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Theological Traditions and the Dialogue with Evolution

Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism

In this exhaustive series, Pete Enns begins with this question concerning the science and faith discussion among the Evangelical community: “How do our various theological traditions contribute to or hinder the dialogue between evolution and our Christian faith?” It all stems from the specific way in which one interprets Scripture. Though all traditions have an important voice in the matter, Enns specifically looks at that of Calvinism’s due to its wide impact on Evangelical thought. He explains John Calvin’s unique approach to interpreting Scripture and then demonstrates its impact on the conversation between Christianity and science. Furthermore, he looks at how Old Princeton thought has influenced Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism. He also explores ways in which these interpretative methods have been applied. He then highlights the hermeneutical strategies of the theologian B.B. Warfield, who took seriously the incarnation and thus the “human side” to Scriptures. In light of these strategies and interpretational tools provided by Calvinistic thought, he views the creation stories of Genesis in their historical, ancient Near Eastern context.

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Theological Traditions and the Dialogue with Evolution

Theological Traditions and the Dialogue with Evolution

Evangelicals often have widely different opinions on how evolution and Christianity can be in conversation—indeed, whether that conversation can happen at all. This prompts a question...
March 22, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Christian Unity 
50
 
Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism

Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism

Calvinism has been a dominant Protestant theological tradition since its teachings were first systematically articulated by John Calvin (1509-64). It is known for its intellectual depth and detailed argumentation.
March 25, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
7
 
Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 2

Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 2

Calvin sought to respect the context of the Old Testament while also realizing that Christ makes a difference in how one appropriates the Old Testament. This, I would suggest, is an unavoidable tension for all Christian readers, and it comes to bear on the science/faith discussion.
March 29, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
9
 
Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 3

Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 3

If God wishes to speak to us, he must bridge this gulf by descending into our world and speaking our language. In other words, God accommodates himself to our ability to comprehend.
April 01, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
3
 
Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 4

Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 4

How do the Old and New Testaments relate to each other, especially when we try to respect each in their historical context ?
April 05, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
139
 
Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 5

Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 5

We know that the Israelites were not the first to make this deduction, but Babylonian and Egyptian stories were there long before. This, of course, raises the perennially troubling issue for some: that Israel’s Scripture contains ways of thinking that it shares with pagan religion.
April 08, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
19
 
Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 6

Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 6

John Calvin was not a Calvinist. Many of the marks of Calvinism today are theological developments intended by Calvin’s followers to maintain trajectories that Calvin began. However, Calvin and Calvinism are not the same thing.
April 13, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
2
 
Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism , Part 7

Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism , Part 7

There were three intellectual challenges to Christianity in the nineteenth century: European Higher Criticism, Biblical Archaeology, and Evolution. These issues were pressing matters for the theologians and biblical scholars at Old Princeton, and they handled these challenges differently.
April 16, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
1
 
Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 8

Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 8

Old Princeton was very keen to defend the essential historical value of the Old Testament, but that does not mean that its scholars were oblivious to the need to treat new and challenging data fairly and to adjust views when needed.
April 19, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
5
 
Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 9

Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 9

This may seem like a rather obvious statement from our vantage point, but in Green’s day, reading the Bible in its historical context was a cause of concern for many.
April 23, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
76
 
Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 10

Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 10

With Christ, his humanity is essential to who he is. Likewise, the Bible’s “human side” is an essential part of what Scripture is, and recognizing this has practical implications.
April 26, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
18
 
Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 11

Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 11

In fact, when we turn to these Dutch Calvinists, we see that they were actually critical of their own tradition for failure to develop an “organic” doctrine of Scripture, i.e., one that takes account of its humanness as well as its divine authority.
April 29, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
1
 
Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 12

Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 12

The bottom line is that our growing knowledge of the historical background of the New Testament must affect how we read it.
May 03, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
10
 
Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 13

Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 13

What Machen may not have fully appreciated is how the Jewish background of Paul specifically and the New Testament in general can wind up being a theologically reorienting experience. Paying attention to the historical context of Scripture can begin a process of rethinking how Scripture is to be understood.
May 06, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Christianity & Science - Then and Now 
 
Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 14

Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 14

We see Calvinist influence beyond Calvinist denominations wherever an intellectual attempt is made to defend inerrancy.
May 10, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
3
 
Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 15

Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 15

I would like to suggest one specific area in which a Calvinist approach to Scripture could, in principle, be employed with great profit in moving forward in how Christians can think through the intersection of evolution and Scripture.
May 13, 2011 
Pete Enns 
Biblical Interpretation 
13