Reclaiming a thing for all nations

If one follows Christianity, much of how it is portrayed follows its record of attempting to pin down moral certitudes, creating a world around those knowns that actively excludes the other.   A recent article in the New York Times wrote of Bryan College in that vein ….

Since Bryan College’s founding in 1930, its statement of belief, which professors have to sign as part of their employment contracts, included a 41-word section summing up the institution’s conservative views on creation and evolution, including the statement: “The origin of man was by fiat of God.” But in February, college officials decided that professors had to agree to an additional clarification declaring that Adam and Eve “are historical persons created by God in a special formative act, and not from previously existing life-forms.”

The college clearly holds to a literalistic view of the Bible, one that eschews evolution.

Despite my disagreements, Bryan College has the right to do that very thing.  As a matter of fact I would argue that we are healthier for the courage of institutions who willingly take reasonable stands to protect their identity even if that identity sets them against the broader culture.

Where I struggle is how the New York Times article progressed, referencing how this tension inherent between science and religion evidenced at Bryn College is one Christianity wrestles with, creating a clear implication that this tension remains a Christian issue vs. a Bryan College issue.  To that I strongly disagree.  I am Christian.  Science and religion, in my faith tradition, work not as foils but as partners.  I believe science is the voice of God in the same way that scripture is.   As I understand it, the World and the Word then both speak. The issue is Bryan College’s, not Christianity’s.

Christianity, at its best, is to be an open place for all nations. Countless Christians work in that direction, the direction of a faith not bent on proselytizing but on humbling serving the suffering of the world.  And very little is written or said there, and the conversation remains diminished.

And there is a much more wonderful conversation to be had.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4: 19-21)

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