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Christianity and Science, Theistic Evolutionism

The Argument Begins: Theistic Evolution

This post is the second in a series discussion the Argument about Creationism/Intelligent Design/Evolutionism in Christianity specifically. Click here for links to the rest of this series.

Theistic Evolution is probably the group I am farthest from, largely because I do still see some problems with the evolutionary theory (noting that I am no scientist or expert in the field) and I also have problems with the theological arguments advanced by Theistic Evolutionists in supporting their view.

I have decided to start off by reading a selection from Perspectives on an Evolving Creation, edited by Keith B. Miller. I start with Theistic Evolution because I want to survey fairly as many sides of the debate as possible. The article I started with is called “Christology, Evolution, and the Cross” by George L. Murphy.

The essay is exclusively a theological one; it is dealing with the issue of Christology in light of evolution. Murphy argues that God, on evolution, can be seen as working in the world just as He worked in the world through Christ. Christ humbled Himself when he became man. So, too, argues Murphy… “God voluntarily limits his action in the world, rather as a parent limits what he or she does to allow a child to grow and gain some understanding of its world and control of its environment and life” (372).

Further, Murphy argues against those who may accuse Theistic Evolutionists of being deistic in nature. He states that “God does not simply stand above the evolutionary process and make it happen. In the incarnation God becomes a participant in the process…” (375). Thus, God does in fact participate in a very theistic manner.

Further, Murphy raises a point I find very interesting (if initially somewhat strange). If evolution is true, then God coming as fully human includes that evolutionary history within mankind. Thus, Jesus, the incarnate God, literally takes the sins of the world upon Himself. Not just the sins of mankind, but all things. Murphy cites Colossians 1:20 (here in context with 19) “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Jesus Christ], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Murphy argues that on Theistic Evolution, people can take this quite literally. Being fully man and fully God, Christ was taking on the reconciliation of all things (having the history of creatures’ DNA), not just mankind. Jesus is the liberation that all creation was looking toward (385).

I find these points something to think about for a while, but I must object to Murphy’s view on a few aspects. Murphy, following the quote cited from page 375, states that God is redeeming the “…losers in the ‘struggle for survival’–for in the short run Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate are the survivors. And the resurrection of the crucified means that natural selection, important as it is as an evolutionary mechanism, is not God’s last word. There is hope for those who do not survive” (375).

I’m really not sure what to make of this. I think that Murphy is reading way too much into these verses. It seems that he does this often–reading evolution into parts of Scripture that don’t even seem to closely reflect it (if, indeed, any of Scripture can be said to reflect evolutionary theory, a claim that I find dubious at best). But taking his argument as it stands, it seems fairly interesting. Looking at the large scheme of things, a Theistic Evolutionist can offer an apology for Christianity from an argument of this sort. Why does God use death (natural selection) to bring about good (i.e. humanity and later redemption)? The Theistic Evolutionist can now answer “Christ is the answer” (just as one may answer with Covenantal Theology the problem of evil). Christ came in order to give God’s final answer to the perceived wrongness of the world. He came to promise an eternal life and redemption to all creation. It’s certainly a very different view than anything I’ve read before, and one I will contemplate as I continue my studying.

Ultimately, I’m not convinced by Murphy, but I think that he has shown me that the Theistic Evolution side does take Scripture seriously and that they are very sincerely Christian. He notes that “Every aspect of genuine human nature is saved only by… God in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ” (379).

There are some major problems with Theistic Evolution that I maintain. The first is an explanation of the “Image of God” in mankind. If man is simply evolved from lower lifeforms, what is the “Image of God”? Further, how does one perform Theistic Evolutionary exegesis (not eisegesis) on God’s special creation of man out of dust? The second major problem is original sin. If the wages of sin are death, how was their death before sin? These are questions that stand unanswered as of yet in my reading, and I don’t see any easy answers forthcoming.

Some criteria, on my view, for an acceptable explanation of the origins of life include: 1) God’s specific interaction with nature in a theistic, rather than deistic sense (and I believe Murphy may have dealt with this on a small scale in his essay) 2) An adequate explanation of original sin and its meaning with creation and the origins of life (and must thus include an account of redemption through the divine Christ), and 3) An adequate explanation of the special creation of Adam and Eve. These points still have some pretty heavy weight against theistic evolution.

