The Christian doctrine of creation is incomplete without a consideration of the concept of the new creation. Not only is Christianity inextricably linked to the idea that, in Christ, the whole cosmos will soon be renewed, but that renewal has been revealed as the end towards which the old creation was always headed. Continue reading
I did a series last year (starting here) on the fundamental difference between the original Christian idea of freedom, and the almost universal modern perversion of freedom into “autonomy”, even within the churches. The series arose from my research on the historical teaching on the goodness of creation. Without grasping the radical difference in these two concepts of freedom, one cannot understand why the whole “free process” theology underlying most theistic evolution now is so far adrift from historic Christianity. In fact, it’s hard to comprehend historic Christianity at all. Continue reading
One of our readers pointed me to a useful overview by Simon Conway Morris of his thinking on his pet theory of convergent evolution. I don’t want to review it here, as it’s clear enough in itself. But I will summarise it in relation to The Hump’s recently coined approach to things scientific, Classic Providential Naturalism. Continue reading
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit. (1 Peter 3.18)
G K Chesterton famously answered the question, “What’s wrong with the world?” with two words: “I am.” Christ did not become creation – he became man. And he did not die for suffering, but suffered for sins. Yet in doing so he redeemed both the suffering of man and the suffering of creation, both of which are the result of our sin. The cause is a deeply sobering thought. The solution is one of the fundamental truths of the Gospel.
But another fundamental truth is that Jesus’s suffering was only the means to an end – the defeat of sin and its swallowing up in the victory of the Resurrection and Ascension to the Father. Jesus is now declared in power to be both Lord and Christ, and in him we who are redeemed also sit at the right hand of the God who dwells in unapproachable light. That’s both the personal and cosmic meaning of the Easter. This weekend above all is the time to glorify him in that fact: it’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!
The word “bibliolatry” has cropped up in a comment on BioLogos again recently, interestingly without scare quotes, indicating that its validity as a word was being somewhat assumed. But buzzwords seldom foster truth. “Bibliolatry” used to be a word used by theological liberals against Evangelicals – it’s a sign of the times when Evangelicals use it against … well, that’s the question, isn’t it? Continue reading
I’ve not been posting much in the past week, partly because of our granddaughter being here, and partly because I was involved in playing in the first 3 large-scale performances of a new oratorio by a friend of mine, Andy Hague, called Christ Crucified. I was privileged to play lead guitar, classical guitar and bazouki (learned for the occasion) in a superb 7-piece rhythm section that was part of a 40+-string orchestra accompanying a local choir of 60 or so. Continue reading
This is not a new discussion so much as a closer focus on one that I’ve raised a couple of times before, in thinking about the issue of whether God would be “expected” to be active in the natural world, including the process of evolution. To certain kinds of theistic evolutionist, God is definitely not expected to act in nature apart from by sustaining laws he has established, perhaps even very fine tuned laws with emergent properties. This is because of the theology of autonomy, in which nature “ought” to be free to create itself. Of course, the more fine tuning you have, the less like autonomy it looks and the more like computation, but we’ll leave that consideration aside here. Such TEs weigh in with arguments from natural evil and so on to support their presupposition, so it’s not just a question of “wait and see what the science shows.” There’s a prior commitment there, which since it cannot be adjudicated by the science can only be appraised as theology and philosophy, whence it arose anyway. Continue reading
What’s the big deal about evolution anyway? Not scientifically, as an interesting little group of theories about the varieties of organisms, but as “the most important scientific development in the history of mankind”. The theory that makes the world a different place forever. What’s with all that heart searching about whether it does away with the need for God? That stuff about making it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist? Aren’t we forgetting something basic? Continue reading
Arguments from natural law form an important part of Catholic deliberation on issues like abortion, but play little role in Evangelical thinking (though they are implicit in the US constitution and were explicit in Martin Luther King’s politics). However, I suggest that natural law is an important implication of Christian creation doctrine, and another demonstration of the way that, as I have argued in various places on The Hump, creation is foundational for much of our correct understanding of the faith. Creation is not just about scientific origins. Continue reading
Given the difficulty of quantum theory, the last post has generated an unusually high level of interest in a short time, both in comments and hits. I surmise that it’s fascinating because it’s fundamental, rather than that the OP was world-changing. I want to reflect on just a couple of thoughts arising from the generalities of the subject, rather than the valuable and serious discussion of our more erudite readers on that thread. My prompt is the article on “qbism” referenced by pngarrison in his post, which opens up again one of the ways that “mind” seems (like King Charles’s head in Mr Dick’s Memorial) to keep impinging itself on the very nature of the quantum world. Continue reading