Category Archives: Theology

The Indus Valley and randomness

YouTube, somehow tapping into my brainwaves, suggested this video to me, about the effort to interpret the alphabetic inscriptions of the Indus Valley civilization.

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Another loose end on sequential Genesis 1-2

Does Genesis 2 follow on, or expand on, Genesis 1? I believe the former, and it was discussed a while ago at Peaceful Science, my own most recent argument being here.

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Denying creation

Writing on the gender differences in the account of the Fall in the garden prompts me to reflect on a factor in the modern (or actually, postmodern) zeitgeist that profoundly affects our reception of the whole biblical doctrine of creation, let alone Adam and Eve. This arises from my old bogey of Promethean thinking, spelled out at length in God’s Good Earth but in brief here, but which has its own peculiar manifestation only in our times.

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What should Adam and Eve have done?

This is about “federal headship” and all that, though it raises interesting questions about biblical teaching on authority, accountability and so on.

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The happiness of creation

My wife was preparing for a Bible study yesterday, and we were discussing whether “blessed” or “happy” is the better translation in the beatitudes of Matthew 5. It turns out to have some relevance for the understanding of the theology of nature.

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Why providence is meticulous

A commenter on Peaceful Science told how his school science teacher used to demonstrate student inattention in physics classes by saying that flies can walk on the ceiling because they are too small to be affected by the law of gravity. That’s actually quite a good introduction to this piece on the universality of providence, for the lawlike processes of nature have, theologically speaking, been historically referred to as God’s general providence.

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Christ and the limits of creativity

Does knowing Christ make you more human, or less human?

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Theology of nature – final causation

Something odd happened during the history of the mechanical philosophy that, in effect, gave us the theology of nature which now forms our default thinking. Bacon and his chums dispensed with teleology within nature (inherent teleology) with the aim of removing Aristotelian superstition and glorifying God as the only will operating in nature. And God’s purposes for nature (extrinsic teleology) were excluded from scientific study because they were considered intractable. Science would deal only with an entirely passive nature operating under efficient causes only.

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Theology of nature – the moral key

At the end of his 2018 Gifford lecture series, N T Wright tells us that the coming of Christ not only unlocks the coming new creation, but enables us to understand the present creation. The cross is at the centre of any theology of nature. I think he’s right, but this needs some careful unpacking to contribute to our theology of nature.

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Modes of divine action – creatio continua

At the end of this section of the series on the theology of nature, a section in which I have looked at modes of divine action, I want to say a word about an alternative concept called “continuous creation”, usually put in Latin as creatio continua.

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