I want to note that one very valid point that Theistic Evolutionists make is that, as far as scientific inquiry goes, critics of evolution must offer a competing scientific model. It’s all well and good to criticize evolution and point out the flaws in the theory, but what can replace it? One may try to answer that this seems like a positivistic claim- why should we, as Christians, have to argue within current scientific means for a Creationist account? I think that this counter is ineffective, however, as it is true that scientifically speaking (not philosophically or religiously speaking), one must offer a competing model if one wants to overthrow the current one. This is a question I will be exploring in the future, as I have read parts of works in which competing models are indeed offered (such as Intelligent Design or Hugh Ross’s “Creation as Science” model).

I’ve been getting into a bit of a rut with what I’ve been reading, and this kind of makes all of it fresh again. I’ll be interspersing theological articles and books throughout. For me, the most important thing in this debate is Scripture and sound doctrine. Whatever side is right is that which stands closest to the absolute authority and truth of God’s Word. I’m looking forward to looking at the scientific aspect of the debate, in order to see how the sides present their cases.

For further reading/sources:

Murphy, George L. “Christology, Evolution, and the Cross.” Perspectives on an Evolving Creation. Edited Keith Miller. 2003.

Theistic Evolution – Perspectives.

Works I will be referencing/reading as part of this series:

Perspectives on an Evolving Creation

Mere Creation. Edited by William Dembski.

Ross, Hugh. Creation as Science.

Ross, Hugh. More than a Theory.

Behe, Michael. The Edge of Evolution.

Behe, Michael. Darwin’s Black Box.

Ham, Ken. The New Answers Book 1.

Van Fange, Erich. In search of the Genesis World.

Strobel, Lee. The Case for a Creator.

Collins, Francis. The Language of God.

Rehwinkel, Alfred. The Flood.

Dembski, William. Intelligent Design.

-many more

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The preceding post is the property of J.W. Wartick and should not be reproduced in part or in whole without the expressed consent of the author.

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About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. His interests include theology, philosophy of religion--particularly the existence of God--astronomy, biology, archaeology, and sci-fi and fantasy novels.

Discussion

18 thoughts on “The Argument Begins: Theistic Evolution

  1. Granted, I am not sitting with Murphy’s book in front of me, but the usage of Colossians 1:19-20 as you have displayed it is a horrific stretching of a passage to fit one’s agenda. Did he even read the rest of the chapter surrounding it? Does he not know that v15-20 are an early Christological hymn? Does he not read or address verse 16 “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him”? Does theistic evolution allow for such purpose, authority, and orderliness as verse 17 proclaims “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together?” How does Murphy justify his distinction between world and mankind? I can think of no such distinction in Scripture.

    I think Murphy’s lack of a stance on the origin and nature of sin (as you have said) prevents him from understanding what I am about to say. Animals do not sin. Creation does not commit sin. Sin is directly connected to the failure and rejection of God by the ones made in His Image & Likeness. As you have pointed out, theistic evolution does not account for this. Now you need to take that insight to the scriptural conclusions: Man alone sins. The covenant was given to all mankind and not the rocks, plants, and animals. God says, “this covenant I make with you and your children and your children’s children.” He does not say “and also your livestock, herds, and vegetation.”

    RE: “critics of evolution must offer a competing scientific model.”
    We will offer a competing scientific model when the evolutionists provide an initial scientific model. The origin and macro-evolutionary progression of species cannot be observed in one lifetime. To induce an acceleration would be self-defeating by the God-effect (at least for a non-theistic evolutionist). And the experimenting could hardly be repeated. I find it hard to call what they have a “Scientific model” when it doesn’t even measure up to the junior high level “scientific method.” Indeed, it cannot! (http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring/project_scientific_method.shtml)

    Right now they have a theory that cannot be tested and is not true by logical necessity. Thus, it’s not science, it’s theory, speculation, or if they so like, they may call it faith 😛
    We too have a theory that cannot be tested and is only true by logical necessity if you agree with Dr. Stephen Parrish’s book ;-). The difference is this: we admit that it is by faith.
    Instead of demanding that critics provide an alternative scientific model, what if the the critics demand that the evolutionists admit that their stance is largely dependent on faith? Would there be a double standard of expectations?

    my two pence

    Posted by Open2Truth | February 15, 2010, 4:53 PM
    • correction, my statement “Does theistic evolution allow for such purpose, authority, and orderliness as verse 17 proclaims “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together?”” is upon further review reading way too much into those words. Likewise, i think Murphy is reading entirely too much into v. 19-20. He needs an accurate definition of sin (hebrew HT’- miss the mark) if he is to see mankind as the sole perpetrator of sin. Yes the earth is affected, and yes there will be a new earth (2 Peter 3:13), but this hardly improves the scriptural validity of a Christology based in theistic evolution.

