Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Is God Random?

I have heard an argument against biological evolution that says that God wouldn’t allow the universe to develop randomly or by “chance”. The argument was that God must have created the universe in six 24 hour days according to a literal reading of the first chapter of Genesis because He would not have allowed the Big Bang to occur and then allowed everything else to develop just by “chance”. I used to think that made sense, but I don’t anymore.

The Bible is clear that God has planned everything that will happen, even before He created the world. Proverbs 16:4 tells us “The Lord works out everything for his own ends.” In Ephesians, we read, “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.”

The idea that God would not use evolution as a means of creation because it is “random” doesn’t hold water when we consider that God already knows everything that is going to happen. Even a sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground apart from the will of God (Matthew 10:29). What appear to us to be random events - genetic mutations, the roll of the dice, the clothes the kids put on the morning - are events that were known to God from the beginning of time. There is nothing that has happened from the first moment of Creation – whether it was 6,000 years ago or 15 billion years ago – that was not expected and known by God.

And this gives me great comfort. God isn’t surprised by my migraines. He doesn’t freak out when a Democrat is elected to the White House. As a speaker I once heard said, God isn’t on Prozac and pacing up and down in Heaven worrying about the mess down here. And that’s because He’s completely in control.

The words “random” and “chance” aren’t in God’s vocabulary. I am convinced by the scientific evidence that God used evolution as His tool in the creation of His universe. I’m also convinced that nothing that exists or happens is the product of chance. I can rest in the assurance that God loves me and is taking care of me. And I’m thanking God for that every day!!


KC said...

Totally agree! Our pastor did a sermon this past Sunday talking about how God is in control and nothing's by chance. Some people may say that others are "lucky", but we know as Christians, that it isn't luck, but God's hand. And like you, that brings me great comfort!

ddb said...

Catherine, you are absolutely correct that a careful reading of the Bible reveals that God is in control. However, that does not lead one to the conclusion that Creation was not a 6 24-hour day event. When looking at the idea of evolution, you must separate the notions of the kind of evolution we see happening around us today, where species adapt, and the kind of evolution that some try to make us believe - which stretches my imagination. (And you know I have an agile one! :) ) What purpose would God have had for setting up the kind of evolution that allows for one species to change into another? Do we really doubt that He has the power to Create things - out of nothing - in only 6 days? I know the God that is revealed in the Bible has that kind of power, and that is one of the reasons I can trust Him in His promises, one of which is that He is watching over His own! Because I have seen that He makes plans and carries through on them! I don’t know what kind of person would have made the argument linking the supposed ‘randomness’ of God with the 6 day creation. Kind of a flimsy argument. Sounds like a straw man theory. More to the point, God knows and cares about your migraines. I’m sure that He does not enjoy seeing you in pain, as any parent would feel about their child. I also know that if He hasn’t removed that “thorn” yet, that there is a reason for it. Just because we are too limited to know what His reason is, doesn’t mean that there isn’t one.

Catherine said...

ddb, Thanks so much for your comment! I really appreciate your taking time to read my blog.

I want to clarify, though, that I was critiquing only this one argument used by Young-Earth Creationists. This is not the main reason that I have come to the conclusion that Evolutionary Creationism is the most viable explanation for origins. In fact, I haven't yet articulated all the threads of reasoning, both theological and scientific, that have led to my conclusion. I plan on writing it as a series of posts at some point in the future.

I also want to make clear that I don't think that God was unable to create the universe in six 24 hour periods, but that He chose not to. God is all-powerful and can use any method He chooses to do anything He wants.

Another time I will lay out the theological and scientific bases for my beliefs. Thanks again for your comment. I appreciate the chance to discuss these issues in a pleasant manner with other believers.