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Origins News Roundup for July 23, 2014

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July 23, 2014 Tags: Biblical Authority, Biblical Interpretation, Creation & Origins, Science as Christian Calling
Origins News Roundup for July 23, 2014

Today's entry was written by Hannah Birky. You can read more about what we believe here.

Mark Harris’ book The Nature of Creation: Examining the Bible and Science was recently reviewed by John Walton, an Old Testament professor at Wheaton College. In his review titled “Can the Bible Survive Science?” Walton both summarizes and critiques Harris’ main arguments, also offering helpful background information on the various science and faith topics that Harris covers. He concludes his review of the book by saying:

The Nature of Creation could easily assuage the often-volatile interactions surrounding the issue of origins. Harris reminds us that learned biblical scholarship and nuanced theological erudition is often a foil for hasty concern that so often leads to detrimental boundary-policing and premature foreclosure. He concludes that modern science only overlaps the biblical/theological theme of creation at very superficial levels. As outdated as the cosmology of ancient Israelites may seem to the present scientific point of view, science ‘has not invalidated their various portraits of the relationship between God and creation’ and remains a significant theological resource for so many today.

Harris was featured on the BioLogos blog last month with three posts on these topics.

N.T. Wright’s new book, Surprised by Scripture, was released in early June, and contains essays on topics such as the acceptance of evolution, women in ministry, and the need for Christians to engage in society. To learn more about the man himself, check out Christianity Today’s article on Wright—his background, scholarly work, perspectives, and personality, among other things. You can find a number of video conversations with Wright on the BioLogos website.

Former Calvin College mathematics professor Jim Bradley and philosopher Michael Ruse were recently interviewed together by author Krista Tippet. The interview and transcript, titled “Jim Bradley and Michael Ruse—The Evolution of the Science-Religion Debate,” highlights the way that science and religion work together to ask “complementary questions.” Bradley shares his expertise on the topic of randomness—an idea important to evolutionary theory—from a mathematical perspective, defining it as “something that’s irreducibly infinite,” rather than something without a purpose or meaning. Those interested in exploring the topic of randomness further may enjoy some of Bradley’s writings for BioLogos.

In other science news, NPR reports on a Florida sixth-grader who used her middle school science fair project to make an ecologically significant discovery about lionfish. The past Sunday marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Space.com commemorates the giant leap for mankind with a video of the landing and snippets of President Kennedy’s moon speech at Rice University. In those famous words of JFK, appropriate for all ventures of new knowledge and understanding:

Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, ‘Because it is there.’ Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.
Hannah Birky is a senior at Bethel College (Indiana) where she majors in Cell and Molecular Biology. She has served as an intern at BioLogos and plans to begin graduate school next fall, studying genetics.

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Roger A. Sawtelle - #86042

July 23rd 2014

I was most interested in reading the review by John Walton of the new book, The Nature of Creation, by Mark Harris  

In his blogs on BioLogos Harris made the excellent point that creation by a Personal God was important to our understanding of Western science, that is Theism as opposed to Deism.

Where we came into conflict was when I tried to connect God’s Person with the Trinity, which for me is based on scientific observation that human persons are complex/one beings, as is the God of the Bible.  This goes along with the important statement found in Genesis that humans are created in the image of God, not the other way around.

What I found interesting is that the reviewer used an explicit Trinitarian model of God’s creating ex nihilo, continua, and ex vetera.  Thus there is some real evidence that there is vital harmony between God’s Trinitarian nature and how God works in and through the universe. 

I think that this as the best way to reconcile theology and science (and philosophy which sadly has fallen by the wayside.)


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