Science is not at all in conflict with my Christian faith, neither does it conflict with the faith of most Christians who have no use for creationism.
I do find it amusing how most are unable to make an argument for creationism without an ignorant assumption that anyone arguing against is an atheist.
A foundational Christian belief (indeed of all traditional Monotheists) is expressed in the Apostles Creed, which begins: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
This affirmation of God as Creator is repeated in subsequent doctrinal formulations which are accepted by all Christian churches, such as the Nicene Creed:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.
It is the duty of anyone who claims to be a Christian to affirm the fundamental belief in God as Creator. Granted, the creative process is shrouded in mystery, and surely transcends human comprehension. However, whatever their belief in the development of species, Christians are bound to affirm God as Creator.
Those who claim to be both Christians and evolutionists might want to consider Francis Schaeffer's "Ghost in the Machine" analogy:
Suppose someone who is given to myths and superstitions insists that the clock in the tower above the town square is actually powered by ghostly figures. To which a rational person would respond: "Any sane person can see that the clock is operated by a nuts & bolts mechanism of gears and levers. You are free to believe it is due to some mystical 'power,' but it is quite certain that your superstition is utterly superfluous." I.e., the clock works perfectly well without an imagined "ghostly presence."
Likewise, Christian evolutionists may insist that some unseen Divine power lies behind the process of evolution, to which evolutionists respond: "The mechanisms of evolution are well-established and fully explicate the existence of the universe and all that is in it without resorting to some invisible mystical force."
The term "affirm" is important - and quite revealing: you who are so quick to defend the Infallibility of scientists and to "affirm" the theory of Evolution, are you also as ready to affirm the historic Christian belief in God as Creator?
Thats great...I really did not take you for one, but the condescension spoke volumes for what you really believe. Please dont come at people with the “I got faith” line then tell them they are useless int he process if you really want them to believe you actually have a “christian” faith. For, if you do...I say prove so...Does God stand above the minds of men and your own capability to understand and does His way really rule in your heart to the point where you believe even in the face of some amazing requirement that He made everything? Or, does God have to come down and fit in a box of your making so that He is only what you are comfortable believing in?
Dear allmendream, these statements provoke questions. For openers, what do you mean by "my" Christian faith?
There is only One Christian faith, though it is true it gets refracted differently in minor ways by different confessions or denominations of the faith.
But it seems to me what all Christians believe in are the following: (1) There is One God, one utterly world-transcendent, extra-cosmic, eternal, indivisible divine Substance expressing to us as three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that God the Father created all that exists, "on earth and in heaven." His act of Creation actualized His holy Word, in the Beginning the Son of God, divine and eternal Logos Alpha to Omega, from the beginning to the end of created space and time.
The Lord's Act was purposeful, or goal-oriented. That is, there is instantly instantiated into the created universe an aspect of it that is purely teleological, or intended toward the fulfillment of an original divine Purpose that will be consummated at the End of this order of space and time, when humans and the world will be judged.
In such a light, we can understand how universal natural laws came into existence, and why they have such universal application and persistence in the natural world. [How could universal natural laws be rationally regarded as the result of an accidental, evolutionary development? In such a case, such natural laws could never be considered "universal," thus not naturally lawful.]
The Third Person, the Holy Spirit, can be likened to "God with us" (if we let Him), in that He primarily works to restore human souls to their created nature, in the likeness of their Father, through the Spirit, made possible by the Sacrifice of Christ Jesus.
These are basic statements that undergird my understanding of the Genesis account which, because it rings true to me both by reason and experience, is my fundamental cosmological view of the universe at macroscale.
Note that any purpose targeted to an end must involve guiding laws in between sufficient to produce the purposed, intended result. Which, if a result intended by God, cannot be defeased.
Now your scientific materialists and orthodox evolutionary theorists (I count you in that group, dear AMD) have no problem with admitting the existence of universal natural laws. The problem you have is that you cannot explain where such laws came from which are still admitted as the essential criteria by which the world that we consciously engage in becomes intelligible to our minds.
Indeed, this particular set of thinkers has absolutely zero clue how life could arise in such a relentlessly inert material system, let alone mind. But obviously, such thinkers are alive, and they do have minds, or we wouldn't be hearing from them. How do they account for their own minds?
If they are merely random, evolutionary developments, and the exterior world is likewise a random evolutionary development, then where do we find the common Ground that can bring the human mind and the exterior natural world into sufficient correspondence such that we can say we "know" about the natural world, and can ascribe meaning to it?
In my theistic exposition so far, I have given short shrift to the soteriological significance of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. But understanding this, it seems to me, is the very foundation of a universal moral law, in addition to the merely physical laws of nature that Christ Logos embedded into the world of spatiotemporal Creation, in the Beginning.
In short, my belief is that both the natural and the moral (spiritual) laws find common Source in the Will of God the Father, as expressed and constantly projected into the created world by his Son, His Truth, the instrument of divine Will, via the Holy Spirit.
On this point, a contrast with Deism might be helpful. Deism, like Judaism, is a monotheistic religion. Its proponents believe that God created the universe. But they also believe that His creation consisted of a one-time implementation of one, single, perpetual-motion celestial "Machine" designed to infallibly run forever by its own internal resources. God built it; He wrote its program. Meanwhile, evidently He would have had to have created space and time in order to give His celestial machine scope within which to "run." Thereafter God, according to the Deist, declared His creation "good"; and stepped away from it forever more, never to engage with it again.
It is conventional to classify in this particular set of "celeste magnifique" or "machine model" thinkers as Baron Simon Laplace, Sir Isaac Newton, and Benjamin Franklin.
I gather Laplace had perfect confidence in "the scientific method" as the tool by which man can reliably learn anything and everything about the universe in which he lives. If Laplace is correct in his view, however, this relegates humans to the status of parts of a machine while at the same time telling humans that they can envision the entire machine of which they are parts as if they stood completely outside of it, "looking down," as it were, from some "celestial" perspective that human beings simply cannot ever gain from the perspective of the viewpoint reduced to observations of physical nature alone.
As to Newton, he was very likely a monotheist, believing as he evidently did in a Creator God. He evidently thought the Christian conception of Three Persons as constituting the indivisible Substance of the Godhead was a totally unnecessary complication, on "Occam's Razor" grounds.
But then he did something really interesting: He suggested that given the machine-like qualities of the features of nature that his magnificent theory so well describes at all scales, sooner or later it is the very machine-like nature of existents that will generate errors over time. The accumulation of errors would be fatal given enough time, lest the Creator God step back into the picture to set things aright again. And Newton said that God actually does this. That He is "mediated" into human life and natural experience via what Newton called the sensorium Dei. Some folks of my acquaintance have associated this idea with the idea of a biological vacuum field.
Anyhoot, I'm just trying to ascertain whether we stand, you and I dear allmenmdream, on common ground.
In the past, you have tended to excoriate me as a "creationist," when all I really am is a humble Christian, a/k/a, an unrepented and unrepentable theist. I stand before the Glory of God, made so manifest to me, or I imagine to any other person with the eyes to see it (thanks be to the Holy Spirit!), so to marvel before the Beauty, Truth, and Goodness of what the Lord has wrought in His Creation, while being dumbfounded that He should give such special attention to a certain class of biological beings that He has made that is, Man, created for divine Sonship from the Beginning.
Al Glory be to God!!! for you and me and everyone and everything else in His justly created order!
Thanks so much for sharing your views, dear AMD.