Evolution, Creation, and The Sting of Death: Part 3

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August 12, 2012 Tags: Problem of Evil

Today's entry was written by Jeffrey Schloss. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here.

Evolution, Creation, and The Sting of Death: Part 3

Note: Today we continue the sixth installment in our ongoing Southern Baptist Voices series–a collection of seven essays from Southern Baptist scholars with BioLogos responses to their concerns and arguments. You can read more about the series here, and in Dr. Kenneth Keathley's introductory essay. Other installments have included Dr. William A. Dembski's exchange with Darrel Falk on Darwinism's theological neutrality, Dr. James Dew's conversation with Dr. Ard Louis on Teleology, Theistic Evolution and Intelligent Design, and Dr. John Hammett exploring Evolutionary Creationism and the Imago Dei in conversation with Dr. Tim O'Connor. The most recent exchange between Dr. Bruce A. Little and Dr. Robert Bishop focused on essentialism and the several biblically-consistent positions on human being.

In the first two parts of his response to John Laing, Jeff Schloss focused on the conflict Laing identifies between the Bible’s frequent portrayal of death as a recent intruder and the view that death is primordial—that it has been a part of the creation since the beginning. Today, Schloss turns to the role death plays in evolution. We hope and pray that this dialogue will bring greater clarity to the issues at hand, charity towards those with whom we disagree, and glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Evolutionary Role of Death & Natural Evil

In addition to providing a general theological critique of the endemic—as opposed to post-hoc or intrusive—origins of death in the natural world, John Laing’s imminently fair-minded essay also takes theological aim at the role death and natural evil play in the evolutionary diversification of life. It is one thing to say that death is primordial; it is another to view it not just as an ancient byproduct, but as the central means of creation. The understandable theological uneasiness expressed by John and many others about this issue ultimately rests not just on an understanding of God’s creative activity, but also on a particular representation of evolution. In this regard John makes two important claims:

  • a) “…natural selection, with its emphasis on a natural state characterized by competition for limited resources and a general struggle for survival, is the primary means by which speciation takes place…”
  • b) “death actually functions as a mechanism for life. Death plays a vital role in natural selection by rooting out weakness and driving evolutionary development.”

For reasons I discussed in the previous section, it is not entirely clear that death constitutes an evil that is incommensurate with divine activity. However, the fact is that the above depiction of evolution—which is not unique to John amongst public commentators and is largely commensurate with Darwin’s own views—does not adequately portray current discussions within evolutionary biology. There are three problems with this portrayal that I’d like to address in turn—three aspects of evolutionary theory that need to be better understood.

First, while there is no uncertainty about common descent or about natural selection as a cause of evolutionary change, there is considerable discussion over the extent to which natural selection is “the primary means” by which speciation takes place. For one thing, there are manifold other agents of evolutionary change: drift, gene flow, systems of mating, mutation itself unfiltered by selection. A tremendous amount of variation may be adaptively neutral, being invisible to natural selection. For another thing, some claim that evolution proceeds most rapidly and speciation occurs most precipitously in the relaxation of selection—when ecological times are good and the culling effects of the environment are minimized. We may see this in the contingency-driven formation or colonization of a new habitat or the exploitation of a new resource that does not displace previous variants. Or, speciation events or species-level innovations may be the results of chromosomal rearrangements or symbiogenesis that are not the cumulative results of selection. Finally, there exist manifold and admittedly controversial proposals that are critical of neo-Darwinism as a whole, claiming that natural selection may be a necessary, but is neither a sufficient nor a primary cause of large-scale evolutionary change.1

Second, notwithstanding Darwin’s formulation of natural selection in terms of competitive struggle as (accurately) cited by John, the modern understanding of evolution and competition is considerably more differentiated and complicated. For one thing, competition is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for natural selection. Natural selection is formally defined as the differential reproduction of genotypes (or information.) Some sets of genes are replicated with greater efficiency than are others. Competition is formally defined as the negative impact of two organisms (or two species) on one another’s fitness. You can have all sorts of competition that does not result in natural selection. And importantly, you can have differential reproduction by natural selection without the negative fitness impacts of competition. Colonists to a new under-exploited habitat, or two species that are partitioned onto separate resources in a way that minimizes competition might well have some variants that leave more offspring than others without displacing them. This is natural selection.

