I have been a bad blogger, and have not been attentive to a number of testimonies that have been graciously emailed to me over the past few weeks. I apologize to those who were bravely willing to share their personal stories of struggling with concepts of science and faith, and I apologize to my readers, for depriving you of the hope and encouragement I have no doubt you will gain from reading them. I’ll be sharing them all over the next week or so. Today’s comes from a reader and friend, Dylan Gorman. (All bold emphases are mine, not the author.)
Like many, I have had struggles with faith. But, before I go into specifics, permit me, if you will, to give a bit of backstory.
I was raised in a, well, not exactly overtly devout home, but my family has always been spiritual, at least. For instance, my two siblings and I went to a private Christian school. The education was actually decent, but, I was shown the young-earth creationist version of Genesis alone. As you can guess, that had an impact on me for a while.
As I left that elementary school and joined a public school system, you can imagine how things went. For a while I simply refused to believe the fact of evolution, but slowly it became obvious how correct it is. That, coupled with the utterly hellish experience that is the American junior high and high school system, led me to becoming an atheist during those years.
It wasn’t until later that I eventually believed in G-d once more, but from a Jewish perspective. And, while I never converted, a huge amount of Jewish philosophy drives my thoughts to this day.
But, that belief in G-d also came crashing down a lot, when I started visiting another church. For a while, I was fine and fun, but the pastor and I didn’t see eye to eye. For example, one time I scheduled a one-on-one talk with him about Genesis. Now, I wanted to speak about the historicity of the accounts (the Patriarchs), but, before I could say a word, he started speaking about evolution and handed me a pamphlet about how Genesis can only be read literally. At that time, I could not say anything back, as I was worried about sounding rude, so I just nodded and smiled and bid him goodbye when we were done.
He seemed somewhat upset that I had questions about Genesis.
When looking at the pamphlet, I hoped there would be something about science backing up the account, but … there was nothing. Just a case for a literal interpretation, and a few verse references that showed how in the young-earth creationist mind, Yeshua quoted Genesis as a historical account. That, and a few other factors, led me once more to abandoning faith.
It wasn’t until a mix of reading a few Jewish articles on Genesis, and eventually coming across the wonderful Biologos website, that I discovered something. Evolution and religious faith are not incompatible. Unlike how I was taught, that Genesis must always be taken literally and always has been, that’s just not the case. Since it was written, Genesis has been at times taken as allegory or metaphorical.
And, now, thanks to groups like Biologos, and G-d of Evolution, I feel perfectly fine with trusting the Bible, and all of modern day science.
Dylan Gorman is a 22-year-old Tacoma, Wash., resident, who came to faith through scholarship and logic. His faith, while accepting Jesus, is heavily influenced by Jewish philosophy and ethics, especially the work of his favorite thinker, Maimonides.