from Bill Hankel at Biologos:
The cold air has settled into Southeastern Pennsylvania, and a few dead tomato stalks are all that remain standing in our once vibrant garden. Obviously, this is in keeping with the annual rhythm of our humble vegetable plot; however, it could very well represent what might have become of my Christian faith had I not discovered BioLogos and other like-minded resources.
In recent years, I have been able to read the Bible with a new set of eyes that see the language of God in perfect harmony with what we find in nature. Some passages actually seem to make more sense when filtered through the prism of evolving creation. For example, Genesis 1:24 tells us that God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds …”, and while this surely is not a scientific statement of evolution, it does show that God is comfortable "creating" through secondary means. Imploring the land to produce more of the life he kindled seems to fit rather well with a creator who established the laws that govern our universe and let them play their part in the unfolding of our world. I believe God’s command to his creation to “be fruitful” can reasonably be understood in an evolutionary context.
I began this piece by mentioning our garden, and it was against this backdrop during the summer that I began to imagine God taking delight in watching the universe slowly unfold and grow, much like my wife and I delight in the slow transformation of seeds into a bountiful harvest. Although it is certainly in His power to snap his divine fingers and conjure up a fully formed universe, I don't think God prefers the role of a magician. We are told that we are made in his image, and obviously this does not mean in a physical sense. If we delight in observing growth, I believe it is because God also finds joy in it, and has imprinted this upon our hearts. As humans, we enjoy watching our children grow, as well as the continual expansion and development of the natural world. We are implored to grow in our faith, so I find that it makes perfect sense that growth is such a highly prized commodity in the eyes of God.
As the Lord has prepared the universe for our eventual development, we prepare our gardens to bring forth plant life. We provide the necessary nutrients, but like us, our vegetation can experience either growth or decay. We care for the plants in our garden, and although we might take precautions to try and protect them, we leave them to grow in an environment where threats do exist. As plant life can actually gain strength by facing some adversity, we, too, can have our mettle tested by the threats in the world around us. In this way, God again delights in our personal growth and is with us during difficult times if we just allow ourselves to trust in Him.
Although the "garden" where we currently grow can be a dangerous place, we can rest assured that our "Cosmic Gardener" is with us as winter finally closes in around us. We can have full confidence that the future holds promise of a new earth, a new "garden" home, a place we can lay down permanent roots and where the spiritual growth which began in this world will continue to be a part of God's plan forever and ever ... Amen!
The entire is post is worth a read and can be found here.