The Power of Wonder

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January 5, 2010 Tags: Christianity & Science - Then and Now

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

The Power of Wonder

2009 marked both the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s telescope and the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, two events that lead to revolutionary breakthroughs in our understanding of the world. With these scientific discoveries fresh in our minds – as well as the many new ones made this year – it is little wonder that many have also spent 2009 pondering how science relates to faith.

In his editorial for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, William P. Brown, professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, offers his thoughts on where the futures of science and faith are headed. As Brown notes, both science and the Bible reflect on “the natural world’s complexity and humanity’s inseparable relationship to it.” In fact, Brown writes that many often overlook our earthly origins entirely, focusing only on the divine components of creation.

Science, then, can help us to focus on different aspects of our existence. According to Brown, “Science has done an incredible service to the faithful: it has enhanced our capacity to wonder. That capacity, according to bioanthropologist Melvin Konner, is ‘the hallmark of our species.’” Not only can wonder lead to new scientific discoveries, it can also inspire our religious thinking.

Brown concludes:

“As I thank God for the glorious, life-sustaining world in which we live, I also remember with gratitude Galileo and Darwin. They have revealed a few of the great wonders of God’s ‘other book.’ May it continue to be read with care.”


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Mere_Christian - #1728

January 5th 2010

It’s interesting. science seems driven exclusively by mankind’s greatest fears. Religion, by its greatest dreams. yet, it’s sold completely as the opposite.


beaglelady - #1731

January 5th 2010

M_C, did you read

of this post or the editorial? It appears that you didn’t.


Mere_Christian - #1771

January 5th 2010

You’ll have to excuse me if I have zero gratitude towards Charles Darwin. He may or may not have been on the right boat for the origins of life, but his legacy leaves nothing for a Christian to hold up as an example for destinations.

I see no need to venerate Darwin if you no longer need to sweat getting a passing grade from your humanist instructor. OK, evolution is sound. So what?

How are souls saved by equating the importance of Darwin to Elijah?. And it is more than clear that the BioLogos staff do just that.

I’m just curious as to why. I’m hoping to find that out.


Mere_Christian - #1810

January 6th 2010

Hmm,  B-lady,

I’m not looking for grades from teachers. My point is understood.

BioLogos has jumped onto the Christian stage with a mighty proclamation of saving souls for darwinism.Testing all things includes them. That’s a reference to the new testament.

It is OK for us lowly laypeople to question authority that claims to want to rule us is it not? Have you seen Dr. Collins on Bill Mahers hack piece of a movie? It is clear a secular education leaves one wanting in the “give to every men an answer,” category.

I just haven’t seen yet why darwinism needs to be a doctrine of salavation.

That’s “reason able” isn’t it?


beaglelady - #1813

January 6th 2010

I just haven’t seen yet why darwinism needs to be a doctrine of salavation.

It isn’t a doctrine of salvation,  and no one here has claimed that it is.  This fact will not stop you from repeating this, however.


Kathryn - #1814

January 6th 2010

Hi Mere_Christian,

I don’t know of anything I’ve read on the BL site that would lead me to suspect that the staff believe “Darwinism” has anything to do with salvation per se.  BL isn’t out to save souls - God does that.  Their goal is to provide a forum for scholarship and resources for a community of believers interested in or troubled by modern scientific research. 

I’m curious: does it anger you when a Christian artist paints a scene without something overtly Christian in it?  Does it bother you when a Christian musician writes a song without reference to God?  Many pursuits in life - and I argue that science is a big one - can be completely God-honoring without being overtly religious in substance.  I sincerely want to understand the angst you feel.  Is it because we are having theological discussions on this site without a virtual altar call?


Mere_Christian - #1844

January 6th 2010

B-Lady,

The very tone of the B-L guys is that not celebrating Darwinism and evolution is keeping so many people from faith in Christ.

That would be raising evolution to a doctrine of salvation would it not?


Mere_Christian - #1845

January 6th 2010

Kathryn,

The only reason I’m thought of as “angry” is that we live in a world of knne-jerk liberal reationary drama.

I am no more angry than Jude in my position. BioLogos is impressive to a degree, but they have come busting onto the worldwide Christian stage with a big tent revival call.

I want to see what they are preaching, how and why.

What usually follows hand in glove with evolutionism, is leftist (liberal, progressive) theology. I’m waiting for the gloves to drop.


Pete Enns - #1866

January 6th 2010

Mere-Christian —#1844

I hardly know how to respond. Do you really think you have captured the B-L vision in your comment? We raise evolution to a doctrine of salvation? Really.

What do you hope to accomplish by such a remark?


Mere_Christian - #1875

January 7th 2010

The vision seems quite clear that evolution is key to getting people that reject creationism, bible-believers and orthodoxy, to embrace evolutionary Christianity. Darwinian evolution Christianity. Why not move on to showing what your evangelicalism looks like? Article after article of bashing IDers and cementing materialism as how we all got here is only giving atheists and other anti-Christians fuel for their proselytizing efforts.

