Monthly Archives: May 2013
Kenoticism Closely associated with “nature’s freedom” – whether causally or consequently is hard to say – is another commonplace of theistic evolution, divine kenosis. To Gray, Kingsley or Warfield, evolution showed the power and sovereignty of God in a new, more glorious, light. Today’s TEs are more concerned to argue for the absence of God’s power and sovereignty. Building on late 20th century theologies of suffering of those like Jurgen Moltmann, very many science and faith writers have taken the idea of kenosis and applied it to the whole creation. The theological construction project goes like this this. Philippians 2.7 (frequently specifically quoted because it is the sole biblical reference) … Continue reading
Modern theistic evolution I want to major on three distinctives of modern theistic evolution, or evolutionary creation, that are in marked contrast to what was believed by the first generation of TEs.
Benjamin Warfield B B Warfield was not just a Princeton Presbyterian theologian, but one of the leading theological scholars of his age. A sign of how superficially we consider matters now is that he was the person most responsible for the modern Evangelical doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy, and yet considered that Charles Darwin took too literal a view of the Bible. Go figure, as they say!
Charles Kingsley The usual pull-quote from the English Anglican clergyman Charles Kingsley is from his somewhat effusive reply to the pre-publication review copy of Origin of Species Darwin sent him: …I have gradually learnt to see that it is just as noble a conception of Deity, to believe that he created primal forms capable of self development into all forms needful pro tempore and pro loco, as to believe that He required a fresh act of intervention to supply the lacunas which He Himself had made. I question whether the former be not the loftier thought.
This is the first part of a 7,500 word essay on historic and modern theistic evolution, which I hope to upload over the next week. It is seldom appreciated that the earliest Christian response to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, even preceding its publication, was theistic evolution. A number of important thinkers held, and developed, this view during the nineteenth century until it was eclipsed, for reasons not due to any weakness of the position(i), for most of the twentieth. Through the work of the science and religion community of (mainly non-evangelical) scholars(ii), and secondarily through the American Scientific Affiliation and BioLogos, it has experienced a resurgence, particularly amongst Christians in … Continue reading