t f p g+ YouTube icon

Recovering the Doctrine of Creation: A Theological View of Science, Part 1

Bookmark and Share

January 31, 2011 Tags: Creation & Origins

Today's entry was written by Robert C. Bishop. 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.

Recovering the Doctrine of Creation: A Theological View of Science, Part 1

This is the first post in a series taken from Robert Bishop's scholarly essay "Recovering the Doctrine of Creation: A Theological View of Science", which can be downloaded here.

In teaching at an evangelical liberal arts college that holds firmly to the inspiration and authority of Scripture, I find most of my students think the biblical doctrine of creation (DoC) is limited to two points: (1) God created out of nothing (ex nihilo) and (2) God created the world in six days (whatever they think “days” is supposed to mean!). My students are fairly representative of contemporary evangelicals’ understanding of the DoC. This contemporary understanding is problematic, however, because it is much narrower than the full doctrine as it was developed by the Patristic fathers. Given that the DoC is perhaps one of the most helpful pieces of theology for thinking about science, it’s worthwhile recovering it in all its glory. What follows over the next few parts of this blog is a brief tour through the elements of this amazing doctrine.

Two preliminary comments to get started. First, we have a tendency to cut up doctrines into chunks like the DoC, the doctrine of providence, the doctrine of salvation, the doctrine of eschatology, etc. Nevertheless, we need to realize that this is somewhat artificial on our part as we strive to understand one grand doctrine of God and His activity. All of these doctrines interpenetrate and inform each other as can be seen in what follows (e.g. much of God’s ongoing work of creation is continuous with His providence in creation; likewise, if God hadn’t created, there would be no providence, salvation or sanctification).

Second, all of the elements composing the DoC have been hard fought, won and then lost over and over in the history of Christian thought. If many of the following elements seem surprising or new to you, that’s largely because since the eighteenth century the DoC has suffered significant decline such that contemporary Christians usually only have a very atrophied version of the doctrine in mind when they think about creation, God’s work in creation, and science.1

Creator/Creature Distinction

Let’s start with the creator/creature distinction, something that is familiar to us and that we recognize as part of the DoC when we think about it. This distinction actually has some important yet often missed implications. For example, the distinction implies that God intends for creation to be something different from rather than similar to Him. God didn’t make creation with the same infinite being or nature as Himself. Creation’s being distinct from God implies it is to be distinctly itself, literally to become uniquely what God calls it to be in Christ.

Moreover, the creator/creature distinction implies that all of creation is valued—it has the kind of nature and functionality God intended it to have. After all, “God saw all that he had made and it was very good” (Gen. 1:31), is a proclamation of His valuing all of creation. The Hebrew term in Genesis 1 and 2, tob, often translated as “good,” has a variety of meanings in different contexts including moral goodness and craftsmanship. However, it is commonly used in the OT in the sense of functioning properly. For example, “It is not good [tob] for the human [adam] to be alone, I shall make him a sustainer beside him” (Gen. 2:18). The man isn’t fully functioning without a sustainer appropriate to his created nature. So the repeating refrains of “good” in Genesis 1 and 2 primarily mean value, as in properly functioning or working as intended, fulfilling assigned purposes. From the beginning, God is telling us that creation does—and will do—what He intends.

Moreover, we see God’s valuation of creation especially in Jesus’ incarnation: what higher affirmation could there be of the value of the material order than the second person of the Trinity taking on the material nature of creation and inhabiting its order, an order that Jesus Himself established and blessed in the beginning?

A final implication of the creator/creature distinction is that creation has what theologians call contingent rationality. Creation is contingent in two senses: (1) it is utterly dependent on God such that if Christ ceased sustaining creation it would disappear instantly and (2) God could have made any kind of creation He wanted but chose to make this particular creation. God didn’t need or have to create anything. He was under no compulsion or necessity. Rather, being a loving communion of three persons, out of the overflow of that love God brought into existence a particular kind of creation for His glory and for its own sake. Furthermore, creation has its own rationality, its own particular order, structure and functionality, which is at least partially intelligible to us.

The creator/creature distinction has implications for science as well. First, since creation is so valuable to God, its study is a worthwhile human activity. Second, the contingent rationality of the created order is what science seeks to uncover and understand (whether or not scientists realize that both this order and its intelligibility are good gifts from God).

