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The BioLogos Foundation’s Theology of Celebration II Workshop

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January 11, 2011 Tags: Christian Unity
The BioLogos Foundation’s Theology of Celebration II Workshop

Today's entry was written by the BioLogos Editorial Team. You can read more about what we believe here.

On November 9-11, 2010, a group of pastors, church leaders, scholars, scientists, and informed laypersons met in New York City for the second Theology of Celebration BioLogos Workshop. In light of the scientific consensus that has emerged about the origin of the universe and of life’s diversity, there was extensive discussion around the following three themes:

  • The theological significance of Adam and Eve’s historicity
  • The nature of divine activity in a world where life has been created through an evolutionary process
  • The appropriate response to the emphasis on scientism that has emerged from some in the secular scientific community

After much dialogue, the following statement emerged, which represents a summary of the discussion, as no attempt was made to develop a binding consensus statement.

Summary Statement

Science and Faith

We affirm historic Christianity as articulated in the classic ecumenical creeds. Beyond the original creation, God continues to act in the natural world by sustaining it and by providentially guiding it toward the goal of a restored and consummated creation. In contrast to Deism, Biologos affirms God’s direct involvement in human history, including singular acts such as the incarnation and resurrection of Christ, as well as ongoing acts such as answers to prayer and acts of salvation and personal transformation.

We also affirm the value of science, which eloquently describes the glory of God’s creation. We stand with a long tradition of Christians for whom faith and science are mutually hospitable, and we see no necessary conflict between the Bible and the findings of science. We reject, however, the unspoken philosophical presuppositions of scientism, the belief that science is the sole source of all knowledge.

In recent years voices have emerged who seek to undermine religious faith as intellectually disreputable, in part because of its alleged dissonance with science. Some go further, characterizing religion as a “mind virus” or a cultural evil. While many of their ideas are not new, these voices are often identified as the New Atheists, and scientism undergirds their thinking.

In contrast to scientism, we deny that the material world constitutes the whole of reality and that science is our only path to truth. For all its fruitfulness, science is not an all-inclusive source of knowledge; scientism fails to recognize its limitations in fully understanding reality, including such matters as beauty, history, love, justice, friendship, and indeed science itself.

We agree that the methods of the natural sciences provide the most reliable guide to understanding the material world, and the current evidence from science indicates that the diversity of life is best explained as a result of an evolutionary process. Thus BioLogos affirms that evolution is a means by which God providentially achieves God’s purposes.

Accounts of Origins

We affirm without reservation both the authority of the Bible and the integrity of science, accepting each of the “Two Books” (the Word and Works of God) as God’s revelations to humankind. Specifically, we affirm the central truth of the biblical accounts of Adam and Eve in revealing the character of God, the character of human beings, and the inherent goodness of the material creation.

For a more comprehensive look at what we believe at BioLogos, please see our official faith statement.

We acknowledge the challenge of providing an account of origins that does full justice both to science and to the biblical record. Based on our discussions, we affirm that there are several options that can achieve this synthesis, including some which involve a historical couple, Adam and Eve, and that embrace the compelling conclusions that the earth is more than four billion years old and that all species on this planet are historically related through the process of evolution. We commit ourselves to spreading the word about such harmonious accounts of truth that God has revealed in the Bible and through science.


The following individuals were present and thoughtfully participated in the group discussion that produced this statement:

Denis Alexander, Director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion

Kathryn Applegate, Program Director at the BioLogos Foundation

Robert C. Bishop, John and Madeleine McIntyre Professor of Philosophy and History of Science in the Physics Department at Wheaton College

Stephen Ashley Blake, Filmmaker and President of Realm Entertainment

Jim and Carolyn Blankemeyer, Chairman of the MetoKote Corporation and the National Christian Foundation

Barbara Bryant, Trustee of the Trinity Forum

R. Judson Carlberg, President of Gordon College

Ron Choong, Ordained minister and Founder of the Academy for Christian Thought

Francis Collins, Former leader of the Human Genome Project, author of The Language of God, and Director of the National Institutes of Health

Michael Cromartie, Vice President at the Ethics and Public Policy Center

Pete Enns, Senior Fellow, Biblical Studies, The BioLogos Foundation

Catherine Crouch, Associate Professor of Physics at Swarthmore College

Andy Crouch, Special Assistant to the President at Christianity Today International

Darrel Falk, President of the BioLogos Foundation and Professor of Biology at Point Loma Nazarene University

Leighton Ford, President of Leighton Ford Ministries

Kerry Fulcher, Dean of Arts and Sciences and Acting Provost at Point Loma Nazarene University

Karl Giberson, Vice President of the BioLogos Foundation, Professor of Physics at Eastern Nazarene College, and author

Charley Gordon, Neurological Surgeon

Os Guinness, Author or editor of more than 25 books and primary drafter of the Williamsburg Charter

Deborah Haarsma, Associate Professor and Chair of Physics & Astronomy at Calvin College

Daniel Harrell, Senior Minister of Colonial Church and author of Nature’s Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith

Matthew J. Heynen, Project Manager for the Theological Book Network

Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed

Ian Hutchinson, Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Randy Isaac, Executive Director of the American Scientific Affiliation

