“Evolution is just a theory!” the ignorant creationist yells at the college student passing by. Oh, how I dread that someone who claims Christ as his savior who really wants to reach people who are lost, won’t do the smallest bit of study on this issue.
The problem is that a scientific theory and the layperson’s understanding of theory in common English usage is different. When the layperson uses “theory” they usually mean guess or hypothesis. A Scientific theory is an explanation for certain phenomena that has been tested or experimented with more than once. This is usually a substantiated claim backed by evidence and is regarded as the best explanation for what it’s trying to explain.
The Big Bang is in the classification of theory as well, but it is rare for Christians to object to the Big Bang, though they do exist. The reason that the Big Bang is more widely accepted is because it serves a purpose in apologetics. Feel free to google the evidence for the Big Bang and come back and tell me how it is convincing/not convincing in comparison to Evolution. The Big Bang is a help for the Kalam Cosmological argument, for it proves premise 2, that the universe began to exist.
I’m not here to tell you that Evolution is true or false, I’m not qualified to explain Evolution or critique it. I’m a freshman year community college student. I admittedly have a layman’s understanding of it. From that aforementioned understanding, I don’t think Evolution is necessarily in conflict with Christianity.
Now, if you’re convinced that your interpretation of certain passages is dogma for the entire christian church, something the ancient christian creeds never mention, feel free to use that as an excuse to ignore the importance of this issue. However, for the thinking person, we have to reconcile facts with facts. We want to retain intellectual integrity, which is not based on what someone thinks of us. Rather, it is whether or not we can say with a clear conscience, I looked at all the evidence, considered all the arguments and I think X is true.
If you’re truly convinced that Jesus rose from the dead, but acknowledge this is against the prevailing materalism(though there are several models that propose these two to be consistent), you have to explain that. Having faith is necessary and good, but we need explanations. I’m not pretending to be the Holy Spirit or have any influence apart from Him, but I think it is clear in scripture that God uses means and good arguments are a means.