Thinking Out Loud

July 17, 2017

Conservative Christians in Germany

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:54 am

It was interesting to learn that if anything frustrates Evangelicals in Germany, it is the emergence of conservative Christians who have decided to march under the banner of six day creation instead of, well, perhaps the message of Jesus.

Also at issue is the sovereignty of God. Perhaps this was really dumb on my part, maybe I was tired and missing something, or maybe I’d been away from my computer and the Christian blogosphere for too may days, but I didn’t see this as framed in terms of Calvinism vs. Arminianism — which I never thought to mention — but more in terms of a very narrow view of what constitutes man’s freedom in the everyday; perhaps something more akin to the debates on open theology.

On returning home however, I connected the dots and realized that Neo Calvinism is certainly having an influence there as it is doing here. Probably just as well we didn’t go there, as we had other places to visit and things to see.

But it was the creation thing that rather irked me. I am being greatly influenced by many writers who would belong to the theistic evolutionary view on this, but it’s too early to say I’ve changed my views. If God wanted to do what he did — and the not-so-peripheral issue of intelligent design has to always be on standby in any discussion of this nature — in six twenty-four hour days, then he certainly could. He wouldn’t need a secondary agency in order to accomplish this and he could certainly give this created world an apparent age. But why would he leave us so many indicators that point to something different?

Again, I’m somewhat undecided, or perhaps even apathetic. Let me explain.

My Christianity doesn’t hinge on the first two chapters of Genesis. Not for a moment. I no longer think I can see that as the Genesis so much as our Genesis. As a science professor who was also a Christian explained to me so clearly, to believe the Bible you have to include an Adam who walked with God in the cool of the evening.” I like that Genesis 3:8, which uses that phrase, also introduces our sin story.

But now we’re into the third chapter of the Pentateuch, long past the origins narrative.

What if I had grown up in a culture where evolution is a settled fact? Upon being given a Bible, how would I deal with the conflict or contradiction of Genesis 1 and 2? Perhaps I wouldn’t see it. Hopefully, the person who gave me the Bible would direct me to Mark and John and Luke and Matthew. Hopefully I would meet Jesus first and then, as I gained a deeper understanding of what God’s bigger plans and purposes are — the book of Hebrews would provide the perfect introduction — I would understand the system that was in place prior to the incarnation of the Christ.

To decide to that young earth creationism is the hill to die on is simply to walk into the arena of religious thought looking to pick a fight. There are better ways to be Evangelical than this.

Hunting for a graphic image to associate with this article I came across this article which raises some issues not discussed here. I don’t agree with some of the more inflammatory nature of his approach, but I think he’s making some good points.

The actual image used was from this Seventh Day Adventist article.


  1. NeoCalvinism supports Young Earth Creationism and the literal reading of the Garden of Eden – this way they can have their Biblical Marriage and gender role teaching that men and women are different but equal, with men having authority over women and women submitting to their husbands (never vice-versa.) They tend to say that before you can believe in John 3:16, you have to believe in Genesis 1:1. They say that even Jesus referred to Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19:4-6; so they’re divine truths about the creation of humanity.
    A good friend of mine – a German – grew up to be an astrophysicist. He was a member of the Lutheran Church. I know of no Christian kids from evangelical churches, followers educated under the NeoCalvinist doctrine, or believers in Young Earth Creationism that have become scientists – let alone astrophysicists. I think that the Germans are right to be suspicious of a science-killing faith. They’ve already seen how America has fallen from the heights of scientific progress and my guess is that they don’t want to be next.

    Comment by Jamie Carter — July 17, 2017 @ 9:17 am

    • Thanks so much for your helpful perspective.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — July 17, 2017 @ 9:28 am

      • Just to muddy the waters some more – if you consider how the theory of relativity influences our concept of time based on gravitational forces – the literal 6 days could still be 6 days and the world 13 billion years old. Kind of having your cake and eating too.

        Comment by Wil McGilvery — July 17, 2017 @ 5:28 pm

      • Above my pay grade, but I get where you’re going with this. I don’t think I’ve heard this offered up before, but it is definitely worth considering. (You should flesh this out more and let us run it as a guest post here!)

        Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — July 17, 2017 @ 7:07 pm

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