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At the end of this issue dealing with beginnings, it would be easy to be overwhelmed by the differences among Christians: different approaches to the text, different interpretations of the scientific evidence, different evaluations of the theological implications. A danger of focusing on differences between Christians on matters of origins is overlooking what is shared. That it matters how we handle the biblical text, inspired and preserved by God so we can better honour him and understand ourselves; it matters that we investigate creation with integrity and glorify the creator; it matters that we love God and one another; it matters that the gospel founded on death and resurrection of Jesus be safeguarded and proclaimed.
Yet there are deep disagreements among Christians about origins, and this should not surprise us. As has been pointed out again and again in these pages, there is much that we do not know—at least not yet. Questions of origins may be contested as long as this age endures. Or it may be that as new evidence is found, theories are tested, and interpretations debated, some views that now look feasible will be abandoned, while others settle to become the norm. Later generations may wonder why the truth was not obvious to everyone. In the end, time will tell.
As noted earlier, most of us are not biblical scholars, theologians, or scientists working in fields relevant to origins research. In the end, the position we settle on regarding origins may well have less to do with firsthand convictions about what is true in these fields, than with who we trust, and how well their account sits with our existing beliefs. And that is if we feel the need to nail our colours to one particular mast at all. For some it will be enough to know there are credible options out there, held by godly Christian experts, and that our remaining questions about origins are not grounds to reject the gospel of Christ and its hope of a new creation.
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