Can Christians Believe in Evolution? Chris Mulherin on Science and Christianity

Rev. Dr Chris Mulherin joined Hope Drive as part of National Science Week to discuss how science and faith can coexist in the modern world.

Listen to the full radio interview here.

Originally published on Hope 103.2.

Can Christians believe in the creation story and also believe in evolution? Rev. Dr Chris Mulherin thinks so.

Chris is an Anglican minister with a background in engineering, philosophy, and theology. He is the Executive Director of ISCAST—a network of people from students to academics exploring the interface of science and Christianity.

He is also the author of Science and Christianity: Understanding the Conflict Myth. Chris joined Hope Drive as part of National Science Week to discuss how science and faith can coexist in the modern world.

Are science and religion at war?

While there is a myth that science and religion are at war with each other, Chris believes the two can coexist—when we understand what kind of book the Bible is.

“Every type of literature has its own genre,” Chris said.

“There are lots of different books in the Bible, with different genres.”

Referring to the tension between the creation story and evolution, Chris believes that both can be held in relationship with each other.

“I don’t think the first few chapters of Genesis are trying to give us scientific answers,” he said.

“[I think it’s] trying to say that God created everything, came before everything, created human beings in his own image. But I don’t think it’s telling us how many hours God took to create the world.”

A nuanced faith

In fact, Chris believes that a nuanced understanding of both science and theology create a deeper understanding of God and the universe.

“The knowledge that the Bible gives us is knowledge of people, relationships, meaning and purpose,” Chris said.

“Science gives us knowledge about the mechanics of the natural world.

“They are both giving us knowledge—but different types of knowledge.”

Got questions and doubts?

While, historically, questions and doubts around faith were discouraged, Chris believes that asking questions and sharing doubts allows us to enter into a stronger relationship with God.

“God is the Creator of everything,” Chris said. “And this God can cope with our questions.”

Georgia Free

Georgia Free is a presenter and writer for Hope 103.2.