Ex Nihilo Creation

That creation was made ex nihilo—literally out of absolute nothing—is implied by the creator/creature distinction. The Patristic fathers inferred the ex nihilo nature of creation from this distinction and various passages like John 1:1-3, 1 Cor. 8:6, Col. 1:16, Heb. 11:3, Rev. 4:11 in their struggle with ancient Greek natural philosophy (the latter maintained that matter was eternal). This element of the DoC was not easy to achieve and required the Patristics to “think away” what was false from the Greek philosophical ideas that so permeated their world and their education.

The theological significance of ex nihilo creation is hard to overestimate. For one thing it protects God’s sovereignty showing us that all things in creation are subject to Him. Moreover, it distinguishes God’s creative activity from all other religious creation stories. There is no pre-existent matter giving rise to divinities as in the other ancient Near East creation accounts. Creation is pictured as originating in covenantal love (Jer. 33:25) rather than conflicts among deities. God is never once seen to be struggling to shape recalcitrant matter (a constant theme in other ancient Near East creation accounts).

Another important implication of ex nihilo creation is that there can be no creation out of nothing without purpose. Creation was no accident on God’s part. He has reasons for what He’s doing, one of which is for creation to become what God destines it to be in Christ (more in part 3).

Finally, a creation made out of nothing is particularly fragile! Its tendency is to always fall back into nothing meaning that creation requires God’s constant preserving care. Here, there is a clear connection between God’s creating out of nothing and His general providence sustaining the being and order of creation.

Sovereignty in Creation

God’s sovereignty in creation contrasts with all the ancient creation myths and cosmologies, where divinities are always struggling with each other and with recalcitrant matter. Instead, the Bible pictures God as in control of all things: “See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power and his arm rules for Him” (Is. 40:10a), “He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in” (Is. 40:22b), and

Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all (I Chron. 29: 11-12a).

From Genesis 1 to Revelations 22, God is king and ruler over all! One of the most relevant implications of this for thinking about science: God rules over all natural processes! Therefore, anything a scientist says about processes in creation can only be describing something that is sustained by God and subject to His sovereignty.

Notes

1. Although not his main theme, James Turner’s masterful history, Without God, Without Creed: The Origins of Unbelief in America, Johns Hopkins University Press (1986), reveals much of the DoC’s decline during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


Robert C. Bishop is the John and Madeline McIntyre Endowed Professor of Philosophy and History of Science and an associate professor of physics and philosophy at Wheaton College in Illinois. He received his master’s degree in physics and doctorate in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. Bishop's research involves history and philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics. Bishop is the author of The Philosophy of the Social Science and co-editor of Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism.

Next post in series >


View the archived discussion of this post

This article is now closed for new comments. The archived comments are shown below.

Loading...
Page 3 of 5   « 1 2 3 4 5 »
Papalinton - #50329

February 7th 2011

Hi Alex
“This led to the development of an idea of necessary existence, which is not incidentally a definition of God—that is, something which is, has always been, will always be, and could not be any other.”

And if the ‘necessary existence’ is not god as you say above, then where does he fit into the equation?
How does one respond to Steve Ruble - at #49742?  If such an ‘uncaused cause’ [in other words, the ‘necessary existence’] was the creator of all that exists, it seems contradictory that an existence exists outside of existence itself, that is, either ‘the uncaused cause’ itself must not exist, or it has an existence outside of existence.  But here, I’m only repeating arguments that have already refuted the singularly nonsensical idea of an uncaused cause that exists outside existence itself.  As you say, it is a theological concept, an ethereal statement of no substantive value outside our genetic predisposition to posit teleological response to even the most mundane of natural occurrences.

Also, “And even if an idea offers some sense of comfort, that doesn’t automatically invalidate it.”  Nor, equally, does it automatically validate it an idea.  You will of course heard of the placebo effect.

Cheers


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50356

February 7th 2011

Papalinton and Steve,

You assume that my view of God is the Unmoved Mover or the Uncaused Cause.  It is not.  My concept of God is based on the Personal Name of God YHWH meaning, I AM WHO I AM.  YHWH is Who YHWH chooses to be and does what YHWH chooses to do.  God has chosen to create the universe and be the Source of all that was, is, and will be.

You ask if there are two kinds of existence.  The answer is yes, and I would explain it this way, there is existence that is passive and there is an existence which is creative.  Living things create their own existence at least in part.  Non-living things do not create their own existence.  Human beings both create our own existence and are created by the forces of life.

YHWH creates God’s own existence, and YHWH chooses to care about humanity so God responds to our needs.


