5/31/10 Jack, 23
At a deli on Chicago's near south side I bought some coffee and asked a young man (Jack) if he had a minute for a few questions. He was on his break from a store nearby. He has a Catholic background but has dropped away from church involvement due to disagreements between his scientific beliefs and church teachings. The full meal he had ordered arrived, and although we had a good two-way conversation going I began to talk a little more than usual to give him a chance to eat his meal. It seemed like his biggest issue was indeed science and faith, and that he wasn't just using this as a smokescreen to hide other hidden reasons for avoiding God's authority over his life, so I explained some ideas I have about the "young earth" issue. I asked him to imagine a scientist in the Garden of Eden. His observations might tell him, for example, that the trees are many years old. But in reality, God simply created them in a mature state. This should not be seen as deceitful because God states very clearly that this is what He did. The scientist would need to choose between what God said He did and what only appears to be true. And it seems to me, though more complicated, that this is the choice before us. God took six days to create, step by step, a mature creation that he could have created in an instant. Man can benefit from a growing knowledge of our world that seems to be ordered according to natural laws without having to believe it is any older than God says it is. We talked about many issues such as this before Jack had to get back to work. He had already set a life goal of "reading" the Bible (I offered him a Bible but he told me he has one downloaded to his phone) and he was enthusiastic about reading the law & grace Gospel summary I gave him.