Evolution, the Enlightenment, and Worldviews

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February 8, 2013 Tags: Science & Worldviews

Today's video features N.T. Wright. 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.

In the video above, N.T. Wright discusses how the Enlightenment worldview -- which clearly separates God from the world -- has impacted our view of Scripture, and why cleaning the "spectacles" through which we view the world can help us see both Scripture and the world more clearly. In contrast to the Enlightenment, most other worldviews present a more fluid and messy interrelationship between God and the world. According to Wright, we need to learn how to navigate this fluid, messy relationship in order to learn how to read the Bible.

Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.


N.T. Wright is a leading biblical scholar, former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, and current Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of St Andrews. He studied for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and was ordained at Merton College, Oxford. Wright holds a Doctor of Divinity from Oxford University in addition to several honorary doctorates. Wright has also written over fifty books, including the multi-volume work Christian Origins and the Question of God and his two most recent books Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters and How God Became King.

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Roger A. Sawtelle - #76479

February 9th 2013

Thank you Dr. Wright for this enlightening presentation which points out that our problem is not the facts, but our world view which determines how we process the facts.  This is the reason why we can debate the facts ad nauseum without changing minds.

What he is discussing is Western dualism, that is the Enlightenment, which does separate Mind and Body, and can lead to materialism.  However the traditional alternative to Dualism, Monism is not a viable answer, because material reality is separate from God, just not completely separate as Dualism indicates.  They are not independent of each other, they are interdependent mor related.

Thus the problem is not just that Dualism does not work, but that Monism also does not work, and there is no traditional alternative to these two.  Wright is correct in saying that the Biblical view is not dualistic, but it is also not monistic.  It is triune, but as far as I can tell neither he nor any other theologian other than myself advocates to triune view. 

The problem is not as simple as wiping off your glasses so you can see better.  It is like getting a new pair of glasses to correct your vision, when you don’t think that you have a vision problem because the world looks perfectly natural to you.    

 


GJDS - #76489

February 10th 2013

N T Wright in his, “JESUS AND THE IDENTITY OF GOD” provides prophetic words that all those of the Christian faith should heed, “Just as the Nazi theologians, Käsemann’s obvious target, had re-invented a non-Jewish Jesus so today people are inventing Jesuses who support all kinds of ideologies.  And if we in the Church think we are immune from this, I would urge that we think again.  Christians are alas, capable of all kinds of fantasies and anachronisms in reading the Gospels, and to pull the blanket of the canon over our heads and pretend that we are safe in our private, fideistic world is sheer self-delusion.  It is demonstrably the case that where the Church has thought itself safe in its canonical world worshipping the ever-present ascended Jesus in prayer and the liturgy, it is capable of massive self-delusion and distortion.” Self-delusion is often used to accommodate all sorts of fanciful notions that may be dressed in scientific, philosophical, or socio-biological garb. I take many of Wright’s comments to mean that we find insights and faith by understanding the birth and life of Christ, the Jew, the human, who lived before God and pleased Him in totality, to be the revelation of God the Father and God the Creator of all things in Heaven and Earth, the giver of life, and the Saviour through His death and resurrection. The creation points to its creator, and all good and sufficient science testifies to this. 

The Enlightenment gave confidence to atheists (including those in religious garb) and post-modernity is the ultimate result from such a project. ‘Cleaning our spectacles’ is good advice for understanding the Faith as revealed in the Bible, which is always the clearest way to cope with externally imposed delusions, or our own self-delusions, in this ever changing fluid post-modern and atheistic world.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #76490

February 10th 2013

Yes, we need a Jewish Jesus Who also transended Judaism and Greek philosophy.

That is why I believe that Jesus Christ the Logos is the bast focus on our efforts to clarify our understanding of the Savior Who lived 2000 years ago, even though we are content in our dualism or monism which are not Biblical or Christian.

Atheism and sinful delusion are not unique to our post-modern and atheistic world, but have been common to the world from the original sin.     


sy - #76492

February 10th 2013

GJDS

Great comment, and very “enlightening”. Thanks

 


Roger A. Sawtelle - #76491

February 10th 2013

GJDS,

After I made my comment I decided to see if I could find the work you cited on the web.  To my surprise I found it here:  http://ntwrightpage.com/wright_jig.htm

It is very interesting.  While I agree with the emphasis on the Jewish foundation of the Christian, it is clear that Jesus and Paul go beyond the traditional Jewish worldview and open up our faith and God’s Kingdom to Greeks also. 