Gregory - #50359

February 7th 2011

Passive & active, creative & destructive? It is good to question a person when they use ‘opposites’ different than one’s own. Can there be two sets of opposites here?

“Non-living things do not create their own existence. Human beings both create our own existence and are created by the forces of life.” - Roger

Living things can ‘procreate’ or ‘reproduce’ biologically. Most sciences in the Academy, however, are not divided into ‘Sciences of Living Things’ & ‘Sciences of Non-Living Things.’

I agree with you about the multi-directionality of being involved with both creating & being moulded by the environment. But just about everybody accepts that nowadays.

Trying to clarify more, Roger: If one (group) cannot create, then can one (group) still ‘evolve’ (even as a non-human living thing)? Are you making ‘creativity’ a core feature in your ecological evolution(ism) framework, so that without ‘creation’ there would be no ‘evolution’?

In this sense it could be a way to look at Creation, though again, just as limited by the naturalistic framework, looking for different patterns.


Papalinton - #50383

February 7th 2011

Roger
“Living things create their own existence at least in part.  Non-living things do not create their own existence.  Human beings both create our own existence and are created by the forces of life.

YHWH creates God’s own existence, and YHWH chooses to care about humanity so God responds to our needs.”

Creative, imaginative and deliciously alluring wordsmithing.  Isn’t language a wonderful tool to calm the beating heart and smooth the ruffled feathers of being painfully aware of one’s own mortality and of the tenuous nature of one’s own existence? 
Our god illusion gives some of us a wonderfully helpful topical salve in keeping the travails of the immediacy of living at bay, to keep them at the door.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50387

February 7th 2011

Living is more than survival.

Papalinton, if one cannot enjoy life, what good is it? 

It looks as if you do not have an answer.


Papalinton - #50403

February 7th 2011

hi Roger
“Living is more than survival.
Papalinton, if one cannot enjoy life, what good is it?”

Who doesn’t consider living is more than survival, Roger?  I so *enjoy* life as to feel ecstatic. Enjoying life is the same motive force for the 2 billion christians of all stripes and heresies as it is for the 5 billion christian unbelievers.  It only becomes so very messy and indistinguishable to fantasy when one posits that the only true road to the ‘good life’ is through a particular and narrowly focussed perspective as christian scripture advocates. 
Being a christian, or believing in any particular flavour of theism, is a notoriously unreliable gauge or benchmark for identifying those that ‘enjoy life’.  When one places the orthodoxy and traditions of christian belief as the only measure for sustaining a good life, apparently self-evident, then one must ask why the need to invoke its alternative, that is,  that of hell and the prospect of eternal damnation, should one not accept jesus as saviour, just as the judea-christian musings clearly and incontrovertibly declare.

Surely that must tell you something of the localised and provincial nature of theism being substantively a sub-set of social construction.

Cheers


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50449

February 8th 2011

Papalinton,

“I so *enjoy* life as to feel ecstatic.”

You say that you enjoy life by feeling “ecstatic.”  The word “ecstatic” comes from the the Latin meaning “standing outside” or going beyond oneself.  Now the question arises as to whether one can go beyond oneself.  A believer says yes because God is beyond the human and indeed our joy is being related to YHWH.  Non-believers like Dawkins and Dennett I think would disagree, because they say that there is nothing beyond the human.  (I do not think that you mean “ecstasy” the drug.) 

You are right, faith and life are messy.  Dealing with people is messy.  They do not behave the way that we think they should.  Just because faith is messy does not mean that we should turn away from it, just as because life is messy we should turn away from it.  Because these things are messy we must not be dogmatic about life and faith, not expect them to have easy and simple solutions, but faith is not about easy and simple solutions.  Faith is the belief that life does have meaning and purpose, so we must put up with all its messiness to receive its benefits.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50452

February 8th 2011

Faith is the relational aspect of Christianity, based on our Holy Spirit relationship to God the Father through God the Son.  Religion, the doctrine and rules of the Church, gives form to that relationship, but are not a substitute for it.  Faith is the ecstatic aspect of Christianity, while the other helps rule
the institutional aspect of the faith which is also important. 

Religion is the attempt to give order and meaning to life.  This is necessary but not always successful.  Since we must remember that God is in charge, not us, our faith requires constant review and revision, some of which is not easy or simple.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50454

February 8th 2011

Would someone please note that this blog has been messed up.  Missing now are the posts of Papalinton and Gregory in response to my posts.  Please correct this.


