Author Archives: Jon Garvey
I ended my last post with the conclusion of the writer to the Hebrews’ exposition of Psalm 8, which introduces Satan into the picture of man’s temporary subordination to the angels, and his glorification by the work of Christ. The mention suggests that Satan has particular relevance to the relationship between mankind, angels and divine glory: Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
This piece arises from the line of thought I laid out here, which in turn lies within the view I’ve been developing of the significance of Eden in the meta-narrative of the Pentateuch and the whole Bible. See here, here, here, here and here.
Whilst natural theology is a hot topic at The Hump, Eddie Robinson’s recent pieces here and here regarding the BioLogos thread mentioning natural theology, in connection with Lutheranism, prompted me to do a rapid, and of course, incomplete survey of the Church Fathers on this subject.
You know that thing where you can claim to have all-but met someone because you met someone who has? In that way, I’ve met the Queen because my brother shook hands with her royal glove. Well, yesterday the wife and I met, in this indirect way, the celebrated David Attenborough – whose programmes I first watched back in in 1959 – via the intermediary of a new fossil Jurassic ichthyosaur, on which he has just had a documentary broadcast.
On two occasions in the last week, BBC radio scientific programmes have claimed to offer “evolutionary explanations” for observed human phenomena, though admittedly one might (memory is hazy) have been a food programme interviewing a scientist.
Scholar Michael Heiser has made it his business, in books, blogs and YouTube clips, to rehabilitate the supernatural beings who are, in fact, prominent in both Scriptural Testaments, but who are usually airbrushed out by that wonderful ability we have for selective inattention to what the Bible actually says.
In my last post, on occasionalism, I alluded to the recent suggestion that the universe is a “simulation” in the context of the defensiveness people feel over the importance of the secondary causes in our world being “real”: The more powerful objection against occasionalism, it seems to me, is the vague idea that if, in the end, there is no solid basis to physical reality, then God is making us live in a world of illusion. Hence the feelings resonating around the recent suggestion that the universe is a “simulation” in which we are living.
Early last year I did a couple of pieces (the most useful here) on a new formulation of the metaphysical position on divine action of occasionalism, called “divine compositionalism”, being developed primarily within the field of science. I liked it.
Did you know that the etymology of “etymology” is the Greek etumon = “true”? That’s ironic because one of the basic Exegetical Fallacies Don Carson highlights to preachers in his excellent book of that name is the etymological fallacy. Etymologies often deceive because words, in fact, constantly change their meaning, as I began to discuss in relation to their inherent metaphoric nature here.
One of the less obvious blessings from which we benefit not only here at the Hump of the Camel, but more widely, is that creation is seriously on the theological agenda at all. Wherever we stand on origins, it’s hard to remember that for much of the twentieth century, creation doctrine was sidelined in most branches of the Church.