[Ironically I was recently trying to create as dialogue on the Jewish-Greek issue only to be sabotaged by Beagle Lady and Eddie.]

While I can agree with Wright on most points I would say that the NT combines different “discordant” points of view and makes them into one transcendent understanding of God, that is the Trinity. 

We get into problems when we try to make Christianity either Greek or Jewish, as is often the case.  It is not either/or, it is both/and.

The best way to understand the NT is to ask the question which everyone was asking then,“Is Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah, the One Chosen by YHWH to save God’s people?”

If you say Yes to that question, you can say that Jesus was the Son of God per Psalm 2:7 and for soteriological reasons as Paul and Athanasius indicate.   

            


GJDS - #76493

February 10th 2013

Sy, you are welcomed.

Roger, 

I am both intrigued and informed by the scholarly approach taken by Wright, especially his approach to the doctrine of the Trinity. He points out this is found in the NT well before the formalism that we have today – he also is correct in pointing out the concern of early Christians to separate themselves from the pagan teachings of the large and diverse range of gods, and the Stoic/Epicurean views, including of a nebulous something pervading the creation. I see this as Wright continuing the theme found in the OT, in which Israel is taught to avoid idolatry, and how Israel is ‘cleansed’ from such teachings by the message, and the way the message of Faith in God, is provided. These matters are clearly shown in, for example, Hebrews.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #76498

February 10th 2013

GJDS,

The problem with the Judaism of the time of Jesus was legalism.  In their eyes obedience to the Law was the way to acheive salvation. 

Jesus brought back the true Spirit of our covenantal relationship with YHWH.  This is what the Pharisees and the Saducees missed and and many theologians miss also.  We live under the New Covenant of Jesus Christ.  Christians are able to have a saving relationship with YHWH, God the Father through Jesus the Messiah and God the Holy Spirit of Love.

In my opinion Augustine was the theologian who best captured the Relational nature of God in his understanding of the Trinity.  His thinking unlocked the power of western Christianity and modern scientific thinking.  However we have reached the limits of modern dualistic philosophy, modernism and post-modernism. 

We must move beyond monism and dualism to Christian triune thinking.  We must move beyond either mind/body or physicalism to a complex/one understanding of reality.            


beaglelady - #76500

February 10th 2013

Just to clear things up—neither Eddie nor I “sabotaged” Roger.  I simply objected to Jews being referred to as “Jewish Barbarians” by Roger, because it was offensive.  Eddie agreed with me.  I did flag the comment. but no action was taken.  Furthermore,  I have no desire at all to carry on a ridiculous “conversation” that is actually nothing of the kind.   


Eddie - #76506

February 10th 2013

Agreed; there was no attempt to “sabotage” Roger.  There was only an attempt to correct one erroneous sentence, a sentence which he defended to the bitter end, even though it was demonstrably false and any undergraduate in History or Religion would know it was false.  The reader can see the whole sorry spectacle here:

http://biologos.org/blog/dissonance-and-harmony

Now, to be fair, I will add that a point Roger makes above, i.e., 

“We get into problems when we try to make Christianity either Greek or Jewish, as is often the case.  It is not either/or, it is both/and.”

is one that I can agree with.  Unfortunately, he tied that point, and other good points he was trying to make about Greek and Jewish culture and religion, to a defense of his erroneous historical statement, and held on to the erroneous statement as a pit bull would hold on to the leg of a new mail carrier.  He thus utterly destroyed his own credibility as an analyst, when a simple admission of error would have preserved it, and allowed him to make the more important true points that he wanted to make.

I don’t intend to carry over the battle from the other column to this one.  If Roger continues to defend himself here, I simply refer readers to that other column, and let them be the judge.



Roger A. Sawtelle - #76512

February 11th 2013

Thank you Eddie for trying to put this issue to rest and reiterating the point I made.

As for me I quite agree that the record speaks for itself and I have no intent of reopening the discussion.  Also I would like to say that I have no reason to think that Beagle Lady and Eddie intended to sabotage the discussion, but that is what happened as you can see for yourself. 


Roger A. Sawtelle - #76525

February 11th 2013

I apologize for this interuption and suggest a model to renew the discussion.