Gregory - #50461

February 8th 2011

Hi Roger,

It doesn’t look like any of my posts have been deleted, but I now copy all posts to BioLogos to ensure no losses. It might be that some new posts were ‘lost’ in the ‘reply to this comment’ option.

You wrote:
“It is a pity if you and or BioLogos are anti-ecology.”

No, I am anti-ecologISM, which is why I inquired to you @ it. I am not anti-ecology as that would be absurd. Ecology is a scientific discipline in the NPSs.

But it makes little sense to oppose ‘Darwinism’ & ‘ecology’ - one is an ideology, the other a scientific field. Notice you still haven’t solved the initial discrepency in statements between you & BioLogos on ‘Darwinism’?

“You have not demonstrated why ecological natural selection cannot be the basis for the scientific understanding of evolution.” - Roger

I am still not convinced that ‘ecological natural selection’ makes a contribution. Is the ecosphere ‘natural’ Roger, or not? If you answer this, I can speak @ natural-natural selection.

“we must expand the concept of Nature to include the human, which means it must include reason and purpose, the intellectual and the spiritual.” - Roger

Nooo! ‘Spiritual’ is *NOT* included in ‘natural.’ Reverse perspective.


Papalinton - #50477

February 8th 2011

Hi Roger
“Faith is the ecstatic aspect of Christianity, while the other helps rule
the institutional aspect of the faith which is also important. “

Exactly.  And your statement contributes much in demonstrating the natural, andvery earth-bound basis or foundation of ‘belief’.  I,  as one of 5 billion people on this planet that can experience the perfectly human feeling of being ecstatic about life, without recourse to the christianities, is a testament to the paucity of evidence for its claim of universal truth.

Indeed Roger the word is older than Latin;  from Greek, ‘ekstatikos’.
Meaning “characterized by intense emotions,  mystically absorbed, stupefied
— adj
1.  in a trancelike state of great rapture or delight
2.  showing or feeling great enthusiasm: ecstatic applause
— n
3.  a person who has periods of intense trancelike joy

It is all a perfectly natural human emotion that does not substantiate a causal link to the veracity of the existence of supernatural entities.  And religion, the doctrine and the rules, is humanity’s first attempt to record and make sense of these internal and personal experiences.  In the absence of scientific knowledge we now have, we anthropomorphised these experiences into a god.


Papalinton - #50479

February 8th 2011

Hi Roger

“Faith is the ecstatic aspect of Christianity, while the other helps rule the institutional aspect of the faith which is also important. “
Exactly.  And your statement contributes much in demonstrating the natural, and very earth-bound basis or foundation of ‘belief’.  I, as one of 5 billion people on this planet that can experience the perfectly human feeling of being ecstatic about life, without recourse to the christianities, is a testament to the paucity of evidence for its claim of universal truth.
Indeed Roger the word is older than Latin;  from Greek, ‘ekstatikos’.
Meaning “characterized by intense emotions,  mystically absorbed, stupefied
— adj
1.  in a trancelike state of great rapture or delight
2.  showing or feeling great enthusiasm: ecstatic applause
— n
3.  a person who has periods of intense trancelike joy
It is all a perfectly natural human emotion that does not substantiate a causal link to the veracity of the existence of supernatural entities.  And religion, the doctrine and the rules, is humanity’s first attempt to record and make sense of these internal and personal experiences.  In the absence of scientific knowledge we now have, we anthropomorphised these experiences into a god.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50485

February 8th 2011

Gregory:  “But it makes little sense to oppose ‘Darwinism’ & ‘ecology’ - one is an ideology, the other a scientific field. Notice you still haven’t solved the initial discrepency in statements between you & BioLogos on ‘Darwinism’?”

Response:  BioLogos says that Darwin’s Theory is the scientific concept of evolution.  I agree that Darwin’s Theory is the most widely accepted view of evolution, but I disagree with Darwin’s Malthusian view of natural selection, which is based on conflict. 

Now Dawkins and Co have taken Darwin’s Theory and made it into an ideology.  I take it that we are agreed on that.  I disagree with the ideology and the scientific theory as I have specified.  Ecology is a scientific discipline which covers the same ground as evolution, that is how do life forms change.
However whereas Darwinian evolution is focused entirely on genes and how they change, ecology looks at the big picture as to how life forms interact with the evironment.  In doing so it comes up with different perspective than Darwin, the Gaia Theory.