Indeed, imagine an infinite habitat with non-limiting resources and no competition at all: as long as there were adaptively salient mutations, there would be natural selection—some of those new genotypes would reproduce more effectively than others. Competition, to whatever extent it exists in nature, is a consequence of finitude and not a necessary precondition of natural selection. And finally, the role of cooperation in evolution has itself been massively reconsidered in recent years. It would not be entirely unfair to say that on the basis of mathematical models and empirical data, the proposal that cooperation “is now seen as a primary creative force”2 and a “fundamental principle of evolution”3 has moved from being a cult-alternative to a widely accepted paradigm. Indeed, cooperation and increasing scales of cooperative interdependence are seen not only as a formative process but also as a recurring product of evolutionary change, which may even be viewed as “progress.”4 A biologically significant and theologically salient thematic trend across major evolutionary transitions, is that cooperative interdependence itself – and the wondrous properties of life mentioned in the first installment of this essay – seem to be amplified through selection.4 Through evolution, God may be seen to confer life and confer it in greater abundance.

Third, the claim that “death drives evolutionary development” turns out to be problematic. Recent discussions of death and senescence (organismic decay) between various branches of the biosciences are spirited and fascinating. One of the vexing characteristics of living creatures is the internalization of death and senescence: even if an individual is not killed by external forces, it will die from the inside out—virtually no species is immortal.6 One account of this—the rate of living theory of senescence—understands it not in terms of selection for reduced mortality but in terms of biophysical or allometric constraints relating rate of metabolism to rate of wearing out. Though it views senescence differently, the prevailing evolutionary theory of senescence, with several variants, does not affirm death or decay—at least the kind of death and decay that is intrinsic to organismic development—as a prerequisite to evolution by natural selection either.7

Indeed, internalized death is viewed not as driving but as deriving from, not as a necessary requirement for but as a byproduct of, natural selection. Specifically, mutations or traits with detrimental impacts later in life may not be eliminated by or may even be favored by selection if their contribution to reproduction early in life is sufficient. Now, neither theory completely dismisses the shaping role of death. Under certain but not all conditions, differential mortality may have adaptive import (and it is not even the longer-lived organisms that always have adaptive advantage). Extrinsic sources of death may also shape the internalization of death.8 But the view that death drives evolution does not adequately represent emerging scientific understanding of the relationship between natural selection and senescence.

Scientifically death does not “drive” evolution. And theologically, although neither evolutionary change nor ecological interaction “solve” the ultimate puzzle of human death, they may nevertheless mitigate the proximal existence of creaturely death by amplifying the complexity and vibrant abundance of living forms.

Darwin famously closed The Origin by observing “There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one…from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.”9 Unlike John, I do not see anything in evolutionary theory to reduce, and I see much to augment the sense of grandeur and (for that matter) the appreciation of sheer goodness—both earthly and divine—evoked by the wonders of the living world.

Yet grandeur and goodness are not perfection. My Dad is still dying. I still wince at the suffering of clearly sentient animals. And, truth be told, I tremble at the biblical images of universal herbivory: even metaphors are metaphors of something, and in the case of biblical revelation, that something can be taken to be real and important. So like John, I confess to profound gratitude tempered with a lingering unease at the state of nature. Though I believe in a Fall, this unease is not rationally relieved by attributing to an Adam the present state of all nature. Nor is it resolved by the various alternative considerations I’ve described and which, taken together, seem to have considerable merit but not sufficiency. Notwithstanding, I thankfully affirm that “I have known the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” And I look to the day when we may say together, “My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You.” (Job 42:5)

