This post is a little ranty and may contain some sarcasm and graphic Biblical scenes.
Christians have a hard time with allowing God to use evolution to create, but to me evolution seems at the least an ever improving, positive process in its over all trajectory.
But, the typical fundamentalist Christian stance/belief on this is one of literal truth and certainty according to the Biblical account.
To me this is difficult problem as this option leaves you with some rather horrible things that happened at Gods request to deal with the problems of “sin”.
Lets take the example of the Midianites. When I look at this I have to ask if God would actually tell the Israelites, after a victorious battle with the Midianites, to go and kill the all the remaining men, sexually active women, boys and even the little baby boys, BUT spare all the little girls that had not slept with anyone yet?!
…and BTW, how did they determine if a girl or woman had slept with anyone yet and what were the principles for why they chose to do it this way (or were told to) and what of those principles to we still adhere today?
The Midianite account does not sound like God to me at all. It sounds more like a primitive tribal people working things out in a very evolutionary, “survival” way. The Christian explanation at this point is that the Midianites were so very evil that they had to be destroyed (in Gods mercy). But…the story goes that they won the battle against the Midianites, and then looked at what they had left and then Moses said, “OK, good job guys! Now, to finish this off lets kill all the remaining men, all the women that have had sex and… all the little boys, even down to the last little baby boy, just snap their evil little necks or something…but…lets not kill the little girls that haven’t had sex yet, lets keep them, because…well…um…I’m coming up short on a justifiable “because” since we just killed the baby boys…so…ummmm.”
Weird, right? We don’t live like this yet we take thier writing as literal truth applicable to the foundations of the universe and our social moral compass.
So then the Israelites took large knives or spears, blunt objects or their hands (since they were just babies) and started killing the remaining men, small children and sexually active women.
They spared the young girls from being killed. I’m sure they approached this with the greatest of tenderness and after their families were slaughtered I’m sure they received some sort of grief counseling. I do wonder how these young girls felt about the love of the God of Israel, also, were they drawn to his tender mercies later when they were being raped by the Godly, blood soaked men that recently murdered their fathers, mothers and infant brothers. But again, the fundamentalist explanation goes that these were very debased men, sexually active women and baby boys that needed to be exterminated in this manner…a manner, I might point out, that is a far better plan and more pure motivation than the messy process of evolution?!
Not sure I entirely agree.
The big problems for me here are that Christians take these stories of the Israelites as literal and completely, totally accurate and true and “God” directed. This was an extremely messy and violent band of people wandering around in the dirt killing babies to ensure their survival and yet christians take their historical stories of the origination of the universe as accurate and true. I do not see this as an accurate reflection of God and I don’t know what to do with stories like this when viewed through a fundamentalist lens.
If I’m being implored by “…come let us reason together” “Turn the other cheek” “Do unto others…”, well then I’m taking much of the Bible in the way that Peter Enns sees it, as embellished historical stories of a dirt wandering, baby killing tribe that felt God was working with them. At this point I would have to take much of the Bible as history that does not have the same standard of accuracy as we might expect today. I would not take it as literal and true in every way but as writings / stories of a very imperfect people doing their best in a bad situation and really messing it up a lot.