Monthly Archives: March 2012
Christians nowadays don’t like “law” much, and I think it has less to do with interpreting Paul’s ideas on law and grace than our general societal attitudes. I’ve been in private e-mail correspondence about the differences between Eastern and Western Christianity, one of which is said to be a historic tendency of the Latin church to look at biblical terms forensically, which the Greeks don’t. Meanwhile, over on BioLogos frequent and indefatigable contributor Roger Sawtelle, in his characteristically generalising way, says that a defining characteristic of our “Fundamentalist brethren” is their legalism, whereas Christ does away with law: a rather inaccurate oversimplification it seems to me, but showing a prevalent … Continue reading
Penman has replied to my last post on Simon Conway Morris’s positive take on Biblical miracles. I think a post-length reply might be more helpful, not least because it gives me the opportunity to move away from Morris the individual. I mainly wanted in that post to show that childhood reading was what started him “ticking” – I’d not want to be responsible for a discussion about him behind his back that made him sick, rather than tick…
I’ve just received my copy of the Cambridge University alumni magazine Cam. I graduated nearly 40 years ago, but have only been receiving this journal for a couple of years. No doubt it’s angled at those of us with sufficient age and resources to make bequests in favour of our alma mater. Be that as it may it has an interesting article about Simon Conway Morris which, as one would expect from him, is mainly about evolutionary convergence.
A new piece of research tries to help answer the question of how humans became bipedal. The researchers “tested” the hypothesis that carrying became easier with a bipedal gait by observing chimps in the field under conditions where resources were depleted, and found they adopted bipedalism in order to carry things better. QED.
Part of the reason for paucity of new posts over the last week or so is writing and recording a new (and rather odd) song, now called Miserere. I’ve stuck it up on the website in case you’re interested. That now completes the album, so at some stage I’ll put the whole thing up on the site, but I need to get a CD sleeve etc sorted out for “the UK market” (ie both my friends) first.
I’ve been thinking about Romans again, in the context of Christian attempts to map questions about Adam and original sin to evolutionary theory. I made some preliminary points here, but I want to consider one particular aspect today – the nature of sin in the Bible generally, and in Romans particularly.
Just a quick one. How often do you hear people saying that Genesis 2-3 should not be taken historically, but as an allegory of the human condition generally: “Everyman’s Fall”. Adam and Eve, and their fall, should be taken figuratively. These are the same people who remind one that history only really became a genre with the Greeks, that we’re reading an ANE text too literally, and so on. It suddenly occurs to me that nobody ever seems to ask whether there actually was ever an ANE genre of theological allegory of the kind on which they insist. I can’t find any trace of one in John H Walton’s review … Continue reading
I’ve just been re-reading Jim Packer’s Fundamentalism and the Word of God, partly from nostalgia as well as from a desire to see how the concept of fundamentalism might have changed since 1958. “Nostalgia” because the book was lent to me by an older Christian when I took over the leadership of my school Christian Union back in 1968. I didn’t read it for about five years, but it did at least leave me with the rare privilege of knowing what the word “fundamentalism” originally meant. And that is simply affirmation of the five “fundamentals” of historic Christianity identified in a series of documents in the USA early in the … Continue reading