      Posted by Open2Truth | February 15, 2010, 5:01 PM
      • What do you think of the potential for using it as a defense against the problem of evil? I at least find that interesting–that theistic evolution christology essentially means that all that death that came before is now justified in light of Christ.

        Posted by J.W. Wartick | February 16, 2010, 2:54 PM
    • Thank you again for your comments! I really appreciate this kind of discussion.

      I think you raise some good points about the scientific method happening here. Neither case is really demonstrable with science (we cannot repeat the origin event nor can we go back in time and see what “actually” happened), so there is some level of faith involved in all origin stories.

      I do believe that God is logically necessary, and demonstrably so. Now I also think that logical necessity precedes the scientific method, therefore any scientific theory must take into mind that God exists, necessarily.

      I’m reading through Hugh Ross right now. He calls himself a creationist, I see him more as an ID person. He is presenting a scientific model for creationism. This is going to be interesting :).

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | February 16, 2010, 2:57 PM
    • Now as for your exegesis. I must say that I agree. So far I have not been impressed at all with the kind of interpretation going on within the theistic evolutionary camp. That, in my opinion, is their greatest flaw. I am looking forward to seeing if there is any better developed interpretation in other passages, or what scientific evidence is presented. I do think that it is possible to at least create a better exegesis around theistic evolution, albeit not a flawless one. I will be seeing how those in the field fare.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | February 16, 2010, 2:59 PM
  2. I’m not exactly sure what you mean by a defense against the problem of evil. Are you referring to the Colossians 1:19-20 passage specifically or to the idea that all death and pain that came naturally in creation finds justification in Christ?
    I would have a problem with the latter. It requires God to create an imperfect, flawed, even dying creation. Naturalism may attempt to say all these things are innately good and therefore not imperfections, but the Bible says otherwise. It should not be this way and at one time it was not. Saying that death is part of natural creation and then saying Christ justifies it is in my mind a non sequitor from top to bottom. What is there to justify if it’s the way God made it to be?

    I actually think, in light of this, that this particular argument from theistic evolution compounds and complicates any defense to the problem of evil. It almost solidifies Theodicy’s argument that God is either NOT omnipotent or NOT all good, because look at how flawed His creation is. God was clearly not powerful enough to create a world where life forms could live. Instead, out of His weakness, He could only create a world where things must die for other things to prolong their own inevitable death. Either that, or God is not all good/loving and chose to make this flawed, painful world of death to get His jollies out of our futility (or boost His own almighty ego). Maybe I’m straw-manning what they would say from my own ignorance of their methodology, but I see their view of the world and creation as directly accommodating the philosophical belief that God is either not omnipotent or not omnibenevolent.

    From the non-theistic evolution side, saying that mankind’s sin (and not God’s initial creating act) plunged the entire world into chaos, pain, suffering, death, and despair and subsequently Christ’s death and resurrection makes him first born from the dead, allowing us to look for the New Heaven and New Earth, resurrection to life everlasting… yeah, I do like the eschatological defense to the problem of evil. Unfortunately non-Christians would reject many necessary, preliminary steps to that conclusion. It does work in practical situations with Christians who require comfort though. I have felt this first hand with my own illness. Being in pain every single day doesn’t seem like such an unsolvable, unsearchable evil when this life is not the end-all be-all of “Life.” A man diagnosed with cancer can look with hope to the heavenly healing sealed in Christ’s resurrection and suddenly the “problem of evil” is a temporary problem at worst and perhaps not a problem at all.

    The same is not true if cancer is a natural, intended part of God’s creation. Suddenly heaven would not look so promising. If God is not powerful enough to make a world without cancer, how can I believe He will have a cancer-free Heaven? Or, if God is not good or loving enough to create the world without cancer, how can I trust Him to make good on His promise that in heaven “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away (Rev 21.4).”

