I've been pondering the issue of creation and evolution for years, and I thought it was about time to set out my current thinking on the area. This is all provisional and subject to change, but the points below are things that I'm fairly sure about.
If you desperately want to label me with one of the common labels, then "young-earth creationist" or "six-day creationist" would probably be most appropriate. Except that I don't think the earth is young or that God created everything in six days.
- The basic narrative of the Bible is creation–fall–redemption. The "physical" history of life, the universe and everything is inseparably part of that narrative. The creation was good, was corrupted at the fall, and is being restored and renewed following the redemptive work of Christ. (Listen to this talk by Steve Lloyd on Creation and the Story-Line of the Bible.)
- Human death, and other things such as cancer, agony and violent death in humans or animals, are not good, were not present before the fall, and will be abolished when all things are renewed in the resurrection. (See the Steve Lloyd link above, and his points in a debate on creation and evolution.)
- All human beings are descended biologically from Adam and Eve (and only Adam and Eve), who were created thousands (not millions) of years ago. (See this book chapter by Michael Reeves on Adam and Eve. That almost rhymed.)
- It was necessary for Jesus to undergo human physical death in order to deal with the problem of sin, because human physical death is a consequence of sin.
- It follows from points 2 and 3 that all fossil-bearing rocks (or at least the vast majority of them) were laid down after the fall, probably during or soon after the flood, thousands (not millions) of years ago.
- Compared with the above points, the age of the universe and of planet earth are issues of little significance for Christian theology and biblical interpretation. Even if the universe and planet earth are old, that doesn't necessarily mean that the biosphere is old, or that the fossil-bearing rocks are old. My working hypothesis is that God created plants and animals on earth a few thousand years ago, prior to which the earth had existed without life for billions of years.
- "Faith" and "science" cannot be isolated from each other. There is a deep interaction between the two, which is relevant at every level.
- Evolutionary models for biology and geology have significant unresolved issues. This perhaps hints that there are scientific grounds (and not just theological grounds) for exploring alternatives. However, these unresolved issues do not imply that those models are wrong, or that they are bad science. (See my post on Evidence for young-age creationism.)
- Scientific models built on young-age views have major unresolved issues. But they also seem to show some signs of possessing explanatory power in certain areas in which the evolutionary models are weak. This perhaps hints that there are scientific grounds (and not just theological grounds) for continued research into young-age models. But, even if those models have strengths, they are currently far from compelling. (Again, see my post on Evidence for young-age creationism.)
- The truth about the origins of everything cannot be determined simply by looking up the definition of the word "science" in a dictionary.