I have noticed a division between scientists who focus on the naturalistic world and others who focus more on the human world of persons. The Greeks, acting against the much too personal world of their gods, developed the universe of universals and absolutes. The Jews saw the world as being governed by a Personal God Who was in charge of nature and humanity.

It seems as though we have failed to establish a world view that unites these two worlds. Conservatives accuse liberals of Deism. Liberals accuse conservatives of Pantheism.

Scientists, including Einstein, who was Jewish, reject the concept of a personal God, while also rejecting teleology. They are looking for a naturalist Greek explanation of everything which does not exist.

In a real sense evolution deals with the realm between the physical and the human. That is why it is so important and controversial. If we can solve this issue, we can create a world view that can unite our worlds of the physical, the organic, and the human, which are still disjointed.

 


Eddie - #76531

February 11th 2013

I have seen conservatives accuse liberals of Deism.  I have never seen a liberal accuse a conservative of Pantheism.

I have seen liberals accuse conservatives of believing in a “tyrant” God who denies “free will” and stifles the “creative self-expression” of mushrooms and flatworms and protein molecules and so on—but their target there is not the God of Pantheism but of absolutist monotheism.

Can you give us an example, from any book, or any article, or any text at all, where a liberal has accused a conservative of believing in Pantheism?


GJDS - #76532

February 11th 2013

One of the finest examples that I have come across regarding how we seek to know, why we should ask questions, and also how we may understand the various philosophical outlooks of Greek and Roman thought, is “Athanasius (Foundations of Theological Exegesis…..), by P. J. Leithart, H. Boersma, at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0801039428/ref=rdr_ext_tmb &ndas.h; we can read in his own words, on asking questions, thinking for himself, and what the Bible teaches about the creation; this while fully conversant with the latest Hellenic thought and teachings. It is obvious even during these days that Christians were concerned with getting to the truth and avoiding error, error that was also prevalent during the fourth century ‘world views’ as each ‘school of thought’ maintained they knew it all and others did not. The publication also shows imo that Christianity did not transcend Hellenic thought, nor did these thinkers feel it necessary to harmonize of synthesize Christian understanding with any pagan thinking. This volume is highly recommended and worthwhile reading. I have looked through various writings during this period but I have not had the time for a thorough reading of this volume – another addition to my long list.


GJDS - #76536

February 12th 2013

The sustaining and creative activity of God is explained succinctly by Athanasius:

From A SELECT LIBRARY OF THE NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. SECOND SERIES, ATHANASIUS: SELECT WORKS AND LETTERS. Page 145-146: The mediatorial work of the Logos is not necessary as though nature could not bear the untempered hand of the Father. The Divine Will is the direct and sole source of all things, and the idea of a mediatorial nature is inconsistent with the true idea of God. ‘All things created are capable of sustaining God’s absolute hand. The hand which fashioned Adam now also and ever is fashioning and giving entire consistence to those who come after him.’ The immanence, or intimate presence and unceasing agency of God in nature, does not belong to the Word as distinct from the Father, but to the Father in and through the Word, in a word to God as God (cf. de Decr. 11, where the language of de Incarn. 17 about the Word is applied to God as such).’

We can understand from this that from the beginning of Christianity, our belief has been that the creation is subject to God’s will and also to the unceasing agency of God in nature. All notions such as ‘random and purposeless creation’ miss the mark and should be assigned to myth, superstition, or atheism. The extreme myths received a considerable impetus during the ‘enlightenment’, although I am of the view that this impetus was motivated mainly by anti-religious/atheistic forces, and not by significant advances in science.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #76538

February 12th 2013

GJDS,

Thank you for bringing up Athanasius.  He was one of a series of extraordinary African Fathers of the Church, including Tertullian, Origen, and Augustine who formulated the Western doctrine of the Trinity in the Early Church.   

Wright in the essay you noted above says that Hillary said that Athanasius was the author of the homoousis formula, which was the very controversial basis of the Nicean Creed.  I have always suspected that because Athanasius suffered greatly as the prime supporter of this formula both against the Arians and those who wanted to compromise with the Arians.  We in the West do not appreciate him properly, probably because he is claimed by the Eastern Church.

I would disagree with the statement that Christian thought does not go beyond Greek thought.  The clearest example of this is the Logos.  The logos does exist in Greek thought, but it is not personal.  God’s word does exist in the Hebrew Bible but it is not God’s cosmological principle.  John combined OT God’s word and the Greek logos to create a new understanding of the universe through the Logos, Jesus Christ, the Word of God, which is not OT Jewish or Greek, but uniquely NT Christian.

