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Category Archives: Creation
I entitled my recent book, The Generations of Heaven and Earth, from the words of Genesis 2:4, which is the first “toledot” passage in the book.
Here in rural Devon, most of the field boundaries are traditional “Devon banks,” which are banks of earth and stone originally capped with hedges, in order to contain livestock. Down in our valley, many of the banks are mediaeval. The parish boundary just down the lane, dated by counting the number of tree species that have colonized what was originally holly, probably dates right back to Saxon times. But up here on the hill most of them, including the boundaries of my own property, probably date to around 1820, when the common-land “turbary” was enclosed: a mere two hundred years.
Using an electronic copy kindly sent my new Hump commenter MartinV, I’ve been looking at a recent book by John Schneider, The Darwinian Problem of Evil (it’s not released in UK until the end of the month). I won’t do a review, but from the comprehensive Introduction I found it to be a summary of the kind of theodical problems and novel theological solutions against which I reacted at BioLogos several years ago. Although the new book postdates my own God’s Good Earth, I’d see mine as a response to his, rather than the reverse (and indeed, Schneider does not interact with my work).
Well, I guess that a large proportion of my readers around the world will be locked in against the Coronavirus pandemic, in one way or another. A friend in Sri Lanka is facing enforced curfews, and there are massive queues for food when they are lifted, which rather defeats the object.
…with consciousness, spirit and eternal life Sy Garte, in his excellent new book The Works of His Hands, mentions three intractable problems in science (because there seems no way they can arise through “materialistic natural causes”); and all three are origins questions.
One of the theological problems I had with an old earth a decade ago is less commonly remarked than some others: if mankind was created to rule and subdue the earth, as Genesis 1 teaches, how did it manage without him for over four billion years?
In Britain, at least, a common position of many ordinary Evangelical Christians (until they start reading American books, anyway!) is, “I don’t see why God couldn’t have created through evolution.” The rub is that they usually have little idea of what evolutionary theory says: what they mean is that species might well change over long periods of times, under the creative direction of God, as an alternative to each being created de novo.
Creation “groaning” for 13bn years? My retrospective review of this aspect of the last ten years of my research is timely, it seems. For reviewing Joshua Swamidass’s Genealogical Adam and Eve YECs Robert Carter and John Sanford mention Josh’s citing of my book God’s Good Earth, in relation to the subject of death before the Fall.
It was what I fielded about the biblical acceptability of an old earth view that got me “censored” in the original series of articles for a Christian magazine in 2008 (see previous column) that put me on to the science-faith trail.
I thought it would be worth spending a few posts looking back on what has turned out to be a fruitful “research programme” on scientific and biblical origins over the last ten years for me, to see what problems have been resolved, and which, if any, remain unanswered.