Chance, necessity and information

One of the things that fed the philosophical turmoil I referred to here over the centuries was the same conundrum that binds the prevalent materialist worldview, and so influences ours, now. Continue reading

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Life as a cruise

Way back in 1968, for reasons I couldn’t fathom even then, I found myself as a Lower Sixth form student on a school cruise somewhere in the Mediterranean, being asked to join a “Brains Trust” panel to entertain the other students. Mercifully I remember little about it, apart from its being chaired by a well-known journalist from the Daily Mirror (we didn’t take the Mirror so I’d never heard of her). The most memorable thing was that she took us panel-members for an illicit alcoholic beverage in the ship’s lounge, strictly off limits to the broad masses of students, afterwards. It was my first and last experience of academic privilege. Continue reading

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The changing face of God and creation

There’s an apocryphal story about the days before 1857 (when the law was reformed) when a divorce in Britain could only be obtained by a private Act of Parliament – clearly only possible for the rich and powerful. The tale goes that when a lengthy, tedious and ill-attended bill about the Corporation of Liverpool (some say Birmingham) was presented, the town clerk managed to slip into one interminable clause the words, “and hereby the town clerk N. is granted a divorce.” Continue reading

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Chain of being – still binding us?

After I posted my piece on the Great Chain of Being I was informed that the definitive treatment of that theme is the 1936 book (of the same name) by Arthur Lovejoy, So I thought I ought to check out how far I’d erred in my ad hoc treatment of it. Continue reading

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Middleton’s Further Thoughts on the Empty Temple

This is a guest post by J. Richard Middleton, in response to issues raised by Jon Garvey in a post called Middleton on the empty temple. A native of Jamaica, Richard is currently Professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis at Northeastern Seminary, in Rochester, NY, USA. Trained in both philosophy and Old Testament studies, his writing and research have focused on the biblical worldview, creation theology, Hebrew narratives, lament literature, and eschatology. His most recent book A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology will be published by Baker Academic in November.

I’m delighted to respond Jon’s post, which reflects on a previous post of mine  where I suggested that a priestly/liturgical read of the imago Dei can unify the entire biblical story. Jon raises very good questions in his post, questions I myself have wondered about. Continue reading

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Design with a Designer but without a definition

The third part of Robert Bishop’s critique of Stephen Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt on BioLogos begins:

All Christians agree that the universe is designed; otherwise, we would not be able to say that this is God’s creation. Where we may differ is on the nature of that design and the how as well as on expectations for detectability of design.

Continue reading

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Milgram revisited

My attention was drawn to this news item. It stirs memories from nearly as long ago as the 1961 experiment itself, of my time studying social psychology in 1973. Milgram’s experiment was one of those most often cited on my Cambridge course, but not for the reasons given most prominence in the item. Continue reading

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Middleton on the empty temple

Those helpful chaps at alerted me recently to an interesting piece by J Richard Middleton. Richard has commented here, and is one of the scholars doing good work on the science-faith interface. He’s written a book, Liberating Image: The Imago Dei in Genesis 1 (which unfortunately is still on my “to-read” list) on the image of God, and this new article updates and extends that thesis. Continue reading

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Fully gifted conservation

At a couple of separate points in the BioLogos discussion to which Eddie Robinson’s recent piece refers, the question of creation and its sustaining arises. Argon in a comment refers to a well-worn TE phrase (which I seem to have neglected in favour of other equivalent terms on The Hump before), ie “fully-gifted creation,” meaning that God at the point of creation endowed it with all it needs to manage its own affairs and, specifically, evolution.

I, for my part, drew attention to Deborah Haarsma’s repetition of the rather constricted language regarding God’s “sustaining” of creation used by Darrel Falk in 2012. Like him, she appeared, at least, to limit God’s ongoing governance of creation to natural laws, allowing for direct divine action in biblical miracles, but regarding the same in matters of natural events to be controversial:

At BioLogos, “we believe that God typically sustains the world using faithful, consistent processes that humans describe as ‘natural laws.’ Yet we also affirm that God works outside of natural law in supernatural events, including the miracles described in Scripture.” The debate is over how much God chose to use miracles over the eons of natural history, and here BL and DI assess the evidence differently. Continue reading

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Response to Deborah Haarsma’s Constructive New Column Regarding ID

Over at BioLogos, President Deborah Haarsma has posted a column on ID/TE relations that is in some respects admirable, and certainly an improvement on many past things written about ID on BioLogos.

Here I present in full my response to her column. I am publishing it here because it is rather long, and I suspect BioLogos may not want to publish such a lengthy piece in the comments section. Continue reading

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