Gregory - #50499

February 8th 2011

“BioLogos says that Darwin’s Theory is the scientific concept of evolution.” - Roger

They say more than that, Roger. See again their official position on ‘Darwinism’ in my initial quote-comparison above.

I’m not sure why you now speak of ‘Darwin’s theory.’ The term ‘Darwinism’ is not synonymous with Darwin’s theory. BioLogos is saying that Darwinism is actually just ‘pure science’ & that the term is (or jolly well should be!) ideologically neutral. (So why don’t folks like me just *get it, accept it & move on*?!)

AFAIK, “the most widely accepted view of evolution” is the ‘modern synthesis’ - Darwin + Mendel. That cannot be *just Darwin’s theory* because w/out Mendel, the MS goes nowhere. & even then, much more has been done in biology since the MS, e.g. evo/devo.

Darwin was also interested in the ecosphere. Are you suggesting Darwin was ‘unecological’ in his works, Roger? Are you aiming at a kind of synthesis between Gaia theory & Christian stewardship? Probably I’m missing something, but have not previously read such an attempt.

The taking of ‘evolution’ into an ideology is not original to Dawkins & co. We can go pre-Darwin to look at that.

Ecology also studies statics/sustainability.


Gregory - #50502

February 8th 2011

cont’d

Just to clarify, Roger: what you say about Malthus is fine & dandy, although the Anglican Priest should be spared on some account. It nevertheless is said through a western prism.

As one Prince wrote about that Parson:
“Malthus is the last absurdity in mankind; one cannot go any further in that direction.” – Prince V.F. Odoevskii

Those are amazing words!! Why was Malthus ridiculed and mocked so rigorously in Russia when he was ‘in the back pocket’ of both Darwin and Wallace, as well as much of Victorian England?

F. Engels wrote about Malthus’ theory, calling it “the crudest, most barbarous theory that ever existed, a system of despair which struck down all those beautiful phrases about love thy neighbour and world citizenship.”

It doesn’t seem to me that BioLogos has a beef with Malthus either way or at least I don’t remember anyone taking issue with Malthus here except Roger.

Nevertheless, perhaps someone will create space at BioLogos to focus on the recently published book by Kozo-Polyansky (original 1924) on the topic of symbiogenesis. http://harvardpress.typepad.com/hup_publicity/2010/07/rediscovering-symbiogenesis.html


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50591

February 9th 2011

Papalinton wrote: “It is all a perfectly natural human emotion that does not substantiate a causal link to the veracity of the existence of supernatural entities.  And religion, the doctrine and the rules, is humanity’s first attempt to record and make sense of these internal and personal experiences.”

Response:  You seem to contradict yourself.  First you seem to say that you enjoy life by being able to go beyond yourself, experience ecstasy. Then in your final statement you indicate that ecstasy is none other than a human, personal, subjective experience that has no reality. 

If enjoyment of life which is full of trials & problems is the result of escapism, as you are saying, then ecstasy might as well be the illegal drug or be the result of alcohol or many other kinds of escapism.  While taking a vacation from the difficulties of life does have its place, I and most Christians do not find our faith a way to escape life, but to deal with it. 

I would be the last to claim that non-believers cannot or do not enjoy life.  They do because life is good, because God made it good.  Christians just have the advantage of understanding why life is good, give credit where credit is due, and are in the position to enjoy it more.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50598

February 9th 2011

Part 1

Gregory:  “But it makes little sense to oppose ‘Darwinism’ & ‘ecology’ - one is an ideology, the other a scientific field. Notice you still haven’t solved the initial discrepency in statements between you & BioLogos on ‘Darwinism’?”

Response:  BioLogos says that Darwin’s Theory is the scientific concept of evolution.  I agree that Darwin’s Theory is the most widely accepted view of evolution, but I disagree with Darwin’s Malthusian view of natural selection, which is based on conflict. 

Now Dawkins and Co have taken Darwin’s Theory and made it into an ideology.  I take it that we are agreed on that.  I disagree with the ideology and the scientific theory as I have specified. 

Ecology is a scientific discipline which covers the same ground as evolution, that is, How do life forms change?  However whereas Darwinian evolution is focused entirely on genes and how they change, ecology looks at the big picture as to how life forms interact with the environment.  In doing so it comes up with different perspective than Darwin, the Gaia Theory.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50604

February 9th 2011

Part 2
The question is not which is natural or which is scientific, because they are both natural and both claim to be scientific.  Darwin says natural selection is survival of the fittest based on conflict.  Ecology says natural selection by adaptation which means working with other life forms within a given ecological niche.  In a sense it is like asking which is better Newtonian gravity or Einsteinian gravity.  The answer is Einsteinian gravity, not because it changes or does away with gravity, but because it is the best explanation for all of the known aspects of gravity.   