    I hope you see how complicated it becomes when these things are not the result of sin. I would say it’s downright contradictory to what we know from God’s Word and believe.

    Posted by Open2Truth | February 17, 2010, 11:45 AM
    • Thank you for the clarification. Could the theistic evolutionist argue with a similar eschatological defense of the problem of evil, however. God created the world, allowing it to change and prepare for mankind, all the while knowing that the cycle of death would be ended in Christ’s death and resurrection, ultimately redeeming and bringing to new life with a New Heaven and a New Earth? Thus, the death inherent in the process must be viewed in a Christological light, knowing that despite the apparently bad conditions, God’s redemptive purpose would overcome the suffering.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | February 17, 2010, 3:02 PM
      • I had a very good reply and right before it was ready to be posted the computer gliched and I lost it. It’s too late to start over, most of my thoughts are lost now. I am so ticked I could smash this computer. I’ll try to reply at a more cogent hour of a later date. My apologies and frustration over losing what I was very happy with… I had really shaped a lot of ideas in ways I had not thought of them or presented them before hand. Thanks to your blog for the opportunity to think about them… now if only technology would cooperate and not bury the insight.

        Posted by Open2Truth | February 19, 2010, 6:22 PM
      • I’m really looking forward to whatever thought you have, as always. I’ve been reading through “More Than a Theory” for my next post in this series and I’m very interested to write out the concepts therein and, of course, see what thoughts and insights you have. Hugh Ross, I think, makes a very excellent case, Biblically and scientifically. He’s an old earth creationist in the usual sense. The post after that one will probably be on Young Earth Creationism.

        Posted by J.W. Wartick | February 20, 2010, 12:37 AM
      • If I were to title this post, I would call it “You can’t have Redemption without the Rejection”

        No, I do not think a theistic evolutionist can validly use the eschatological defence to the problem of evil. They have already forfeited crucial presuppositions to that position. For one, the Incarnation itself is thrown into question when the punishment of sin is spiritual death alone. Why should Christ come in a human body if only the human spirit needed saving from death? And why should Christ die bodily if the physical death was not the punishment? Christ came to justify (make right) what man made wrong, but for TE– if God is the one who made death, pain and evil in this world then Jesus’ death and resurrection is justifying (making right) what God made wrong. This has serious implications. The eschatological defence is strong only because Jesus makes right what man made wrong. TE does not leave room for this. They deny physical death as part of man’s rejection that makes redemption necessary, then they claim redemption over what should no longer need redeeming (since physical death was not part of the rejection).

        Christ came to justify the UNgodly. If TE maintains God is still omni-benevolent then His creation which includes death, pain, and suffering is >>by definition<< godly: God's creation is godly, simple enough (and God calls it good). If creation is not depraved, cursed, and thrown down by the fault of man then we have no grounds for saying physical death, pain and suffering need to be reconciled in Christ, we have no reason to call them ungodly. TE has a major problem now and no defence for the problem of evil. An omni-benevolent God who makes a world with death, pain, and suffering and then plans Christ to pay for these punishments (for that is what His divine revelation calls them) is not consistent. How can they be punishments when they were placed in nature before any command was broken? This system is inconsistent unless your God is NOT omni-benevolent or NOT omnipotent (Theodicy wins). The eschatological defence would not work because Scripture testifies that Christ came to redeem the UNgodly. TE has established an ordered creation by God that is by definition godly. Christ does not redeem what God has called “good.” Yet TE has Christ reconciling a godly creation (including pain, death, suffering) to the godly heavenly Father (who created it that way). That is completely counter-intuitive. Death, pain and suffering must remain since they are part of God’s godly creation, His intended order for things. Let me put it this way: God calls creation “good,” He calls sinners “evil,” Christ comes to receive our punishment so that though we are “evil” we may be called “good.” Thereby, Christ restores us to the Father. Now, if God’s “good” creation includes death, pain and suffering, then Christ is essentially restoring us to nothing special at all… just more potential death, pain, and suffering.

        This is what TE does not see:
        Christ dies to receive our punishment for sin
        Our punishment requires a sin committed
        Sin committed requires a command
        Beyond this model (which TE distinguishes as only pertaining to the spiritual), TE adds that physical death, pain, and suffering which are part of God’s natural creation are covered in Christ’s death. But how can they be covered if they are not a consequence of sin? They have God instituting a punishment before a sin was committed or a command issued. This is a huge problem for them.

