Todd, you are asking the wrong question

I was directed to the following post (http://toddcwood.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/what-would-convince-me-part-1.html) from another creationist blog.

Being a humble limey, I know nothing of Todd Wood, but it does seem that he is a reasonably well connected creationist with a ministry and therefore there are many who follow what he says.

The comment and post that sent me Todd’s way said that he would be examining over a series of posts what would make him accept evolution. This piqued my interest and so I followed the link and was immediately disappointed.

The question that Todd is actually answering and investigating is this

 

if someone could show that evolution and Christian theology were indeed compatible, would that be enough to convince me that evolution was correct?

 

Oh how my heart fell when I read that.

Apart from the complete absence of what would constitute a satisfactory theological argument; the thing that screamed out me is that evolution is not determined by theology, but by science. One simply does not decide to believe evolution on the basis of clever philosophy. One accepts evolution due to the weight of evidence and experimental demonstration over the past 100+ years.

I think I get what Todd is trying to do though. In my creationist days I was very much of the opinion that the only right conclusion for the Christian was creation. My viewpoint was (and to a certain extent still is) that evolution creates too many problems at the root of Christian theology that the two are at least problematic roommates. In that respect I certainly sympathise with Todd’s question and can see that he at least believes he is trying to engage in an honest bit of soul searching.

The base problem with his question is that it starts from the point of view that there is a factual truth behind Christian theology. Regardless of where he goes with his answers, he will not at any point ask the question, “is it possible there is no God and no literal creation?” If anything of the kind is entertained, it will be rhetorical only and not for a second considered seriously.

This is what held me back for many years. My view of evolution was dictated by my adherence to Christianity. This is a scientifically unhealthy place to be.

Thankfully, I wasn’t so jaded that I would reject Christians who accepted evolution. In that regards I held a view that differences in opinion about evolution were not worth losing friends over.

I have added Todd’s blog to my reader and I will be interested in what posts he comes up with on the subject. I want to see where he goes with this and I want to see if there are any old and familiar misunderstandings.

Above all though, I want to see Todd face the question of what would he do if he honestly and critically, without bias, examined the evidence of evolution and used that same scientific integrity to equally question creationism.

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Missing a Good Sing Song

I never thought I’d say it; but I caught myself singing along enthusiastically to the worships songs a few weeks ago. Up until then I had always sung the songs half-heartedly, being very conscious of what they say and that I simply don’t subscribe to those beliefs anymore.

It happened because I relaxed. The congregation were singing along, as per normal, and I was half mouthing, half singing, as quietly as I could get away with. Then suddenly along came a song I knew well and off I went. I don’t recall how far I got before realising what I was doing, but when I did I found myself mentally chastising myself for being weak. I was almost embarrassed.

What surprised me most was how I reacted to this little slip. It was almost as though I had done something wrong. Oh what a reversal of attitude!

Regarding Worship

As a Christian, worship was always important and, despite my less than perfect singing voice, I did enjoy singing songs and entering into a spirit of worship while doing so. In my mind, the act of singing in Church and the experience of worship are entwined. One shall not and cannot separate them.

So with this mind-set, it is hardly surprising that I don’t want to blindly worship and entity I don’t believe in. That would be silly.

Thinking about it afterwards though, it also seems silly getting worked up over what is really just a joyful sing song. Should I care what the songs are about? How is it different to appreciating music on the radio, which will on occasion contain lyrics that I disapprove of as well? It can only be because of the association I have with singing in Church and worship.

That was four weeks ago and I’ve not been back since. The not being back is unrelated to the event in question; it has just happened that way, a combination of it being convenient for me to stay at home because of stuff to do, mainly because I have to work.

We’ll see how I progress on this one, I have more or less told myself that its okay to join in the singing even if I struggle with the lyrics. I fully expect the mental link there to struggle. However, I’m really not going to give myself a heart attack by joining in, so why get so bothered by it?