Monthly Archives: May 2012
Following on from my last post, I want to pursue the idea that God is somehow sovereign over human decisions, even though man is endowed with a libertarian will and is held accountable for his actions. It’s the toughest cookie in the free-will debate. But I want first to remind you that my standpoint is what the Bible teaches, not what philosophical reflection would necessarily conclude. As I said in the last piece, an Evangelical objection must be to find a better explanation for the Biblical data, not simply cry “unfair”.
Thomas Cudworth has been ably putting the arguments I have previously made against the woolly theology on BioLogos in a series on Uncommon Descent. He did it better than I could, even if I had the ear of UD. I’m grateful to see the issue aired so fully, though it has not been mentioned on BioLogos itself, of course. One issue that’s come up on those threads is the correspondence, or lack of it, between human freedom and the nebulous BL concept of freedom in creation. Thomas was, understandably I think, keen not to restrict his argument to any one Christian tradition about free-will, since his purpose was to show … Continue reading
EVOLUTIONARY CREATIONISM AND REFORMED THEOLOGY I said that there are several different ways in which we could envisage Adam fitting into an Evolutionary Creationist scenario. The key question is how Adam relates to the rest of the image-bearing race in terms of (i) their original possession of the divine image, and (ii) the transition into a state of sin and death.
EVOLUTIONARY CREATIONISM AND REFORMED THEOLOGY To clear the air I am a Reformed believer. My spiritual home is in the historic Reformed faith, specifically the family of churches that looks historically to the Westminster Confession as providing its theological framework. I am not a liberal, a Barthian, or any other such animal. My doctrine of scripture is Warfieldian. Alongside Warfield, my favorite theologians include Calvin, Turretin, Shedd, Dabney, Girardeau, and Louis Berkhof. I also have no problem, biblically or scientifically, with the General Theory of Evolution. The evidence for a family-tree of life, with modern forms descended from previous ones over geological time (Ken Hams dreaded millions of years), seems … Continue reading
For those of you who are interested (or haven’t had a CD forced upon you) my new solo album Bumpy Music is finally up on my website. I think you”’ agree it’s pretty different from the previous album, 14th Century Marmoset since I had some songs to use up and was missing doing rock.
I finally had time to catch up on the detail of a long thread on Uncommon Descent in which theistic evolution and theistic evolutionists were vivisected at length. At over 180 posts the subject of the original article is probably irrelevant. At one point a discussion about the prevalence of physicists over biologists in theistic evolutionary theory developed, and Ted Davis suggested the following reason as one possibility:
I had reason to dig around in some of the Patristic literature recently, and came across Irenaeus’ (late 2nd century) teaching on Adam and sin whilst looking for something else. It reminded me that I haven’t yet recorded in this blog what Irenaeus actually teaches, which is an oversight as many modern writers in the evolution/theology field, and outside it, question the traditional teaching on original sin, most often by attributing it to Augustine in the west. The Eastern Church, they say, never taught the idea of hereditary sin. Even John H Walton, much of whose excellent work I have been reading of late, mentions this as a plain fact … Continue reading
I’ve just read a lecture by Steve Fuller, in which he mentioned that, at around the time of the Scopes trial, it was pretty well impossible to find a scientist working in a Christian institution (and I assume this largely means US denominational universities) who would accept the reality of either miracles or the physical resurrection of Christ. I would suggest it would have been almost equally hard to find a theologian in the same institutions who believed in them either, at that time. I’ve not checked any sources, but it makes sense – even when I was young there was a strong feeling that science and the supernatural were … Continue reading
One reason I have for being suspicious of current evolutionary theory is a generic one. The theory was conceived and pursued with materialist assumptions. If those assumptions are wrong, then it’s inconceivable that the details of the theory would remain unchanged. No outsider could say where such changes were needed – it’s a job for the specialists in each field. It’s like the conversion of an unbeliever to Christianity: the change is bound to affect beliefs and practices in relation to work, to relationships and to use of resources. If not, nothing really happened. Assumptions, in other words, always affect outcomes.
I thought I’d withdrawn from the BioLogos thread on Darrel Falk’s piece, but Ted Davis threw me a challenge in a response to a reply I made to penman on the Reformed view of creation. He picked up a reference to John Owen on this blog, and suggested his views on sovereignty and freedom were so particular that I’d be optimistic to find a TE website that endorsed them. I replied along the lines that Owen wasn’t the only name I cited, and that Reformed views on providence are hardly a forgotten footnote in Evangelicalism. But as I wrote, I was musing on the fact that, given his circumstances, a … Continue reading