Notes

1. E.g., Salthe, S. 2008. “An Anti-Neo-Darwinian View of Evolution.” Artificial Life. 14:231-233; David Depew and Bruce Weber (eds). Darwinism Evolving: Systems Dynamics and the Genealogy of Natural Selection. 2004. MIT Press
2. Michod, Richard and Denis Roze. 2001. “Cooperation and Conflict in the Evolution of Multicellularity.” Heredity. 86:1-7. Page 2
3. Nowak, Martin. Evolution, Games, and God: The Principle of Cooperation. Martin Nowak & Sarah Coakley, eds. Forthcoming from Harvard University Press.
4. Sigmund, Karl and Eörs Szathmáry. 1998. “Merging Lines and Emerging Levels.” Nature. 392: 439-441.
5. John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry. 1998. The Major Transitions in Evolution. Oxford University Press. Brett Calcott & Kim Sterelny (eds). 2011. The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited. MIT Press.
6. “Virtually” is an important qualifier: while senescence has been documented in nearly all organisms examined, there are some cell lines and species in which this may not be the case.
7. Williams, George. 1957. “Pleiotropy, Natural Selection, and the Evolution of Senescence.” Evolution. 11:398-411.
8. This relationship is complex and not invariant. E.g., Williams, Paul and Day, Troy. 2003. “Antagonistic Pleiotropy, Mortality Source Interactions, and the Evolutionary Theory of Senescence.” Evolution. 57(7): 1478-1488.
9. Darwin, Charles. 1876. The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. 6th Edition. John Murray. p. 429.


As Senior Scholar of BioLogos, Dr. Jeff Schloss provides writing, speaking, and scholarly research on topics that are central to the values and mission of BioLogos and represent BioLogos in dialogues with other Christian organizations. He holds a joint appointment at BioLogos and at Westmont College. Schloss holds the T. B. Walker Chair of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, and directs Westmont’s Center for Faith, Ethics, and the Life Sciences. Schloss, whose Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology is from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, often speaks to pubic, church-related, and secular academic audiences on the intersection of evolutionary science and theology. Among his many academic publications are The Believing Primate: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Reflections on the Origin of Religion

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Roger A. Sawtelle - #71858

August 12th 2012

I agree that there are two basic issues here.

1) Is death the true enemy of humanity and God? The answer is no, Sin or spiritual death is.

While death might have been seen as the major enemy of humanity before Jesus Christ, His sacrificial death ended that.  It marked the death of death as the enemy, and the beginning of death as the entrance of life with God for all believers. 

(Mat 16:2425 NIV) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it.

If death is the true enemy of God and humanity, Jesus lost the battle because He died. He died rather than sin by putting aside His role as Messiah of forgiving sin and reconciling God and humanity.

Paul also talks about death as being part of the salvation process.

(Rom 6:3-7 NIV) Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

(6:4) We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

(6:5) If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection.

(6:6) For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—(6:7) because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Death like sin separates us from those we love, but death is not ultimate, while unforgiven sin is. Love can overcome the separation of death. “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.”

Without death life has no meaning or purpose.  Without death there is no reason to eat, dress, sleep, procreate, think, or help others. 

2) Death is not the engine of Natural Selection, but adaptive change is. 

God made humans in God’s own Image and God made us physical as well as rational and spiritual beings. In that we are physical, we are limited by our nature. This limited aspect tempts us to be self-centered and thus sinful. It is God the Father through Jesus the Messiah and the Holy Spirit that saves us from our self-centeredness.

Darwinian evolution claims that the nature of life, the gene, is to be self-centered. Jesus taught that the true nature of humanity created in God’s Image is to love others as we love much as we ourselves.

Darwin’s concept of natural selection based on Malthusian population theory is not proven by experimentation or field studies. It is wrong. Ecological mutualism is correct. Competition or war to outdo others is not the force behind evolution, working together create ecological niches is, and unless humanity learns this lesson of nature and Jesus it will suffer terrible consequences.

Schloss is correct that today’s evolutionary thinking downplays Natural Selection because it claims most variation is caused by “neutral” genetic drift.  Neutral means genetically different but not adaptively different.  Thus genetic drift does not explain evolution, just nonadaptive genetic change.  This appears to be a red herring meant to distract attention from the the absence of the lack of a proven concept of Natural Selection. 

 One other important note.

Evolutionary biology today is almost totally involved with the genetic or Variation side of evolution, while the theological discussion for today concerns the Natural Selection aspect of Evolution. Thus theologians and scientists are arguing apples and oranges when we criticize evolution on this basis.

For me it is difficult to argue against the genetic evidence for evolution, so the question is not “Did evolution take place?” but is Darwinian Natural Selection true. It is my conclusion detailed in my book that it is not, based on scientific, philosophical, and theological reasons. This does not disprove the fact that humanity is not the product of evolutionary creation, but it that Darwinian and Dawkinsian natural selection theory is not correct.

