On the ride home from nun practice tonight (another story for another day – I’ll attempt to post a video should there be one), I listened to a radio interview with Randal Keynes. Keynes is the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin and the author of a book about Darwin entitled “Creation.”
“Creation” has also been made into a film that opens in select theatres this week. It’s a film I feel most Christians will never see, and that makes me sad. To begin with, it stars Paul Bettany, who’s amazing, but more than that, the story told in the film (as I was able to glean it from the radio interview) is one that most Christians need to hear, and with which most non-Christians will identify.
Keynes says Darwin didn’t see his evolutionary theory as something in conflict with Christianity (something many of my Christian friends also hold true). Keynes also says that it wasn’t “Origin of the Species,” but the inexplicable death of Darwin’s young daughter that drove Darwin away from his belief in God. He says that Darwin’s loss of faith was something that was a constant struggle in his life and his marriage because his wife was devout in her faith.
Many Christians respond to evolutionary theory like Darwin was a heretic who maliciously threw his theories in the face of faith. I think it behooves us to ponder that he struggled with it, agonized over it. It benefits us to reflect that he was a man who was hurt and broken and felt betrayed and abandoned by a God to whom he’d once dedicated his life.
We all know people like that. I’d venture to say we’ve all felt like that at one time or another. Doubt and struggle can be so much a part of faith. I know personally, it’s my doubts that help me solidify my faith and grow in my beliefs. Gandhi once said, “Faith… must be enforced by reason…. When faith becomes blind it dies.” I think that’s true. Blind faith is a shallow faith. It’s the faith that’s tested, proved, that becomes deeper, stronger. Mark 9:24 is a great verse. In a moment of desperation, loss, confusion, none of the above, all of the above, a man responds to Christ by saying “I believe – help my unbelief.” Jesus, as is His way, is faithful to follow through.
I’ll be going to see “Creation.” I hope my friends who don’t go see it do so because they’re sure of what they believe, not because they’re sure what they’re against. I hope that the Christian community recognizes that there’s more to the story than the creation/evolution debate. I hope we find ways that this film, like so many before it can be redeemed and used for God’s glory. I hope. I hope. I hope.