The Genesis account of the creation of the world, universe, plants, animals and man is read by some as a literal description of how it actually happened. There may be many reasons for such thinking:
- New atheists like Richard Dawkins have fed the lie that evolution proves that there is no God (which any intelligent scientist with integrity will realise is false). Since the new atheists are so unpleasant in their behaviour, nobody wants to associate with any of their views.
- Having been told that the Bible is inerrant, or infallible and don’t know how else to interpret the text.
- Not having explored or understood the evidence for evolution.
St Augustine in the AD300’s identified some of the problems with the literal interpretation:
It was awkward when Christians talked as if the Bible offered an alternative explanation of the world in rivalry to that of astronomers and other natural scientists. It made them and their faith look foolish, and obscured the really important matters on which Christians had much to say. (Augustine, A Very Short Introduction)
In the book “Creation or Evolution, Do we have to choose? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creation-Evolution-Do-Have-Choose/dp/1854247468 Alexander clearly demonstrates that evolution is fully consistent with Genesis, so long as one interprets and understands Genesis in context.
So, a Minimalist Christian does not need to believe the literal interpretation of Genesis creation account, but does believe that God exists, brought the universe into being and sustains it.
Read more about this in The Big Picture.