 


Jon Garvey - #71861

August 13th 2012

A very good series of responses to John Laing. Before comments were closed I foolishly posted to the effect that animal death as a result of the fall is one of the weakest theological arguments against evolution because it’s read into, not out of the Bible. The post was lost of course, and I won’t restate now what Jeffrey puts well, except to add that the “fallen creation” view was by no means prevalent amongst the Patristic writers - I could cite from Clement, Irenaeus, Augustine and Athanasius to witness that the natural creation remains “good”. The doctrine seems to have grown up rather surreptitiously later.

But now I want to draw attention to the 3rd and 4th paras of this last post, which Jeff uses to show how modern understandings of evolution mitigate Laing’s objections greatly. What ought to be pointed out clearly is that these developments are quite revolutionary with respect to how Darwinian evolution has been viewed, and projected, since it was first announced, right up to the present day.

Darwin’s scheme was all about the merciless struggle for survival, and his successors have often positively revelled in nature’s cruelty, bigging up the “agonising” deaths of parasitised insects with little attention to the neuroscience involved.

Then the early work on radiation mutations introduced the misleading “meme” that each refinement comes at the cost of millions of misshapen monsters. Consequently any beautiful creature was, supposedly, the survivor from a host of grotesque (though entirely imaginary) evolutionary failures.

It was Darwin who first used the Malthusian struggle as evidence against God’s involvement, and it’s not only the likes of Richard Dawkins who have followed him by representing the struggle as between mindless genes, clearly undirected and purposeless. Theistic evolutionists too have emphasised the cruelty of nature to downplay any divine directedness in evolution as a theodical tool.

Most of the theological objections to evolution have some answers in seldom-emphasised aspects of the newer developments. Jeff alludes briefly to Darwin-dissenters at the end of para 4 - if one follows Jim Shapiro’s long and important series in Huffington Post one can even see good empirical evidence being presented for teleology in evolution. Not only does that potentially overturn one of the main planks of the Neo-darwinian (and even the original Darwinian) approach, but it overturns the principal objection made by Christians to evolution over the last 150 years.

I don’t blame Southern Baptist pastors for not being up to speed on these changes, because the scientific community has not been quick to accept, let alone trumpet, them. And Christians in science have, willingly or not, been keener to work their theology round the old views than make the new better known. We’ve still has nothing written about Shapiro here, yet. Margulis’ symbiosis and chomosomal changes tend to be downplayed as minor matters.

The layman is still hearing of Neanderthals probably driven to extinction by competing moderns, of dinosaur arms races, of “failed experiments”, and so on. It may take more than 3 articles to reverse that misinformation, especially as it serves the agenda of those who want to remove God from the picture to use death as a propaganda tool against creation (in its broadest sense).


Roger A. Sawtelle - #71862

August 13th 2012

Jon,

I am glad that we are thinking basically in the same direction.  The primary theological problem with Darwinism is change by conflict, which contradicts the NT statement that Jesus the Logos is the basis of God’s Creation, and Jesus is Love, not war.

Thank you for the reference concerning Shapiro’s articles in the Huffington Post.  I read the article on Network Evolution.  While imo this in no way eliminates the need for natural selection it does point to the relational nature of phenomal change which clear goes beyond the mechanistic view of Dawkins. 

What is evident is that Modern Evolutional Thought to use Gregory’s term is not concerned about Natural Selection.  While I think that this is a mistake, it does mean that the conflict over NS between science and theology has largely disappeared.

Nonetheless it does still provide Dawkins with the basis of his Darwinian atheistic world view.  Therefore it is still an important issue that needs to be addressed rather than glossed over.  I think that the position of E. O. Wilson is important also, that social cooperation, not individual conflict, is the basic for natural selection.  Again my view is that relational symbiosis is the basis of natural selection, which mirrors imho the Logos understanding of reality.

Extinction is not mass murder as some have pictured it.  It is the failure to reproduce, which happens when the ecological niche of a plant or animal disappears, unless a species is killed off by humans, as maybe the mammoths were. 

Everyone has to die sometime.  Death is not the problem, but a meaningless death is.  A universe without meaning does make death a problem.            


