The challenge of walking with the God who knows me
Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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2 Peter 1:21
“For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke
From God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”
Much as I would have liked to have believed that God created the world, the reality was that I could not. Faith requires evidence and there was nothing in this discussion that helped me to come to a place of faith. This difficulty was hampering my faith, for even as I spent more time studying the Bible and seeking to live out what was written in it, there was this constant nagging doubt about its authenticity and as a result of its authority.
In the midst of this struggle I read a book that included a chapter on the fulfilment of prophecy [Evidence that demands a verdict, McDowell]. This chapter showed how Biblical prophecy had been fulfilled in remarkable detail over the centuries. It struck me that if God was able to direct his word to a prophet over things that had yet to be, could he not also direct His word to another prophet, Moses, over things that had already happened but that no one had recorded – for no one was present at the creation.
Looking at the fulfilment of prophecy I saw that the fulfilment was not what one would have expected from a straight-forward reading of the text. There might be centuries of space between two sentences of a paragraph. The detail of a prophecy is really only understood from hindsight when the reality is known. For instance, what would it mean that a city became bald? I would never have guessed the fulfilment of having been covered with sand dunes. Jesus said of his own prophecies “I have told you now so that when it does happen you will believe.” (John 14:21 NIV) He did not give them so that people would know the future, but rather to aid faith and understanding of God when they were fulfilled, or to give hope for the future in the midst of perplexing times. So in the same way, with the early parts of Genesis, to say it is true, does not mean that from the text one can go back to what we would call the historical reality.
In terms of evolution and the early chapters of Genesis, I began to have a new view of the world. There was a sort of accepting faith. If God had said, this is how he created, then so be it. I could believe. These prophetic passages had demonstrated that God was able to speak through faulty people in amazing detail about what could not be known. On this basis there is great mystery in these chapters. There was also some very significant understanding of who God is and how He works. This understanding had been obliterated for me by a caustic debate. In being able to set aside this debate there was then space to move on to the more significant areas for which the passage was written.
Most significant of all, there was a new found confidence in the Word of God that could sustain difficulties thrown at it. Over the years I have seen friends have their faith torn to shreds as they have entertained the idea that the Bible is not reliable as the word of God. Their faith, based on a promise of God, could not stand that promise being put into question. Years later I would be put into a situation where the Bible was not considered historical. I could stand then because of battles like this one fought early on.
[This page is one of a series on my struggles with the evolution debate. Sceptic to faith has links to others.]
WORD HOLDS TRUE