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Friday, 20 July 2007

Lutherans and Evolution

Back in May I commented that, among Evangelicals, those in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) are less likely to find evolution challenging to their faith. I speculated that this was because they had few ties with the early 20th century fundamentalist / modernist controversy. Seems that this is also true of the Lutheran church. Lars Hammar, a Lutheran pastor in Arizona, writes a very nice article on evolution here. He states:

Historically, Lutherans never got into the whole evolution-creationism debate. We avoided it, just didn’t enter into it at all. As a result, some of our members have more conservative views, some more liberal, but little in the way of an official church stance. Anecdotally, I would say that most Evangelical Lutherans (what we are at Our Saviour’s) believe in evolution (if you can say that evolution is something you believe in, and not something you accept as fact or deny). Definitely most Lutheran pastors and church leaders accept evolution.

I suspect part of the reason for not entering the debate is that during the crucial moment (early 20th century) the Lutheran church probably still looked to Europe (Germany, Scandinavia) for much of its theological leadership. Whereas denominations like the Baptists and Presbyterians had been completely assimilated to American culture by the early 20th century, the Lutherans and the CRC (Dutch) were not.

As a side note, George Murphy, one of my favorite science-theology-interaction writers, is also a Lutheran pastor. You can check out his website at http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/.

1 comment:

doktat said...

Link to Hammer's article doesn't work for me.