In two days our nation will celebrate the 200th birthdays of two men who changed history—Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Oddly enough, they were indeed born on the same day in 1809.
And as far as human dignity is concerned, that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Can you think of two people who are farther apart on that subject? The former saw people as created equal in God’s image and the latter fathered modern evolutionary theory.
With these birthdays fast approaching, I’ve noticed lots of Darwin articles out there. Have you? Fortunately, it’s not all in the secular press. Christianity Today, for example, had a reflective piece about Darwin in a recent issue.
Now, I’m not here to rag on Charlie D. or even to rant about his theory. I want, instead, to encourage us to enter the conversation. Let’s “redeem the time,” taking advantage of the opportunity. People, lots of people, even non-geek people, are talking about Darwin and his theory. And they’ll continue to do so through at least mid-November, when Darwin fans celebrate the 150th anniversary of Origin of Species. Yes, the design vs. evolution discussion is here to stay in 2009. So let’s plan ahead for how we can have some meaningful conversations. Even the un-scientists among us have something to contribute during Darwin’s Big Year.
Here’s how we can prepare.
First, set aside a week of quiet times to explore what the Bible says on the subject of God as Creator. In addition to reviewing the Genesis creation accounts, check out what Carolyn Custis James describes as “Job’s Nature Walk” in Job 38–40. Also, spend time exploring Colossians 1, John 1, Hebrews 1, and Isaiah 40–46.
Next, check out the following four videos. Put them in your Netflix queue. Or better yet, buy them, watch them with a group, and donate them to your public library:
Unlocking the Mystery of Life
The Privileged Planet
The Case for a Creator
Also, over on Youtube check out the six-minute movie trailer for the forthcoming DVD, The Cambrian Explosion:
After that, do some reading. If you have kids ages twelve and older, and/or of if you’re a visual learner, obtain a copy of the cartoon book, What’s Darwin Got to Do with It? You don’t have to be a child to read this introduction to Darwin vs. Design, and it’ll give you the basic overview in simple terms. After that, find a copy of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwin and Intelligent Design by Jonathan Wells. These two works will provide introductory and intermediate explorations of the issues in the debate. If you’re up for advanced reading, buy yourself a copy of Darwin Strikes Back by Dr. Thomas Woodward.
I am indebted to Dr. Woodward, host of the weekly radio program, “Darwin or Design,” (www.bayword.com) for his help with these resources. Dr. Woodward, who holds degrees from Princeton, Dallas Seminary, and the University of South Florida, has written an article on this subject that will appear in the spring issue of DTS’s Kindred Spirit magazine. If you live in the U.S. and don't already subscribe, you can sign up to receive a free copy at www.dts.edu/ks.
Once you’ve equipped yourself, share the information with family members, your Bible study group, people you mentor, and your adult Bible fellowship. But don’t stop there. Talk with folks who would never read a book about God as Creator but who will listen to you. And you can start the conversation with this quote right out of Origin of Species: “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”