Monthly Archives: April 2014
Our commenter Hanan e-mailed me about the issue of scriptural inspiration. He’s been interacting with Dr. Michael S. Heiser, who has an interesting range of views, some of which I agree with, and others not. Although it’s not strictly on the blog’s main theme of creation, it’s an interesting topic. I won’t comment on all the issues Hanan discusses with Heiser – just too diverse a subject. I won’t even deal with all Hanan’s own concerns, as I see he’s had some extensive discussion on the subject on a BioLogos thread about Denis Lamoreux’s views about Scripture.
I was directed to an interesting piece on First Things from 2007 by Richard Neuhaus, in which he coins the axion: “Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed.” A provocative proposition – have a look at the argument and see what you think. Incidentally the theme relates vaguely to a good book challenging the popular idea that the early Church had no orthodoxy – the familiar Dan Brown idea that there was a pot pourri of beliefs until nasty Constantine (or some other spoil-sport) forced everyone into line. It’s The Heresy of Orthodoxy by Kostenberger & Kruger.
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.
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.
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.
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 … Continue reading
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?
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.
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 … 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?