Denis Alexander on Understanding Creation Theology
Note: This video was originally posted May 15, 2010.
In this video Conversation, Denis Alexander addresses two prominent barriers for Christians to accept evolutionary creation. The first is Biblical interpretation. When contemporary Christians interpret the early chapters of Genesis literally, they do so out of a desire to take the text seriously. Yet the early church fathers saw these chapters as figurative—and that figurative interpretation did not lesson the important foundational truths taught in these passages. The contemporary literal reading is actually a modern approach to the text in that our scientific mindset inappropriately shapes the interpretation. Since science did not even exist at the time that Genesis was written, an overly literal interpretation can actually cause us to miss the inspired message that the Biblical authors were communicating.
The second barrier is the rhetoric of the New Atheists, who claim that it is impossible to accept evolution while still believing in God. Christians should challenge this. Traditional Christian views are not in conflict with modern science. Instead, they see nature as God's work, with St. Augustine writing that "nature is what God does." As humanity develops a scientific understanding of nature, we will only learn more about the handiwork of God.
Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.
Denis Alexander is the Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge, to which he was elected a Fellow in 1998. Alexander writes, lectures, and broadcasts widely in the field of science and religion. He is a member of the International Society for Science and Religion.