Athanasius was criticized from both the Jewish and Greek point of view because of his Christian understanding of God, the Trinity.  God the Trinity is both Many/Greek and One/Jewish.   

I agree that random creation is false, but I think that it is important to note that randomness in the scientific sense of that concept does exist in nature and is used by God as part of God’s creative process.  Chriatians understand that God works in and through nature in a way different from both the Jews and Greeks.        

 


Roger A. Sawtelle - #76539

February 12th 2013

Eddie,

If the universe is the absolute expression of God’s Will, how is “absolute monotheism” any different from pantheism or panentheism?

I know that it has happened because I have done it.

 


Eddie - #76540

February 12th 2013

Ah!  I suspected as much.  You don’t understand the meaning of the term “pantheism.”  Get a good dictionary of philosophical or theological terms.  Consult the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Read some commentaries that discuss Spinoza.  Etc.  


GJDS - #76548

February 12th 2013

Roger,

I think this quote from Athanasius makes the matter regarding the Logos perfectly clear: “But by Word I mean, not that which is involved and inherent in all things created, which some are wont to call the seminal principle, which is without soul and has no power of reason or thought, but only works by external art, according to the skill of him that applies it,—nor such a word as belongs to rational beings and which consists of syllables, and has the air as its vehicle of expression,—but I mean the living and powerful Word of the good God, the God of the Universe, the very Word which is God, Who while different from things that are made, and from all Creation, is the One own Word of the good Father, Who by His own providence ordered and illumines this Universe.  For being the good Word of the Good Father He produced the order of all things, combining one with another things contrary, and reducing them to one harmonious order. He being the Power of God and Wisdom of God causes the heaven to revolve, and has suspended the earth, and made it fast, though resting upon nothing, by His own nod. Illumined by Him, the sun gives light to the world, and the moon has her measured period of shining. By reason of Him the water is suspended in the clouds;…”

I have used a lengthy quote to show that he goes to considerable lengths (also in other sections of his writing) to show his term is vastly different to the way the Greeks used it in their philosophy. He also states that reason and harmony in the Universe are consistent with the Word creating and sustaining, “The Presence of the Word in nature necessary, not only for its original Creation, but also for its permanence”.

There are matters he discusses that may appear odd nowadays, including his reasoning on the soul – however careful reading will show that although the wording is archaic, it is not difficult to understand that what he says is very close to our current thinking on the topic.


Bilbo - #76557

February 13th 2013

I don’t know if anyone else noticed it or not, but N.T. Wright was actually criticizing BioLogos view that evolution is strictly a natural process and that God has never had to intervene in it.  That view is the Enlightenment view, which Wright reminds us is not necessarily the correct view.  I hope BioLogos takes this to heart, but I expect his words flew right over their heads, just as it did for all the commenters here.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #76558

February 13th 2013

GJDS,

Thank you.  Your quote shows that Athanasius was an amazing thinker.  If you would, please give the citations for these quotes.

The problem is world view.  Scientism want to destroy the Western understanding of Reality by reducing it to Matter/Energy or Physicalism.  The net result of this point of view can be found in The Atheist’s Guide to Reality by Alex Rosenburg and other sources which claims that the world is without meaning.  By their way of thinking they are right.

Most Christians endorse the old Western dualist view which not longer is a viable explanation.  Wright bewails the separation between God and nature that is part of dualist view, but does not offer to my knowledge an alternative.

The issue as I see it is interdependence.  Nature is separate from God the Father, but it is not independent of the Creator.  Nor is Nature absolutely dependent upon God the Father as Calvinists would have it.  Nature has a interdependent relationship with God the Creator, because it is also the work of God the Son.  Just as the Father and Son are interdependent, so are the Father, Son, and nature, since nature is a product of both, just not one. 

This is why the “Two Books Model of Revelation” makes sense.  Not that science is always true, which it is not, but it gives us a viable perspective for understanding Who God is and what God does.  This is why Augustine advocated the study of nature and he was right.  

This can be seen as triangulation.  If I am dependent on one source of knowledge, then my thinking will be formed by that source.  However if I have two sources of knowledge on the same subject then I am able to determine for myself what is the best understanding of the subject using both sources to form by own separate point of view which is interdependent on the original solurces and also based on my own experience as to what is true and what is not.  

