Episcopalians believe that the Bible “contains all things necessary to salvation” (BCP page 868): it is the inspired and authoritative source of all truth about God, Christ and the Christian life … The Bible, including Genesis, is not a divinely dictated scientific textbook. We discover scientific knowledge about God’s universe in nature, not Scripture.
Are the creation stories in Genesis … meant to convey how God originated the universe?
These majestic stories should not be understood as historical and scientific accounts of origins but as proclamations of basic theological truths about creation. ‘Creation’ in Holy Scripture refers to and describes the relationship between God and all God’s wonderful works.
Has the Episcopal Church spoken officially on evolution?
No. However, clergy and scientists … in Anglicanism have accepted evolution from Darwin’s time to the present. The church in a resolution passed by the 67th General Convention (1982) affirmed the ability of God to create in any form and fashion, which would include evolution. Several Anglicans and Episcopalians, some of whom are both theologians and scientists, are contributing to the development of new theologies of an evolving creation.
What are the theologians saying about God’s creating activities in light of modern discoveries and theories?
According to Anglican priest and biologist Arthur Peacocke, God acts as Creator “in, with and under” the natural processes of chance and natural selection. Theologian Elizabeth Johnson writes that God uses the randomness of genetic mutation to ensure variety, resilience, novelty and freedom in the world. One could say that God has a purpose rather than a fixed plan, a goal rather than a blueprint. As the 19th-century Anglican minister Charles Kingsley put it, God has made a world that is able to make itself. [Physicist and Anglican priest] John Polkinghorne states that God has given the world a free process, just as God has given human beings free will.
Has the Episcopal Church spoken officially on the claims of the Intelligent Design Movement?
No. Although some Episcopalians are attracted to this concept, many Anglicans and Episcopalians who are scientists oppose the Intelligent Design Movement for the same reasons the vast majority of other scientists do. … It is not science’s task to discover God in nature; it is theology’s task to proclaim the revelation of the creating God in Scripture.