Sorry to inflict this on you, but really, you have to keep up with Sophisticated Theology™. This excerpt is from our old friend John Haught, in his article “Christianity and human evolution” in The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity (pp. 295-305).
Halfway through this 600-page tome, whose editors J. B. Stump and A. G. Padgett promised would not be “a work defending or promoting Christian faith,” (p.xix), I see that they have misled us. At least 80% of the pieces try to reconcile science and Christianity (Sean Carroll’s essay is a rare exception). It is shameful that Blackwell published such a volume. Simon Conway Morris’s piece on convergence and Christianity, for example, is followed by an essay by Stephen C. Meyer of the Discovery Institute, pushing his discredited theory that evolution cannot produce “specified information” without the intervention of an intelligent designer.
In the “Evolution” section, John Haught comes onstage to show us once again how evolution not only comports with Christianity, but is exactly what we would expect if God were to create according to His nature. Haught once again makes a theological virtue from a scientific necessity:
“According to many Christian evolutionists, Darwin’s new science now makes it possible to think of God’s power to create as more impressive than ever. A creator who brings into being a world that in turn gives new kinds of being from out of its original resourcefulness is certainly more impressive than a hypothesized ‘designer’ who molds and manages everything in the world directly.” (p. 296).
I wonder why the Bible didn’t tell us that? And is that really so? Wouldn’t a God who could make a frog or a gazelle or a Venus flytrap ex nihilo be more impressive than one who just allowed an original form of life to evolve unchecked?
Anyway, I wanted to highlight the same virtue that Haught makes out of the necessity of the Big Bang:
“It may be instructive, therefore, to locate the question of human significance within the framework of the newly revealed cosmic drama. Christian theology may now ask what human evolution means not only in conversation with biology but also with cosmology.”
. . . Many scientists* have now concluded that the Bing bang universe has been pregnant with life and mind from its very inception 14 billion years ago. Contrary to what materialist or ‘physicalist’ philosophies of nature have traditionally held, the stuff of the universe has never been essentially mindless. The emergence of being endowed with the capacity to understand, reflect, and decide, therefore, really begins during the first microsecond of the universe’s existence. Christianity’s declaration that human beings have been specially endowed by the Creator with a unique significance and a special vocation within the total scheme of things is at least logically consistent with contemporary cosmology.” (p. 301)
I love that weasel phrase “logically consistent”!
Likewise, the island of Manhattan has never been without skyscrapers, for the emergence of such tall beings endowed with the capacity to hold many humans on a small footprint of space really began at the first instant an early hominin decided to live in a cave.
*There are those “many scientists” again! I wonder who they are. . .