Faith lives on

  • July 16, 2015

Over breakfast recently in Parliament’s Centre Block cafeteria, a good friend and I drifted into a conversation about the evolutionary significance of death.

Perhaps it was because Parliament itself is now quiet as a tomb, the politicians having scattered across the land to spend their summers preparing for the autumn election. With no one around to focus us on taxes, we were left with life’s other great certainty. Or maybe it was because we are of an age where death increasingly puts its touch on those around us: colleagues, life-long friends, loved ones.

Whatever our motivation, we fell into rumination on a question she raised about the implication of death being built into our very nature as evolved beings, even if we accept that evolution itself rolls out from God’s creative act.

“If death is a feature and not a bug,” my friend asked, “what does that mean for our faith?”

My quick answer was the Cross and Resurrection: Christ’s promise of life everlasting. But, my friend persisted, how do we reconcile that with the Genesis account of Creation, Fall and Redemption if evolution forms us to go extinct, individually and as a species. Why these two contrary forces?

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