Last night Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, and Bill Nye of "Bill Nye the Science Guy" fame faced each other in a creation vs. evolution debate. I'll be honest I didn't watch all of the 2 1/2 hour debate.
What I did watch, I found interesting on an intellectual level, but I didn't watch all of it because I think that kind of debate really misses the point. You see, following Christ -- and believing that God created the world -- isn't about science. It's about faith. I absolutely believe that science backs up that faith, but when you get right down to the root of it, to believe that God created the world, you have to believe in God. You have to have faith that He exists, and that He's capable of creating something from nothing.
If you don't have faith, no debate in the world is going to persuade you that God created the world.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for having an intelligent conversation with someone who thinks differently than me on a certain topic -- from evolution to the merits of strawberry vs. chocolate ice cream -- but a public debate like this one doesn't seem to me to do anything other than continue to polarize the issue. Bill Nye was not going to be swayed by the arguments of Ken Ham, and Ken Ham was not going to be swayed by the arguments of Bill Nye. And I don't think very many people in the audience were going to be swayed either.
As Christ-followers, we should absolutely hold firm to our belief that the Bible is true. We should hold firmly to the truth that God created the world. But I think when we let that one issue become such a large focus of our time and energy, we lose the opportunity to allow God to be as big as He is. When we want to force God down into a list of reasons He could have created the world, we take away His mystery, we take away His awesomeness.
When we talk with our kids about creation vs. evolution, we need to be very careful not to simply boil it down to a list of facts on each side. We need to be cautious about matching the evolutionists fact for fact. Because when we do that, we take God and we make Him no bigger than the facts on the paper.
What we need to do when we talk to our kids about anything to do with God is to put faith first. There's historical evidence for many things in the Bible, but the basic tenet of following Jesus is faith. We have to believe that the reason He came to earth, died on a cross and rose again is to bridge the gap between us and God that was created by our sin. No matter the historical record or the scientific record, this Christ-following thing takes faith.
So, while I think the debate last night was interesting, I also think it did very little to persuade people either way. I think it did very little to show people the amazing power of God. I think it did very little to point people to Jesus. Because both those men were "preaching to the choir," making points that firmed up their position that were only believable to those who already believed that position.
I think that we, as parents, need to remember that we can't boil faith down to facts. We can't make God fit in a box our minds can understand. He's too great, too awesome, too amazing for that.
And if we try to match those who don't have faith with a list of facts, if we try to persuade based on what our minds can grasp, then we lose a huge part of the things that draw us to God in the first place. In our quest to raise godly kids, never forget that our focus must be on who God is, regardless of whether we can understand everything about Him. Faith is and always will be the key to knowing God.