The occasion was a time when the disciples wanted to draw the circle tighter and exclude those who were not in their immediate company from acting in the name of Jesus.  The response of Jesus stands as a constant reminder that we must be careful in drawing our lines too tightly.  This past Sunday I made reference to Francis Collins and his work as the head of the Human Genome Project.  His testimony of receiving the Lord was moving to me and I shared how an elderly woman who was being treated in a hospital where Collins worked as a young man had simply asked him, “What do you believe?”  That question haunted him until he sought answers and found Jesus as a result of reading a book by C. S. Lewis. 

   The rest of the story is that Collins, though a Christian, believes in evolution far more strongly than many conservative Christians do.  He has reservations about mankind’s experience within those processes and is open to man’s creation as a spiritual being as a special act of God as surely as the resurrection was a special act of God.  Many conservatives I know would be horrified to hear this about Collins and would exclude his testimony because of his position on evolution.  I do not.  Though I have strong concerns about how we confuse philosophy with science as a culture.  I can count anyone as my fellow Christian who knows Jesus Christ as Lord.  Hardly anyone who is a strong conservative does not appreciate the work of C. S. Lewis.  In his day he also accommodated some of the teachings of evolution while holding firmly to the person and work of Christ.  Lewis made no claims to be an expert in Biology, but he did not see that God should be limited to his understanding of the processes of Creation. 

When it comes to the matter of creation, Christians number among themselves Young Earth Creationists, Old Earth Creationists, and Creationists who accept the evolutionary model as a material process which God used and intervened within for his purposes.  Before you cast aside those who may differ with your own position perhaps you should consider the passage referenced above.  

Dan Wooldridge


  1. Many people believe that scientific evidence supports the idea the the theory of evolution is true. In fact everyone who studies the evidence interprets it according to what he already believes is true. Nearly everyone would agree that a Bible believer who studies this evidence is biased and his bias affects his perception of the evidence. But what many overlook is that those who believe in evolution are also biased. They generally start with the assumption that everything that exists can be explained by natural processes without any kind of divine intervention.

  2. Well said! It is very difficult for those highly trained in the sciences to accept this simple principle of the nature of presuppositions.

  3. My favorite take on this comes from Max Lucado, A GENTLE THUNDER, pp. 139-140:

    Some time ago I came upon a fellow on a trip who was carrying a Bible. “Are you a believer?” I asked him. “Yes,” he said excitedly.
    I’ve learned you can’t be too careful.
    “Virgin birth?” I asked. “I accept it.”
    “Deity of Jesus?” “No doubt.”
    “Death of Christ on the cross?” “He died for all people.”
    Could it be that I was face to face with a Christian? Perhaps. Nonetheless, I continued my checklist.
    “Status of man.” “Sinner in need of grace.”
    “Definition of grace.” “God doing for man what man can’t do.”
    “Return of Christ?” “Imminent.”
    “Bible?” “Inspired.”
    “The Church?” “The Body of Christ.” I started getting excited.
    “Conservative or liberal?” He was getting interested too. “Conservative.” My heart began to beat faster.
    “Heritage?” “Southern Congregationalist Holy Son of God Dispensationalist Triune Convention.” That was mine!
    “Branch?” “Pre-millennial, post-trib, non-charismatic, King James, one-cup communion.” My eyes misted. I had only one other question.
    “Is your pulpit wooden or fiberglass?” “Fiberglass,” he responded.
    I withdrew my hand and stiffened my neck.
    “Heretic!” I said and walked away.

    In truth, I think we need discernment in the tension between Matthew 12:30, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters,” and Mark 9:40, “for whoever is not against us is for us.”

    Instead, it is much easier to stay in our Christian ghetto or our work cubicle or our family unit and never be willing to be vulnerable to change or transformation or admission of wrong.

    Thanks for raising the subject.

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