I want to get this topic out of the way right at first. While evolution isn’t particularly important to me, I am often asked about my response to this debate, and so I have given my answer some consideration. I am saddened by the divisive way this issue is often discussed. Young-earth Christians are too often addressed as ignorant fools, and evolution proponents are too often portrayed as evil liars.
I’d like to give a unique answer to the question, “Do you believe in evolution?” to two key audiences: the scientific agnostic and the Christian lay-person.
FOR THE SCIENTIFIC AGNOSTIC
Yes, I do think that evolution is a helpful, useful theory. I do not see inconsistencies with this perspective and the idea that God is creator. For example, imagine someone asked why the pot of water on the stove is boiling: it would be perfectly accurate to explain the mechanisms of heat convection and the relevant intermolecular forces of water, but it would also be perfectly accurate to say that it’s because I wanted a cup of tea. Explicitly, I see evolution as the mechanism that God chose to use when he created the Earth. In fact, my understanding of evolution leads me to marvel and worship God for his creativity and divine providence as he is continually active in sustaining the world.
FOR THE CHRISTIAN LAY-PERSON
No, I do not “believe” in evolution in the same way that I “believe” in God, but I do think that the scientific evidence strongly supports the theory of evolution–and as God is a rational creator, studying his creation through science is an inherently Christian activity. The Bible was not intended to be read as a scientific textbook; instead, it is a compilation of literature that explains who are are in relationship to God. The Genesis story depicts God as the creator of the world, concerned for his creation, and in an intimate relationship with humanity. Evolution does not negate this worldview! While some Christians have considered the Biblical and scientific evidence side-by-side and have determined that a young-earth creation narrative is the most likely, I disagree. I hope, however, that we would be able to debate this issue and still refer to each other as “brother” and “sister” at the end of our conversation.