The irony as it seems to me is that Dawkins & Dennett are seen as scientists, when they are ideologues, while BioLogos accepts the basis of their “scientific ideology” when it should be questioning it.  The fact that so few have seriously questioned Malthusian natural selection is a scandal and a shame.  The notable exception is the late Karl Popper, and people find excuses to ignore his objections, despite his prominence as a scientific thinker.  It seems to me that some of The Questions in their original form showed some problems with Malthusian natural selection.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50608

February 9th 2011

Part 3

The real problem seems to be the breakdown of Western dualism, which no one wants to address.  Western dualism is generally reflected in the mind/body concept.  Physicalism rejects the reality of the mind and comes up with a meaningless universe.  It is backed by the apparent authority of science, at least Darwinism.  Traditional thought has no such backing.

However mind/body dualism is unBiblical.  I asked a theologian, if a human is mind and/or body, where was the spirit?  I was told that the spirit was a substructure of the mind.  That is theologically unacceptable.  Humans are body, mind, and spirit.  Augustine get it right in On the Trinity, but not when he followed Platonic anthropology. 

Western dualism separates the physical from the intellectual and the mental.  The Trinity unites them.  The big question that divides believers from unbelievers is the question as to whether life has purpose.  That is a spiritual question.  If God has not given life purpose, if the Logos is not left an imprint of the universe, then the atheists are right and we are wrong?


Papalinton - #50649

February 9th 2011

Roger
“If enjoyment of life which is full of trials & problems is the result of escapism, as you are saying, then ecstasy might as well be the illegal drug or be the result of alcohol or many other kinds of escapism.”
Now, you are putting words in my mouth.  ‘escapism’?

“I would be the last to claim that non-believers cannot or do not enjoy life.  They do because life is good, because God made it good. ”  But which god?  Ganesh?  Allah?  Shiva?  Zeus?  Thor?  Cthulhu?  Just curious.

From Comment #50608:
“The big question that divides believers from unbelievers is the question as to whether life has purpose. “

The various sciences are beginning to develop an emerging, consistent and testable narrative about the origins of belief and our propensity to invoke teleological intentionality on even the most mundane of natural occurrences. That humans are ‘made’ with the express purpose of carrying out individual ‘divine’ purposes is the stuff of legends, as you say ‘spiritual’.  Historically, it is what the most ancient of our forebears believed, in the absence of any knowledge [as we are now privy to] about the environment, the world, the cosmos and our relationships to them. We have moved on a great deal since then.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50657

February 9th 2011

Papalinton,

You have not explained one bit how ecstasy is the enjoyment of life.  All that you have said is that it is the creation of some sort of subjective false reality.  Thus it seems to be an escape from and rejection of real life and not enjoyment at all. 

Your criticism of my “wordsmithing” seemed to be the claim that I was painting a false view of reality.  I would say no.  Christainity paints a hopeful, but realistic view of reality.  It does not say life is a bed of roses, far from it since the Savior died the the worst way imaginable and He said, “Pick up your cross and follow Me.”

Now since neither one of us has died, neither of us can say for certain what is on the other side of death.  Jesus Christ has and says that God has our back, when we treat others as we want to be treated.  That is good enough for me.  If you want to maintain that there is no hope, that is your problem.

If you say that your life has no purpose, I believe you.  I know my life has a purpose and I intend to fulfill it the best I can.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #50662

February 9th 2011

Gregory,

BioLogos does not adress the question of the manner of natural selection in any way, shape, or form.  Probably most people, even scientists could not explain Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection, except as “survival of the fittest,” which has been rejected by most thinking people. 

Instead of arguing about generalities which is the style these days, why don’t you or someone from BioLogos or whomever determine what Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection is.  Since this is an established scientific theory, this should not be difficult to do. 

Then let us see how this scientific theory has been verified by documented experiments or studies.  If this theory which is 150 years old has been determined to be sound by the scientific method, fine.  I’m not talking about variation by genetic changes.  I’m talking about natural selection, which Darwin thought was the foundation of his view of evolution, as do I and as does Dawkins.


Page 3 of 5   « 1 2 3 4 5 »