This is why a triune, complex/one worldview is 1) true and accurate, 2) important to understand.  It makes possible accurate knowledge, while tha others do not.        


Roger A. Sawtelle - #76559

February 13th 2013

Bilbo,

Nothing that I have written defends the Enlightenment worldview.

I agree with Wright that the problem is not really the scientific facts, but how we understand and interpret these facts. 

The problem is What world view most effectively presents the Biblical Christian perspective?  What do you think?

The traditional view is Western dualism, which he criticizes, but most Christians on all sides accept.  On the other side is monism which Scientism and Absolute Monarchism effectively accept.     


Bilbo - #76563

February 13th 2013

Yes you do accept the Enlightenment view, Roger.  You find the idea that God would need to intervene in the history of evolution utterly repugnant.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #76569

February 13th 2013

Bilbo,

Do not tell me what I think unless you can back it up in my own words. 

I asked you what you think.  Speak for yourself and let me speak for myself.


GJDS - #76573

February 13th 2013

Roger #76558,

The source is (as I stated before) : A SELECT LIBRARY OF THE NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. SECOND SERIES, PHILIP SCHAFF & HENRY WACE, VOLUME IV ATHANASIUS: SELECT WORKS AND LETTERS.

I noticed you did not address or comment on what I posted regarding the Logos – I think it would be more constructive to this discussion if you did.

I agree with Bilbo #76557 on this one.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #76576

February 13th 2013

GJDS,

John 5:17  Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” 

Jesus said that He the Logos is constantly working to create and sustain the universe.  That is what Athanasius also said. 

Does God intervene in the world intermittently as needed, or is God always working in the world through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

Intervention as ID folk use that term means that God’s work is the exception rather than the rule.  In my view of the world God’s work is the rule rather than the exception.

Maybe I am mistaken, but I do not think that this is the Enlightenment view of God and nature. 

Therefore it does not make sense to say that God intervenes in the world.  God can do whatever God chooses to do, so it is not true that God cannot intervene if God wants to do so.  

However the fact is, as far as I can tell from the Biblical point of view, God does not interfere with nature which God the Father created through God the Logos and the Spirit and called good, but God does communicate with humans in exceptional ways to reveal the divine Will to us.       

God is the God of the physical world, the organic living world, and the human world, but God relates to each world somewhat differently because they are different, not because God varies.  God relates to God’s world in an orderly, rational, and loving manner.  This what Jesus, the Logos, reveals to us, and any world view, be it Scientism or Absolute Monarchism that indicates otherwise is not true.  


Eddie - #76577

February 13th 2013

Actually, Roger, ID people don’t use “intervention” very often to characterize their view.  They say that nature shows evidence of design, but don’t specify how the design got there (other than that it required intelligence), and so “intervention”—in the sense of a divine rupture in normally unbreakable laws—is only one option for how that might have happened.  Other possibilities exist, including front-loading, and a constant direct (however subtle) involvement of God in the operation of the world.

It is usually the foes of ID who speak of “intervention,” and usually they deliberately associate it with some word or phrase that implies ridicule:  “tinkering” or “God of the gaps” or the like.  Often it is coupled with a sneer about God not being a very good designer, if he had to intervene later to add something new.  In other words, “intervention,” like “miracle,” has become a term in the arsenal of anti-ID polemics.

The problem with these critics, however, is that, in order to avoid the idea of “intervention,” they insist upon an unbreakable causal nexus of “natural laws,” which are “broken” only for revelatory purposes, in the case of Biblical miracles.  So they assume that God packed into the Big Bang exactly “the right stuff” for nature to be able to produce planets, life, multicellular life, vertebrates, mammals, and man without any special assistance or guidance from God (beyond his sustaining of the laws).  This is the Enlightenment understanding of nature, as updated by Kant, Lyell, Darwin, and Oparin.

The Biblical view of nature is quite different.   The idea of “natural laws”—with its implications of absolute regularity throughout the universe from the micro- to the macro-scale—is a post-Biblical development.  The Bible knew of “the usual course of things”; it did not know of “natural laws.”  The idea that God works only through natural laws, except the case of a few Biblical miracles, is not a Biblical idea.  But it is the operational idea governing most TE theorizing about evolution, even if TEs occasionally offer theological caveats that God could work outside laws if he wanted to (by which they mean, if he wanted to act in bad taste for a wise and good divine being).  Most (I don’t say all) of the publically prominent TEs are fundamentally children of the Enlightenment, not of the Bible, in their thinking about nature.


