Monthly Archives: October 2012

Liberal evangelicals and theistic evolutionists – where the conflict really lies (1)

Alvin Plantinga has cited this quote from Langdon Gilkey more than once in connection with divine action: … [C]ontemporary theology does not expect, nor does it speak of, wondrous divine events on the surface of natural and historical life. The causal nexus in space and time which the Enlightenment science and philosophy introduced into the Western mind … is also assumed by modern theologians and scholars; since they participate in the modern world of science both intellectually and existentially, they can scarcely do anything else. Now this assumption of a causal order among phenomenal events, and therefore of the authority of the scientific interpretation of observable events, makes a great … Continue reading

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Implications of a functional Genesis for evolutionary creationism

Two episodes of an excellent audio presentation by John H Walton have been posted on BioLogos, laying out his position on the understanding of Genesis 1-3, to which I have frequently alluded before (search on “Walton”). He was particularly good in the first episode in showing how the Egyptian cosmogony, full of figures of gods and goddesses, did not lead them to expect that one could throw a stone at the earth god or see the figure of the sky goddess in the heavens. The ANE conception of reality was functional, not material. But I think it is time to develop some implications for the current agenda of theistic evolution, … Continue reading

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Creation on the hoof

The comments I made on Biologos , which prompted my last post here, have aroused some largely hostile response (as I expected), mainly around my daring to restrict the word “creation” to God. Since the Renaissance, that indeed has been a red rag to society’s bull, just like any suggestion that “freedom” may be less of an absolute than moderns like to believe. The most interesting thing to see was the mystification that anyone might have a problem with a novel idea in theology, as if one weren’t free to create such things at will.

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BioLogos – free again!

There’s a new piece about oxygen on BioLogos by a geobiologist called Mike Tice. He raises again that elusive TE concept, the freedom of nature, under the banner of “co-creation”. Tice, of course, doesn’t speak for BioLogos, any more than I did in my one article for them, but he does give a rather fuller version of what has remained to me, despite many enquiries in the past to Darrel Falk, etc, a ubiquitous but nebulous idea. So let’s see what it consists of.

Posted in Creation, Politics and sociology, Prometheus, Theology | 29 Comments

God’s oaths

It occurred to me recently that one way of gauging what concept of God the Biblical writers had is to look at the oaths Yahweh makes within its pages. If you’re a believer in the Bible as inspired text, of course, they will also give you a good idea of God’s own nature. After all nobody makes an oath, with solemn intent, unless he is sure that what he swears will come to pass – and that usually means that he will do it himself.

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Triple-A T v TP: an example

Following on from the previous post, let me give an example of how the rubber might hit the road according to the two different doctrines of God, ie classical theism and theistic personalism. My example lies in the significant, and contentious, area of providence with reference to human free-will.

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Triple-A Theism

I’m grateful to Ed Feser for focusing my attention on possibly the biggest division in contemporary approaches to theology, including the theology of science and nature. That is the term theistic personalism, or sometimes neotheism. It is theistic personalism that explains the ascendancy of my bête noir, Open Theism, but also of many other modern Christian attitudes.

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Shock horror sex scandal

There’s something of a furore in the UK at the moment regarding posthumous revelations about one of our most celebrated TV DJs, Sir Jimmy Savile. Savile was the first presenter in 1964 of the long running TV chart show Top of the Pops, then one of the first presenters at the launch of pop channel BBC Radio 1 in 1967, and subsequently the celebrity host of the children’s TV show, Jim’ll Fix It, the problem being that it appears Jim did fix it, rather too often with significantly underage girls, throughout his career.

Posted in Music, Politics and sociology | 1 Comment

Another thought from Aquinas

Here’s another consideration from my very cursory reading of Thomas Aquinas on providence.

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First century models for divine action

I was prompted, by writing about the Pharisees in my last post, to look again at the historical source for their views. Surprisingly, our only contemporary source for information on the Pharisees, ouside the New Testament, is the historian Josephus. The same is true of the Sadducees. There are mentions in the Talmud, but these are much later. The third main “philosophy” or sect in first century Judea was the Essenes, which the NT doesn’t mention at all but Josephus, Philo and (briefly) Pliny does. Imagine that all we knew about the Labour, Liberal and Conservative parties (or the Republicans and Democrats) came from a total of about a page … Continue reading

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