Sidney J. Jansma, Jr and Catherine Jansma, President and CEO of Wolverine Gas and Oil Corporation

Tim Keller, Pastor and Founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and author of The Reason for God

Paul H. Lange, Professor of Urology at the University of Washington

Ard Louis, Reader in Theoretical Physics at Oxford University

Patrick McDonald, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Seattle Pacific University

Tim O'Connor, Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Indiana University

Thomas Jay Oord, Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Northwest Nazarene University

Jeff Schloss, Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for Faith, Ethics, and the Life Sciences at Westmont College

Randy Scott, Chairman of the BioLogos Foundation

Sanford C. "Sandy" Shugart, President of Valencia Community College

Dean Smith, Senior Pastor of the Highway Community

Mark Sprinkle, Artist and Senior Fellow at the BioLogos Foundation

Tim Stafford, Author and Senior Writer for Christianity Today

Dave Ussery, Associate Professor at the Center for Biological Sequence Analysis at the Technical University of Denmark

Luder Whitlock, President of Excelsis and former Executive Director of The Trinity Forum

Philip Yancey, Best-selling author of evangelical Christian literature

Amos Yong, J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology at Regent University

View the archived discussion of this post

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

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beckett - #50255

February 5th 2011

What’s silly is how you can jump on here, make a comment like that and not back it up.

Chris Rowley - #50318

February 7th 2011

The significance of Adam and Eve historically is silly, there requires no thought about it or back up, it’s silly silly silly.  To argue otherwise is as futile as arguing the earth is flat.

I know I know, god’s outside of our world and can never be tested and can do what ever they want blah blah.

Grow up, there is no need for god in any walk of life.  Take it out of your life and what changes, nothing, not one thing.

Dress it up anyoway you want to, the simple truth, very simple, is that it’s rubbish, have it, take it , embrase it and cherish it.  As long as what you believe never impacts on me I’ll live out my life happy as a pig in muck.

aaron - #55792

March 27th 2011

the thing i found is that the theory of evolution does not pass the simple math test,
plus its a 150 year old theory, i’m not intimadated anymore since the math is for a creator all the way, always go for the simple math,
i once heard that if you have no math you have no science,
i would say, no math, no religion, and for Christianity we have the math.

Larry - #55805

March 27th 2011


What is “the simple math test” that the theory of evolution doesn’t pass?

By the way, it is not the same theory that Darwin laid out 150 years ago - science changes, even if the arguments used by those who oppose it do not. However, by pointing out that the theory’s basic tenets have been around for 150 years you (apparently unknowingly) are emphasizing that the finest minds that science has produced in that time have been unable to falsify it, and only found it to be confirmed at increasingly high levels of detail.

Gregory - #55809

March 27th 2011

Evolution has been & still is falsified (& unofficially banished by scholars) in several academic fields. This does not mean that ‘evolutionary biology’ is also wrong. Top thinkers in that field have at least identified errors in Darwin’s message & continue to move the field forward with post-Darwinian ideas. But this does not ‘falsify’ evolutionary biology, geology or ecology.

Where evolution *is* falsified though, I would expect Larry to acknowledge it honestly & clearly. & thus in doing so to display his rejection of ‘universalistic evolutionism.’ Surely if he is a balanced person it should be his preference to openly reject such an exaggerated ideology as ‘universalistic evolutionism.’

If this is acceptable, then Larry, what are examples of “things that don’t evolve”?

Layton - #58590

April 24th 2011

One problem with the above statement from the seminar, a problem that causes much mischief in these matters is the confusion of science with creation in the reference to the two books of God. Creation and scripture are the two books of God and these will never disagree. Science and theology are interpretations of the two books and these are often in conflict because both are human attempts to read the books. Other than that, I applaud the statement.

John - #58611

April 25th 2011

“Evolution has been & still is falsified (& unofficially banished by scholars) in several academic fields.”

Which ones?

“This does not mean that ‘evolutionary biology’ is also wrong. Top thinkers in that field have at least identified errors in Darwin’s message & continue to move the field forward with post-Darwinian ideas.”

Which errors, and how do ideas move the field forward more than data? And why “post-Darwinian” instead of the more frank “non-Darwinian”? I think you are trying to sell something here.

“But this does not ‘falsify’ evolutionary biology, geology or ecology.”

“Evolutionary biology” is a field, not a theory, and would not be falsifiable. For one who so clearly values rhetoric above evidence, your terminology is remarkably vague.

“Where evolution *is* falsified though, I would expect Larry to acknowledge it honestly & clearly.”

Where evolution *is* falsified though, I would expect Gregory to honestly & clearly articulate the empirical predictions and cite the data that allegedly falsified it.
Caro - #60645

April 30th 2011

The record of the creation in the first chapter of the Bible is not only absolutely true, but it is also sublime, dignified and the only really rational explanation of where the universe comes from. 
Evolution is not only false, but also poor science; the only way it can be accepted is on the blindest of blind faith.
It is disgraceful that Christians in high positions promote these falsehoods.
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God ... but they became futile in their thinking…”   (Romans 1:21, ESV).

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