Full disclosure, I didn't watch the debate. As a life-long lover of fossils and dinosaurs (you should see the fossil collection in my office), natural history museum nerd, a Charles Darwin buff, and psychologist with interests in evolutionary psychology I think the scientific debate is pretty settled.
And yet, I also get how very unsettled everything is.
For example, a few years ago I had a phone conversation with a "flagship school" of evangelicalism regarding my interest in an endowed research chair. This conversation was less an interview than a preliminary talk with the head of the search committee to explore my interest and fit before moving forward with a formal application and interview. The chat went well until we hit a sticking point. Evolution and the school's statement of faith. I asked the chair of the search committee this question, "I have an interest in evolutionary psychology and I've always wanted to write a book about the Sermon on the Mount viewed through the lens of evolutionary psychology. Could I write that book at your school?"
His answer: "I don't think so."
Needless to say, we mutually agreed to not go forward with a formal application.
So I get it. This is still a big issue in many places. But here's the thing I've been pondering:
Is this an issue in the local church?
I ask because creation vs. evolution just isn't an issue in my church. I go to church with people who have PhDs in biology and people who teach creationism in their home-school curriculum. The people at my church are all over the map on this issue. Some were with Ken Ham Tuesday night. And some were with Bill Nye.
And we all go to the same church.
How's that possible?
I'm not sure, but my best guess is this.
We just don't think it matters. We just don't talk about it. You are free to think however you want to think about this. We don't make it a test of fellowship. We recognize the diversity in our midst and have sort of collectively agreed to not make it an issue.
For my part, I could care less if you believe in creationism. Seriously, if you think the world is only 6,000 years old, knock yourself out. If you go to my church, it's no big deal to me what you believe, one way or the other.
How'd this happen at my church?
I think it happened because we all share the opinion that the outcome of the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate has nothing to do with how we love each other or how we love the people of our city.
Perhaps my church is weird and unique in this way, but my hunch is that a lot of churches have creationists and evolutionists worshipping side by side every Sunday.
Sure, they probably have a tacit agreement, like my church, to just not talk about it. Because sometimes it's just good 'ol healthy family boundaries to leave some subjects alone. It keeps you focused on the important stuff.
Like the fact that we are family. And that we love each other.
Important stuff like that.