        If I were arguing for theodicy against a theistic evolutionist and he tried to use an eschatological defence to the problem of evil I would find it quite easy to refute. The TE’s system claims physical death was allowed and even instituted by God as a part of Creation knowing Christ would reconcile the whole world, even physical death, pain and suffering. As a theodicy proponent, This God is a cruel tyrant who unleashes physical pain, death, and suffering on a world that had not yet broken any command. If this TE person believes in the divinity of Jesus and John chapter 1, then I would also point out to him the incoherency of Jesus dying to redeem the world from how He made it (“through him was everything made that is made”).

        You see, JW, Theodicy is built around putting God in the defendant chair and having mankind examine, judge, and scrutinize Him for the way things are, after all He is the creator. For the Theistic evolutionist, if death, pain, suffering and evil are natural to how God created the world then He is unjust, for He punishes us for the way He created us- capable of evil. It has nothing to do with our first parents’ choice to reject the good and adopt death. No, it’s strictly how God made the world. The basic question is: who is responsible for the way the world currently is? If God created the world this way, then He is defendant. If man corrupted what God made, then we are the defendants.

        It is precisely in the rejection of God’s ordered creation in Genesis 3 that the courtroom flips! Man now sits in the defendant chair and God asks, “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” In other words, “Have you rejected my order of creation?” Evil has entered us. Redemption is necessary. A saviour is needed. And praise God, one was promised, came, suffered, died, was raised, and now lives, and because he lives, we shall live also. THAT is the eschatological defence to the problem of evil. Praise be to this Jesus Christ who takes OUR problem of evil upon himself.

        Posted by Open2Truth | February 20, 2010, 11:17 AM
  3. My thanks for J.W. Wartick’s comments on my essay. Issues related to God’s relationship with the initial creation and questions about original sin &c are indeed important. I commented on them briefly in this chapter but have dealt with them more more fully in an article “Roads to Paradise and Perdition: Christ, Evolution, and Original Sin” (Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 58, 109, 2006) that’s available at the journal’s website.
    Open2Truth may be assued that I am aware of the entire Christ hymn of Colossians. (Amoing other things, it was the text for my ordination sermon.) It is precisely the fact that the key phrase in this hym is /ta papnta/, “all thing”, that is critical. Not all creation indeed has sinned but :all things” are reconciled the God” through the cross of Christ. I’ve dealt with this in more detail in my book “The Cosmos in the Light of the Cross” (Trinity Press International,. 2003).
    Frankly it is just silly to say “We will offer a competing scientific model when the evolutionists provide an initial scientific model.” Evolutionary theory has provided a well-developed & well-supported model for the development of living things though time. Those who oppose it have offered no coherentpositive alternative.

    Posted by George Murphy | April 23, 2010, 8:31 PM
    • Wow, I never thought the author would show up to comment on my discussion! It is an honor to have you comment on my discussion of your chapter in Perspectives on an Evolving Creation. I just re-read through the chapter and my own comments, and I was wondering what you would say about, say, original sin? I too often find that the case for theistic evolution is that Scriptural Inerrancy is abandoned. I read the chapter in the same work on original sin, but found it unsatisfactory from my own presuppositional stance. Is it, on your view, a choice between inerrancy or evolution? Surely there must be some who hold to both views. Further, how would you deal with the passages on God’s creation of man out of the dust?

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | April 23, 2010, 10:43 PM
  4. I do not agree with a viewpoint of theistic evolution which teaches that God create the universe and let the inherent properties of the universe produce the first life and subsequent species naturally, without any direction evidence of a designing intelligence. First of all, although the theistic evolution take the idea of Darwinism, the scientific evidence does not support Darwinian macroevolution or abiogensis. It means that the small change of species could be able to explaine with Dawinian’s macroevolution, but not the origin of whole change or all species. Second, Theistic evolutionists’ interpretations of the Bible seem strained. The Bible clearly indicates that God creates each animal’s kinds and difference in nature from one to others. It opposes to a fluid development where one kind evolves into another. Third, God creation of human beings stands out from the rest of the living world because they are directly fashioned in the image of God. There are many passages that mention to the first marriage couple as a significant theological symbol (Matthew 19:4-6, Roman 5:12-21, 2 Corinthians 11:3)

    Posted by Gene | December 11, 2011, 6:33 PM
    • First let me state for record that I – and a lot of other people who get classified as adhering to “theistic evolution” – consider the term a less than ideal description of our views. It makes God’s role merely an adjectival qualification of a natural process. For that reason Denis Lamoureux’s term “evolutionary creation” (cf. his book by that title) is better. But “theistic evolution” and “theistic evolutionist” (sometimes abbreviated TE) are pretty well established terms and I won’t take further time debating the matter here.

