A week or two there was a post on InternetMonk.com asking for comments from Christian scientists and science-educated Christians about how they had resolved the tension between science and faith. Here’s my comment from that post, with a little editing:
I am “The GeoChristian” that someone else referred to earlier. I have an M.S. and B.S. in geology, a minor in biology, and a bunch of chemistry and geochemistry on top of that. My professional experience is primarily in imagery interpretation and topographic map creation. I have six years of experience as a missionary in Eastern Europe, where I worked as a high school science teacher at an international Christian school. I am presently unemployed.
My early Christian training included a good amount of young-Earth creationist material, and I brought that background with me when I went to college. As a geology undergraduate student, I made a gradual transition from young-Earth to old-Earth views, with no loss of confidence in the Scriptures. I had no crisis of faith like some have as they struggle through these things. A key book for me was Evolution: Nature and Scripture in Conflict? by Pattle Pun, which introduced me to the day-age interpretation of Genesis 1.
I know there are a lot of people here on Internet Monk who have a problem with the word “inerrancy” but I suspect that could be because they have been in settings where the concept of inerrancy has been abused. The authors of “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy” purposefully left out any mention of the age of the Earth. They did this because they knew it was something they could not be dogmatic about, and the vote was almost unanimous. I myself have no problem with the concept of inerrancy. I believe in a real God creating the heavens and the Earth in the beginning, in a real Adam in a real garden, in a real fall into sin with real consequences, and in Jesus Christ as the only solution for that sin.
I view the young-Earth creationists such as those at AiG and ICR as my brothers and sisters in Christ. I also view them as in error in regards to science and the Bible. There are two serious consequences of this: 1. Young-Earth creationism is an obstacle to the evangelism of scientists. 2. Young-Earth creationism lays a poor foundation in apologetics for our young people. Some of them, when they learn more science, will discard their Christian faith along with their Answers in Genesis and Dr. Dino books and DVDs.
Someone else has mentioned the idea that “all truth is God’s truth.” I wholeheartedly agree. At this point, I don’t understand everything about the relationship between science and the Bible. For example, I don’t know when and where Noah’s Flood occurred, but I’m not too worried about it. I do believe it was local rather than global and that there is no Biblical problem with this interpretation. If there seems to be a conflict between science and the Bible, either we don’t understand the Bible correctly, or we don’t understand nature correctly. In the end, there will be no contradiction.
I view evolution as primarily a scientific issue on which the Bible has little to say. I have made no commitment on the day-age vs. analogical days vs. framework hypothesis interpretations of the opening chapters of Genesis. One of these is likely to be correct, but I am pretty confident that the young-Earth interpretation is not Biblically necessary.
Grace and Peace