Monthly Archives: May 2018
Basil of Caesarea is not only one of the Fathers I cite in God’s Good Earth as a supporter of the teaching of an unfallen creation, but he wrote a complete series of homilies on the days of creation, expounding Scripture in conjunction with the science of his time. In other words, he was both deeply interested in, and a great admirer of, the creation. So I was struck by reading an apparent anomaly in his other writings yesterday:
The quotation from Calvin I cited here set me in mind of the equivalent situation in studying the Bible, as opposed to nature, and of a common accusation that “simple folks” make about scholarly investigation of, for example, the Genesis creation texts.
…Fortunately not from the seagulls, but the human sort, whilst I was on holiday last week. You know how hard it is not to pick up on words spoken at conversational levels from the next table in a restaurant, once they catch your ear. In this case one of the foursome who sat down next to us had already spoken to me when he nearly knocked over my cider with his rucksack and laughingly apologised.
A thread over at Peaceful Science started with the claim that postmodernism is atheistic, and developed into a free discussion as imprecise as is the definition of postmodernism, appropriately and inevitably, given what it is about. Someone’s mention of “classical thinking” reminded me of this quote by C S Lewis:
Here’s a thought experiment about how the socially-constituted rules of scientific methodology can easily be misconstrued as the real constraints of the world.
When I was writing my forthcoming (promises, promises) book, God’s Good Earth, I added a disclaimer in the introduction that I was not going to attempt the kind of theodicy (following Leibniz) that is so often used to argue that the world itself must be evil through human sin, or through the autonomy granted by God to a demiurgic Nature.
One of my current research aims is to demonstrate that the Bible itself has an awareness of other people existing in the world at the time of Adam, despite being overtly silent about them. I approached this from the point of view of the “compositional strategy” of the Torah and Tanach here, and from the point of view of hints about people other than Adam in the text here.
On Thursday I drove two hundred miles across England to attend a meeting on Christian approaches to origins – only to find the meeting had been cancelled and the organisers forgot to tell me.
On the Genealogical Adam model – and indeed on any model dealing with an historical Adam – one has to account for the fact that humanity appears to have had some kind of religious or spiritual life almost as far back as artifacts can be found.