Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. — Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
Something confuses me about your comment about using the evidence to come up with a working theory about the existence of God. In the religion I was raised in, a lot of weight was put on faith. We had to have faith in God, we weren’t supposed to question, examine evidence, that was questioning God. Faith, as I always understood it, is belief without proper evidence. So shouldn’t it be a sin to develop a working theory, open to change, that is based on evidence? Or is faith not so important in your version of Christianity (Sadly I’m fairly ignorant about the differences between Catholicism and all the other forms of Christianity).
Faith is quite important to me. I believe that God exists, that he is sovereign and inerrant, and that he gave us his Word, the Bible, to teach us and guide us. However, He wants us to search for Him, and promises that when we seek for Him, we will find Him (Matthew 7:7). One of the ways we can seek for Him is by examining the universe around us. He put this universe here for us, and gave us brains to think with. He doesn’t want us to check our brains at the door. On the contrary, He wants us to think, and consider the possibilities, and realize that He is the only way. If we were all just hard-wired to worship Him like we were robots, then our coming to Him and praising Him really wouldn’t mean anything. So, we need to use these brains He gave us. The field of science was started because people wanted to learn more about the universe that God gave us.
It’s okay to question God sometimes. We don’t understand everything that He does. Yet, He does know what he’s doing, and He is correct. So, we need to have faith in Him, even when we’re questioning that what He’s doing is for the best. I don’t know if this is making much sense, but questioning God, and not having faith in Him all the time, doesn’t mean that you’re a horrible Christian. It just means that you’re human, and can’t see the Big Picture that God does. But you need to be able to get through that, and eventually trust in Him and have faith that He is in fact in charge of everything. And God certainly doesn’t want us to not examine evidence. Why would God put us in world that doesn’t provide us a way to find out that He was the one who made it all?
So, I’ve looked through a lot of evidence, and seen God working in my life firsthand. Based on everything I’ve seen, I believe that the God I was taught existed throughout my childhood in fact does exist, and in the form depicted in the Bible my religion uses. Now, I suppose that someone could present new evidence that might change that. But I’ve seen so much evidence that God is who He says He is, that it would take an awful, awful lot to persuade me that everything I’ve seen in my life is wrong. So, I guess I’ve made a “current working theory”, based on evidence (both scientific and personal), that seems rock-solid and consistent with what I know. So, any new evidence would have to be taken in light of all the evidence that I already have, and any new theory would need to include all of that.
I don’t know if I’m making much sense here, as I feel like I’m just stringing together a bunch of sentences to try to help describe things, and I’m not sure I’ve done that great a job. But feel free to keep on asking questions and I’ll try to clarify what I can. Thanks for reading all this.