Evolution and the Spirit

Lewis wrote in passing, in a few places, about evolution. He didn’t seem to see it as a problem when viewed against the biblical narrative.

In my nondenominational upbringing, being “spirit-filled” is a statement that one has experienced supernatural gifts in one’s life. We also believe the Bible to be inerrant and infallible.

So taken together, does the “spirit” require a 7-day / 7000-year creation?

I’m interested in the feeling or perception that the bible is literal in that way. Can you oppose the “spirit” and be wrong? Clearly, emotion can be misleading. There are various other questions that arise from this conundrum. Can we judge other churches that are not “in the spirit”? Can mere guidance in life be possible? Can we get guidance on things such as a certain political contest?

My uncle said to me over this past weekend that he, throughout his life, has moved away completely from feeling and just on to the bible. Emotion, I get it.

The idea of a 14.5 billion-year universe should not threaten faith, should it? Yet, some of the people I know–my mother for one–can’t see through a 969-year-old Methuselah. If one is wrong about the time span of the Genesis account, is one less faithful?

Lewis would say that myth is powerful. “Spirit-filled” believers would object to the very word myth. This type of literalism can be confining to imagination.

Part of it is the fear of being unfaithful to the inerrant Word. It also brings up the fear that moral statements, like those about sexual immorality, could be unreliable if we allow compromise on the history aspect. I understand this. But it has been the whole Word of God‘s testimony that is consistent on this particular moral issue. Again, it comes down to a praiseworthy intention to be true to the guide we have been given.

I have honestly struggled with this type of literalism, my mind on one part and my spirit on the other. Yes, emotion can be unreliable. Discerning with the spirit cannot be only that.

But, clearly, life needs something more than mind. I want a reinvigorated spirit life every day. I respect the immensity of minds like Lewis’. But we are also emotional and spiritual beings. What is spirit?

I have had, as a friend says, “bad times.” Times where the “spirit” was wrong. That is the reason for my questioning. I have had experiences where the words on a page pop out to me, filled with positive or negative messages. I have had dreams that are wondrous or ominous or terrifying. “They shall dream dreams.” Yes, but how to know if those dreams are applicable to one’s life.

Maybe the desire for “spirit” has led to the various heresies or blasphemies. What we must have is the faith that all will work out for good in the end. This is a scripture, so must be true.

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