Where is the hope of the Gospel in the works of Christian BioLogos authors?

Or is BioLogos not a Christian endeavor?

I have no angst, as evolution to Adam doesn’t bother me at all. But clearly I do have the right to question your bursting onto the evangelical stage and your positions as to the importance of darwinism do I not?

Darwin was an anti-Christ. He made his choices. His science may be valid to sum degree but nothing else of the man is important in regards to truth of eternity. In fact, some of what he set in motion can in all reality be classified as satanic.

That’s more important than bacteria becoming my neighbor when the man is mentioned as important to Christians.


Gregory Arago - #1877

January 7th 2010

Very nice words Kathryn!


Gregory Arago - #1881

January 7th 2010

Mere_Christian wrote: “Where is the hope of the Gospel in the works of Christian BioLogos authors?”

If you have ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart that discerns, MC, you’ll eventually discover it. No doubt, it is there! Kathryn’s words (and questions) give a direct answer to your question.

BioLogos is completely open about its religious orientation. On the homepage, it says: “We believe that faith and science both lead to truth about God and creation.”

Saying “Darwin was an anti-Christ” is as ridiculous as Sam Harris’ views of ‘faith.’ Can you not recognize this?

What positive contribution can you make to ‘science, philosophy and religion’ discourse that moves beyond simply attacking Darwin?

There are educational programs in various locations now offering courses on ‘science, philosophy and religion’ and I suspect that very few of them villainize Darwin, but rather respectfully include him as a significant figure in the conversation. Nobody (reasonable) is asking you to worship Darwin!


Mere_Christian - #1887

January 7th 2010

@Gregory #1881

Darwin is the secularist messiah. Venerated in celebration and deed. Freeing all from darkness. That’s simply the way he and Darwinism are portrayed throughout academia and society as a whole. B-L guys show us all appropriate belief in our origins is secular enlightenment Darwin-style. Their writings speak to this loudly. I am not making a false accusation. I’m just asking why.

Now, as written by the disciple, an “anti-Christ” is one that believes that Jesus, as the Son of God, did not come in the flesh. Darwin was an atheist and all atheists are anti-Christ’s. The definition is applicable. Where is the un-yoking with these anti-Christ’s by B-L voices? Again, how is that not a fair questioning? When anyone or any group comes along calling Christians to interact, they need to be tested by light of Christian reality. Darwin “ism” is anti to Christian truth. I’m obviously not in the position to challenge B-L scientific positions on slime becoming a piano pianist, but their theology is wanting and is open to challenge. Seeing how Dr. Collins handled the historicity of the Gospels shows BioLogos his pet project is a long way from offering Christians solid orthodoxy. CONT:


Mere_Christian - #1888

January 7th 2010

CONT:Like I’ve written before, B-L should invite in Dr. Peter Kreeft and other more substantial Christian apologists to be “academic” voices to The Church. Evolution as apologia ends with Adam and Christian reality begins with his genetics. And anyone with conscience knows how truly evil social Darwinism has been. ALL of socities vice and unvirtue can be laid in the hands of Darwinists.

I’d like to see these highly educated B-L guys make some better statements about Christian historicity than trumpeting Darwin as being as important as John the Baptist (and certainly more important than any Apostle Including the add-on Paul).

I lament coming across as antagonistic, but alas, when dealing with the conditioned minds of humanist academics, politically correct reactions are always in their way to hearing a challenge to their cemented-ness. Even the article about the niceness of Evangelicals came across as haughty and higher-than by the Darwinian author. “Aren’t those fundies nice people in their present ignorant conditions of un-darwinism If only they would embrace evolutionarianism, than the flood gates of salvation would usher the saved in.”

That apologia needs challenge. Obviously while keeping things civil.


Gregory Arago - #2089

January 9th 2010

“Darwin is the secularist messiah.” - M_C

How does this help with communication? All I am left to conclude from it is that you are an extremist. Very few hold to this untenable (due to historical facts) position, other than the likes of Ken Ham and his followers.

First, there is no ‘messiah’ in an atheistic sense. That is, your use of ‘secularist’ seems really just to mean a non-theist. Second, you attribute *way* too much importance to the minority few who name Darwin as such a ‘messianic’ figure. And I will not entertain an answer if you don’t actually think about this but only respond with a knee-jerk, which is what _____’s do.

Why not have pity on Darwin instead, M_C?! Is your heart not big enough? If you’d read M. Bulgakov’s brilliant suppressed book “Master and Margarita” you’d realize that even P. Pilate can be ‘forgiven.’ Darwin after all denied that he was ever an atheist.

Why do you condemn Charles Darwin so abusively at the cost of further exercising your own wonder (title of the thread) in new directions or dimensions?


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