Category Archives: Theology
Joshua Swamidass has become involved in what appears, at first sight, a minor disagreement on a BioLogos thread puffing a new essay by several authors entitled Is Genesis Real History? His objection was especially to one sentence (bearing the marks of John Walton’s hand, I suspect), which reads: Or consider Genesis 2:7, when God forms Adam from dust and breathes into his nostrils. This could not have happened exactly as described, because we know from other passages in the Bible that God is Spirit with neither hands nor lungs.
Contrary to what many believe, the Bible does not teach that God stopped creating (Heb. bara) after the sixth day, though clearly the seventh day, God’s sabbath, draws a line under that special week of work. There are nevertheless a good number of references to God’s ongoing secifically creative acts scattered throughout the Old Testament. Some of those uses of the word relate to the creation of Israel as a nation, in Isaiah ch. 43.
I was reading a Young Earth Creationist’s critique of Theistic Evolution last week. He made the (usual) case that because of accepting as authoritative the human findings of science over the word of God in the Bible, mainstream TEs have denied virtually every major doctrine of orthodox Christianity.
In the light of my previous post on methodological naturalism, Ian Thompson kindly made me aware of a book on the Victorian debate between the majority of theistic scientists, such as James Clerk Maxwell, and the naturalists such as Thomas Huxley and the X Club, who eventually triumphed in establishing their programme. It’s an enlightening read.
I think my reply to the last critique made by Jay313 to my recent C S Lewis post warrants a longer treatment than an inline comment. So here it is as a post.
Here’s another small piece of corroborative evidence for the plausibility of the Genealogical Adam Hypothesis (that Adam is not the sole genetic ancestor of modern humanity, but is nevertheless our common genealogical ancestor, with all that entails for our spiritual solidarity with him as federal head).
In his 1947 book Miracles, C S Lewis presents an argument against naturalism that has become one of the most influential philosophical arguments of its type of the last century. Very briefly, it says that under naturalism, mankind evolved purely by natural selection, for survival alone. His brain, therefore, could only (by the very tenets of materialistic evolutionary theory) be orientated towards survival, and not truth. There is no way then, under naturalism, that one could rely on human reason to discover truths about the world – including, of course, naturalism itself.
As I’ve been studying the overall “shape” of biblical theology, in the light of recent work by Evangelicals like John Sailhamer, Seth Postell and a bunch of others including N T Wright, one of the common themes is that the ancient prophets had a much fuller grasp of the universal scope of salvation – we may even say, in a qualified way, of the gospel – than has been recognised either by older scholarship or “the man in the pew.”
Although week by week I play mostly modern songs in church, on guitar, it’s the hymns of my distant childhood that still resonate most with my theology. One I learned, and loved, at primary school was Immortal, invisible, God only wise (number 407 in The English Hymnal – even that fact has deeply lodged in my memory for 60 years! Here it is for those only familiar with Hillsongs:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Let’s start with a really basic Christian truth: “No man comes to the Father except by me.” Or from another text, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” Now one of the challenging things about the Christian narrative is why, if sin is so deadly and Christ’s work so necessary, the history of salvation seems to unfold so slowly.