GJDS - #76580

February 13th 2013

Roger,

If I have understood your thesis, it is that the Hellenic (pagan) notion of the logos as the principle of the Universe has somehow been mixed/transcended and became within the thinking of the Orthodox Christian faith. I have provided some material that shows this is not case, but instead the Logos is the way the Greek language can state the phrase ‘the Word of God’. Thus I am unsure as to what your comments on the subject may amount to.

On the Enlightenment or the ‘Age of Reason’, I find it difficult to make statements within a short statement such as this on a period in history. Many things may be considered to belong to that period: political, scientific, industrial, social, philosophical, and religious. Such vast changes are difficult to portray and required considerable scholarly effort and historical research for a clear understanding. Within this context, one aspect of the religious climate of that period has been a considerable increase in atheistic activity, as well as an attempt to amalgamate religious, philosophical, and scientific outlooks. Whatever we may say about this period, one thing that most people would agree is the rise of heterodoxy and heretical views in parallel with the spread of atheistic outlooks.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #76588

February 14th 2013

Eddie,

Bilbo brought up the concept of intervention, not me. 

I have tried to make clear that while I agree with ID regarding its basic understanding that the universe has meaning and purpose, my understanding of how God works to implement this through the Logos is different from those of ID and Darwinism. 

Thus I am attacked by proponents of both views, which is fine by me, but does not make me a Darwinist.

Going to our vision of history, if God is really in charge of history as well as nature, then God set the stage for Jesus the Messiah to come into a world that was ready for Him. 

The Jews were ready, because they needed a Savior, but Jesus was not the Savior they expected.  The Greeks were ready because philosophy had degraded their belief in their gods, but had not provided a means of salvation. 

God sent the Messiah to both the Jews and the Gentiles, but the Jews for the most part rejected Him.  Please let us remember that a key group of Jews did accept Him and “Salvation came from the Jews.”

The problem was that the Jews and Greeks were bitterly divided in the time of Jesus so how could this miracle take place thast the Greeks would accept the Jewish Messiah and the Jewish God YHWH. 

The basic reason id because the Jews were primarily interested in relegion, and not in science, while the Greeks were primarily interested in science and not religion.  This is the conflict we still have today as I have tried to point out.

Because of the historical situation the Greeks at the time of Jesus were becoming more interested in religion and Christianity caught their interest because it was true and the Church Fathers were able to translate Christian ideas about God using Greek philosophical concepts, such as Logos and Being. 

God prepared to Greeks to accept Christianity and sent people like Barnabbas and  Paul who were conversant in Jewish, Greek and Christian world views to spread the Gospel. 

Remember Paul said that we must speak to Gentiles in the language of the Gentiles and Jews in the language of the Jews.  We must undersatnd the world views of people if we are going to communicate with them.  Today people do not try to understand each other.

First century Jews, like many Christians today, have a high view of God’s moral law. Many Christians today reject a high view of natural law as limiting God’s power.  As you put it the Enlightenment projects a high view of natural law, and often rejects moral law. 

Both groups accept legalism, but in different ways.  If God governs humanity by moral laws, why can’t God govern nature by natural laws and vice versa.  There is a contradiction in both views. 

However the Christian position is that while God does use laws and rules, both natural and moral, God is beyond rules and laws, God is Love.  As long as our understanding of life and reality is based on our Covenant with God, God will govern by God’s rules and laws, but salvation through Christ is beyond legalism, it is relational.  Salvation is by God’s grace and our faith.

This how Christainity combines and goes beyond both Greek and Jewish ideas of nature and religion.                            


Eddie - #76603

February 14th 2013

Roger:

Whoever brought up the concept of intervention, you then went on to make a statement about it in relation to ID thinking, and I wanted to clarify the ID position on that, since your statement could easily mislead people, even if you didn’t intend it to.

Regarding your contrast between ID and Logos-theology, Bill Dembski, a leading ID theorist, would beg to differ; he thinks that ID is easily translatable into such a theology, and vice versa.


Chip - #76587

February 14th 2013

God packed into the Big Bang exactly “the right stuff” for nature to be able to produce planets, life, multicellular life, vertebrates, mammals, and man without any special assistance or guidance…

 

Eddie,

Certainly you’re not suggesting that God “tinkered” with the big bang? 


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