      Then to Gene’s comment. I (and I think most TEs) don’t hole a deistic view that God created things in the beginning and then “let the inherent properties of the universe produce the first life and subsequent species naturally”, as if God had nothing further to do with it. God is always active, working with and through natural processes. Traditional theology described this as /creatio continua/. Gene, however, may not be satisfied because he expects God to have given “evidence of a designing intelligence”, presumably of a sort that science can discern. I can see no more reason to expect that than to demand that there be some scientific proof that God is involved in the natural processes of nuclear fusion etc. that make the sun shine.

      For the scientific evidence supporting Darwinian evolution I would refer to the relevant chapters of _Perspectives on an Evolving Creation_, the book with which this discussion began. Frankly I find the casual dismissals of evolution by many opponents of it rather silly.

      What about biblical interpretation? The Bible pictures God creating a world that is intended to develop in time rather than one of static perfection. (Otherwise “Be fruitful and multiply” would make no sense.) And in Genesis 1 God creates living things mediately, having the previously created materials of the world bring them forth. So I think there is an openness to an evolutionary view, though of course the Bible does not “teach evolution” in the modern neo-Darwinian sense – or the periodic table or general relativity, for that matter. Nor should this surprise us. Such things would have made no sense to people 2000-3000 years ago. The Holy Spirit apparently condescended to communicate the fundamental truths about God as the creator within the limits of the knowledge of people of those times.

      To be quite clear, that means that some of the pictures of the world and its processes that we find in the Bible are, from a modern scientific standpoint, incorrect. There is, e.g., no solid dome of the sky with a cosmic ocean above it (Genesis 1:6-7 – cf. also Psalm 148:4). I realize that saying that will evoke very negative reactions from some readers. Others, however, may be relieved to discover that they can read the Bible as a faithful witness to what God does in creating, saving and hallowing the world without either denying solid scientific evidence or trying to read it into biblical texts in anachronistic ways.

      I have some things in various stages of publication on that issue and will be glad to note them here when they come to birth. For now I’ll have to refer to a brief essay that I wrote for the online newsletter of the Lutheran Alliance on Faith, Science and Technology which is available at http://archive.elca.org/faithandscience/covalence/story/content/06-03-15-murphy.pdf .

      Finally, Gene refers to the place of human beings. I think that the concept of “image of God” in Genesis refers to the _role_ than humans are called to play. “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion … “. I.e., humans are supposed to be God’s representatives in caring for creation. I can’t see that the belief that God created humankind through evolution has to conflict with that.

      Posted by George Murphy | December 13, 2011, 4:48 PM
    • Thanks for the link. I think the author of that article has a few good things to say, but I would contend that some of it misrepresents the positions involved.

      For example, “The Supreme Court has wisely stated that proselytizing any religion has no place in public schools, and only religious faith supports the Genesis account of creation, compared to evolution which has overwhelming scientific support.”

      I don’t assign myself the title of any specific position, but I do fall into the camp that believes the universe is billions of years old. THat said, I think the author of this article is basically utilizing a ‘non-overlapping magisteria’ type approach to the questions of science and the Bible. I don’t buy into that. This quote, in particular, shows what I think is a false picture in which evolutionary theory is pitted against the Genesis 1-2 accounts of creation. To ask the text of Genesis to answer 21st century science questions is absurd. It is exactly the genre of ANE cosmology and should be treated as such. We can read it “literally” and as inerrant without ever asking “how old does this text say the universe is?” because that question is not the question the text is addressing.

      Thanks for linking me on facebook, by the way! I’d ‘like’ it but it won’t let me. I can recommend other explorations if you want.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | May 29, 2012, 3:29 PM

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