MAJOR can of evolving worms. I am not talking about the creation in 6 days versus evolution debate. I am not talking about other views of origins. I am not talking about macro versus micro evolution. I am not talking about intelligent design.
I (as one of many evangelicals) believe intelligent design by a Personal Creator is not incompatible with astrophysical means of creating the universe. I believe that Genesis 1 is much more the WHO of creation than the HOW of creation. It is about a Supreme Creator God and not the mechanics of how that Creator God created.
For anyone who wants to dive in, and I mean dive in and let the scholars wage their arguments back and forth, here are three books. They are worth reading, but they are not easy reading. They are each in the Counterpoints series by Zondervan books.
Here is my one point for this post, and this insight was provided by Thaddeus Williams, a young, creative theologian at Biola University. He provides a quote from Darwin’s autobiography that describes the end result of his fixation on his materialistic and reductionist views of nature.
“In one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds . . . gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare . . . But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me.
My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and my possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.”
Williams goes on to quote Darwin as describing his later life as that of “a withered leaf for every subject except Science.”
When the world becomes nothing but matter and molecules, mechanics and motion, chemistry and biology, data and formulas…
When art, poetry, music, literature, dance, novels, ethics, spirituality, and all the “stuff” associated with the human spirit is ignored and neglected…
When the only morality is that of an impersonal survival of the fittest scheme of evolution…
Then “a withered leaf” is what the soul, the human person becomes.
Which is why I am not an atheist. I may still be a scientist who loves to explore and understand the amazing Creation in all its marvels and minutiae, from quarks to galaxies, but that exploration is, in part, to find the purpose and meaning in all things made by a Creator God who said, “It is good, very good.” Objectively, “it is good”—not just a subjective opinion or feeling.
Having the ability to empower and resource leaders to bear much fruit that lasts. Being a part of a team of friends and missional servants committed to changing the world.