Christianity, like most other religions, comes in variations. I suggest focussing on Catholicism. The reason is that traditional Catholic thought is committed to respecting science by probing Christian faith by reason. For example, Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109) proposed, "Fides quaerens intellectum" that faith must seek understanding; thisis not to replace the faith by reason but to avoid unreasonable faith, "faith" degenerating into a cult. The Church did not always follow Anselemus' advice. When the discoveries made by science did not fit the philosophical/theological thinking of church leaders, we know how scientists got into deep trouble.

Today, it is not the trouble with astronomers but with biologists. The reason is that biology asserts Darwin’s discovery that evolution works by accidents and natural selection and includes the appearance of Man as a result of this process.

There are mainly two reasons why the Church has difficulties accepting this view. The first is: "Christians must believe that God created all things" (Pope PIUS XII, "Humani Generis" 1950), and second: "Each human soul is individual and immortal, immediately created by God (Catholic catechism, e.g., #365 and #366). In the encyclical "Laudato si'" (2015), Pope Francis tones down the first statement that God created all things by mentioning evolution. He writes: "Human beings, even if we postulate a process of evolution, also possess a uniqueness which cannot be fully explained by the evolution of other open systems. Each of us has his or her own personal identity and is capable of entering into dialogue with others and with God himself. Our capacity to reason, to develop arguments, to be inventive, to interpret reality, and to create art, along with other not yet discovered capacities, are signs of a uniqueness that transcends the spheres of physics and biology. The sheer novelty involved in the emergence of a personal being within a material universe presupposes a direct action of God and a particular call to life and to relationship on the part of a "Thou" who addresses himself to another "thou." The biblical accounts of Creation invite us to see each human being as a subject who can never be reduced to the status of an object (Laudato Si' (81). The reference to evolution as a material process is rather surprising. The Pope must here be understood to contrast the “material” natural process of evolution with the necessity of a direct supernatural action of God, namely to create an individual eternal soul for each human being (Catholic catechism # 366). The zest of the Pope’s argument is that the natural process cannot bring forth a supernatural entity e.g. a human soul; (for its history see: "Human Nature: Historical, Scientific, and Religious issues" by Nancy Murphy; in: "Whatever happened to the Soul." Edited by W. S. Brown, Nancy Murphy, and H. N Malony 1998).

The Word of God creates Creation
Christian revelation leaves no doubt God creates Creation through His Word: God speaks, and Creation becomes (Gn 1-13). God speaks His creative Word out, away from God; it “existentially” departs from God to become the ontological creative center of that which is essentially not God but Creation. How can this be? An analogy may shed some light on the mystery of God's creative action. The Word of God that God speaks out, away from Him, is God's gift. The gift empowers Creation to come into existence, to become itself. The analogy is in personal giving. Human giving and God giving are different; the nature of the gift, however, is the same.

Real giving reflects the nature of the giver; the gift reflects the giver; the nature of the giver is given away together with the gift. Also, a genuine gift is “apolitical,” meaning that the one who receives a true gift can do whatever they want to do with it; the gift now belongs to the one who receives it.

God is Love
The fundamental revelation of Christianity is that God is Love, "Deus Caritas Est:" (Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, 2005). From God's "logic of love," it follows that Creation is God's gift. God created all of Creation through His Word, namely through His Son Jesus Christ: "All things came to be through Him, and without Him, nothing came to be" (Jn 1, 3: see also Rm 11, 36: 1Cor 8, 6: Col 1, 16: Heb 1,2). Because God gave away His Word to Creation, Creation can bring forth itself. This gift of God is genuine, one that is really given away. Therefore, it belongs to Creation; it becomes the creative center out of which all of Creation becomes. The mystery is that even though the Word of God is God, it brings forth that, which essentially is not God but creation/nature (theological language/nature, science language).

For our logic, this is incomprehensible because "something cannot become that which it is not." The eyes of faith, however, can see that God can be God in that which is not God. Christian revelation confirms this paradox; the illogicality of incarnation is that God can be God in a human being, in that which is essentially not God.

God's logic of incarnation also applies to Creation because Creation, that which is essentially not God, is, however, through the Word of God that is God. Because God’s creative Word is the gift of God to Creation, the World, the Universe, Nature, Nature can do with it whatever Nature is capable of doing, bringing forth the universe the natural way, through the laws of nature, not supernature!

For Christianity, the notion that Nature is empowered to become itself brings at least two fundamental problems to the forefront. How can God's providential plan become fulfilled if the history of creation results from an exclusively natural (probabilistic!) process? And what is the purpose of human life if we are just a result of natural evolution?

The point of departure for this present writing is that God is Love. It follows from the logic of love that Creation must have the means to become independent, possess the freedom of choice to follow its growth path, and realize its destiny. And when things go wrong? There is faith in the reality of salvation, in the providence accomplished through Christ's death and resurrection.

There is a crucially important lesson here: God does not manage the actions of the participants in the history of Christ's passion. All involved act freely, according to their (political?) interests. Yet through their free actions, God's "plan" of salvation becomes executed with utmost accuracy; even the cock cries at precisely the right moment!

Humans are "special."
If this is granted, what is then so unique about human beings? It is that selfconsciousness makes it possible to search deep into themselves consciously! There, the fundamental existential experience might be the realization of being thrown into existence, the discovery of existential dependence, and the acknowledgment of not being ones origin.

This existential discovery of reliance is the seed for transcendent thought; dependence opens the awareness of the beyond. The experience of the beyond is not a construct of our brain. Instead, it is the discovery of existence of that which is not I; that which is objective being, not projected by our mind but discovered. Standing with both feet on the ground, the beyond presents itself from above, from the stars, the moon, the sun, the clouds, the rain, the forest, with all its wonders! The awakening of the subjective mind made it possible to experience that which is not I but objective existence. To get closer to these unreachable heights, ancient people constructed temples on top of hills, pyramids, the highest part made of precious stones or even gold.

From whence existence?
The attempt to explain the mystery of origin, from where all of this is coming from, leads to the thousands of stories of how we and the world came into existence. Common to these stories is the attempt to describe the power(s), and our relationship to these creative forces. With this attempt comes the question of our relationship with these powers that leads to religion. Alternatively, the wonders, the complexity, and the beauty of Nature may lead to "religious naturalism," for example, to that which Ursula Goodenough experiences in "The Sacred Depths of Nature" (1998).

This depth of Nature is an essential dimension of Christian revelation. What science has made very clear is that we humans are a part of Nature. "Because our minds as well as our wills- our entire "person"- are products of Nature, Nature is in part but also in truth known from the inside..." (Langdon Gilkey: "Nature, Reality, and the Sacred" (1993; p. 176).

The sacred in Creation is the trace of the Trinitarian WORD of God in all created existence. We can delve into our depth to the center that gives existence to us and the whole of Creation. In this way, God’s creative Word connects us to all of Creation and the transcendent reality of the Creator. We are here joining Saint Augustine's insight, as he puts it: “ Interior intimo meo et superior summo meo.” “You were more inward to me than my most inward part and higher than my highest” (Augustine, Confessions 3.6.11).