Jon Garvey - #71863

August 13th 2012

Roger

E O Wilson’s change of heart does seem significant - it was covered in depth in this year’s Gifford Lectures by Sarah Coakley, but I confess I got too bogged down in academic philosophy/theology speak to hear out more than the first 1 1/2 lectures. Do you have a link to a digestible summary of Wilson’s new views? It might be of interest to people here.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #71865

August 13th 2012

Jon,

Thank you for your response and the information about the Gifford Lectures.

Let me give you some background which might be helpful.

About 5 years ago Harvard U. announced that they had received a grant from the Templeton Foundation to study Cooperation in light of Darwinian evolutionary thought.  Sarah Coakley, who was then at Harvard Divinity School was in charge of the theological aspect of this study while E. O. Wilson who teaches at Harvard was part the scientific aspect. 

Sadly I did not learn of this program until it was too late to get involved. 

The plan was to publish the results of the study after it was completed.  The scientific aspect of the report was published in Nature 466:1057-1062 as “The evolution of eusociality” by Martin A. Nowak (Harvard mathematian), Corina Tarnita ands Edward O. Wilson.  This paper was well received by the press and criticized by Dawkins and Dennett as heresy.  I have no access to the article and since I understand that it is based largely on the math analysis of game theory, it is not in my area of expertise.

As far as I can see Sarah Coakley did not publish the theological findings of this grant project.  I was very curious as to why?

Wilson’s new book, the Social Conquest of the Earth, spells out is some detail how he sees eusocial evolution takes place.  Of course he speciality is the study of ants so the social aspect comes naturally to him, but he does give “theoretical biologists” Nowak and Tarnita credit for changing his mind about kin slection.  He calls hes new view multilevel selection which is neither individual or group selection, but both.   

This work has also been denounced by Dawkins.   

Again the Darwinian view Natural Selection seems to be undermined, but I am not sure an viable alternative has been formulated.        

 


Roger A. Sawtelle - #71898

August 14th 2012

Jon,

Another comment.  The Cooperation Project and Dawkins try to use game theory to justify cooperation.  I hope you are familiar with this.

The ironic thing is that the non-zero sum game theory clearly explains why Malthus was wrong. 

Under the zero sum view, everyone needs to get yours quickly because the more others have the less there is for you. 

Under the non-zero sum view the more people share and work together, the more every one has.  Good wages means more money in circulation and more sales for the products workers make.  Of course now employers are more concerned about big profits than good wages, so everyone suffers. 

Love is a non-zero sum game, the more you give the more you get (although not always.)

The question remains, How do “stupid” animals know that cooperation works much better than selfishness?  


Jon Garvey - #71903

August 15th 2012

Roger

The Darwinian evolutionist could reply (rapidly adjusting his theory) that because non-zero sum is successful, it is selected for. The fault in that is that it begs the question of how life began playing the right game.

Games are teleological entities: rational humans can come to understand they’d be better off cooperating than competing, and choose to change the game rules accordingly. It’s harder to imagine how an entire evolutionary system engaged by organisms competing to survive could collectively learn cooperation rather than simply competing themselves into a final mass-extinction.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #71904

August 15th 2012

Jon,

That is my point exactly.  John 1 says that the Logos, Jesus Christ is the Teleos of Creation, the universe.  God made Life a non-zero game.  God DESIGNED the ecological system (which is much broader field than evolution) to work that way.  Therefore plants, animals, and even physics works that way.  They are a cosmos, not chaos.

It is humans who have the choice, have the freedom, to work with others, to work with nature, to work with God, or just to try to get the most tangiable advantage out of life at the expense of others. 

Isn’t that the message of Jesus, along with the fact that salvation through Him gives us the power to overcome selfishness and live for God and not ourselves?      


Roger A. Sawtelle - #71951

August 16th 2012

The point is not that evolution per se is wrong, but that the atomistic mechanistic view of Dawkins & Co. is wrong and this is the basis of their whole physicalist point of view.  

Dawkins is right when he says that there is a conflict between evolution and Christianity if we accept his Darwinian definition of evolution and of course a creationist view of nature.  The problem of course is his atomistic Darwinian view of natural selection is not good science and creationism is not good theology. 

When we correct these two problem areas, there is no basic conflict, and his position goes down the tubes, which is why he resists any criticism of the Darwinian theory. 

 


Gregory - #71866

August 13th 2012

Two small points regarding comments.

1) Jon puts scare quotes around the term, but just by bringing it up he for some reason unwisely endorses it. http://neuroanthropology.net/2008/06/12/we-hate-memes-pass-it-on/

2) “Modern Evolutional Thought to use Gregory’s term.” No, I’ve never used the term ‘evolutional.’ 

Coakley, Sarah. “Evolution, Games and God: The Principle of Cooperation,” co-ed. with Martin A. Nowak (forthcoming Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 2012/13) (papers from the 20058 ‘Theology of Cooperation’ research project at Harvard)


Roger A. Sawtelle - #71881

August 13th 2012

Gregory,

Thank you for the web article link, the correction, and the information concerning the forthcoming book edited by Sarah Coakley and Martin Nowak.


wesseldawn - #71867

August 13th 2012

It is one thing to say that death is primordial; it is another to view it not just as an ancient byproduct, but as the central means of creation.

We know that in “the beginning”, God made the heaven (singular, which can also mean Heaven) and the earth, which would have been perfect/immortal, without flaw and full of goodness and mercy, as God is.

The question that needs to be asked is, “What happened to it that evolution became the creator and death the gardener?”

The Evolutionary Role of Death & Natural Evil:

The role of evolutionary death is simply that of cleaning house as supernatural evil produced natural evil:

In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not… (2 Cor. 4:4)

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2)

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph. 6:12)

Jesus clearly stated that He had nothing to do with this world, for if it were God’s creation, He would never have had to die, rather Jesus came to expose the lies of Satan. 

And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not ofthis world. (John 8:23, John 9:39)

Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. (John 14:30)

Which all means that evolution and death (this world) is Satan’s idea.

 


Roger A. Sawtelle - #71879

August 13th 2012

wesseldawn,

Please, understand what you are talking about.  The Greeks had more than one word which is translated world in the Bible.  Kosmos which means the natural world, and aion (also translated age) which is more difficult to translate.  Clearly it refers to times as the the spirit of the age.  It also refers to the corrupt culture of the ancient world.  It refers to the human world not the natural world.    

Jesus and Paul are using second term for world (aion) the corrupt pagan dominated human world, while you are interpreting it to mean kosmos, the natural world.  Thus your understanding of the Bible is not wise, only wrong. 

Paul tells us to be in the world, but not of the world.  We need to live in society, but not follow the ways of society. 

Sometimes the Bible uses the phrase “the age to come” meaning the Kingdom of God as the opposite of this “age.”  We have the terms, this worldly and other worldly to reflect this.        


wesseldawn - #72024

August 18th 2012

Well, who is the spirit of the age Roger but Satan who is the “god of this world”.

The human world and the natural world are one and the same!

And how can you use the word wise as you don’t acknowledge wisdom?

You follow the ways of society (the world) by teaching wrong doctrine, Roger.


George Bernard Murphy - #71884

August 14th 2012

Old Roger came up with a great statement here,

“I am glad that we are thinking basically in the same direction.  The primary theological problem with Darwinism is change by conflict, which contradicts the NT statement that Jesus the Logos is the basis of God’s Creation, and Jesus is Love, not war.”

Conflict just replaces one king with another.

 To get above that level cooperation must be learned and without Christ man cannot get the hang of cooperation.


wesseldawn - #72025

August 18th 2012

George, perhaps you are alluding to my comments; I never said that Darwinism is God’s plan, rather I said that evolution is Satan’s idea.

And cooperation at the expense of truth is folly:

Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness. (Eccl. 2:3)

For the LORD gives wisdom: out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. (Prov. 2:6)

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jer. 3:15)

Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel… (Dan. 5:12) 

And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation... (Isaiah 33:6)

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: (1 Cor. 2:7)

Speaking of Jesus:

In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col. 2:13)

wisdom/knowledge/understanding = synonyms


Roger A. Sawtelle - #72032

August 18th 2012

Knowledge (Gnosis) puffs up, but Love builds up (the Body of Christ.) 1 Cor 8:1

(1 Cor 13:13 NIV)  And now these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love.  But the greatest of these is love.

 


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