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Saturday Science Links: October 18, 2014

Collection of the best articles of the past several weeks on science (and faith) from around the web.

 

Evolution and the Christian, part 2: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Some of the Christian objections to evolutionary creation come from a misunderstanding of what the Bible means when it says “God created”.

 

Ch. 3-4: The Importance of Reading the Biblical Text in Context

When we sit down to read sacred Scripture, we need to develop a rapport with the Bible’s various authors and their worldviews. Otherwise, we will unintentionally demand they communicate in the same manner we do.

 

Series: Genesis Through Ancient Eyes (5 entries)

In this talk, originally delivered at the BioLogos President's Circle meeting in October 2012, Dr. John Walton discusses the origin stories of Genesis 1-3, and why their focus on function and archetypes mean there is no Biblical narrative of material origins.

 

Series: He Who Has Ears (4 entries)

Scholar and musician Jeff Warren addresses the questions of how music is meaningful, and where that meaning resides, by looking at the popular ideas that musical meaning is entirely subjective to the listener and that the meaning of music can be universal. He also explores the recent trend of attempting to explain music via neuroscience. Finally, he looks into the reasons why music continues to play such a critical role in the worshiping life of the Church.

 

Revealing God's Nature

In today's video, Brian McLaren discusses the value of considering Scripture in light of the cultures that surrounded them. The Biblical writers were aware of the myths of the power nations that surrounded them, but flipped their stories on their heads to reveal truth about God.

 

Seeing the Flood Story Through an Ancient Israelite Lens

Pete Shaw highlights the story of Noah to explore how the story would have been understood in ancient times and from there he goes on to explore how we might consider it today.

 

Thomas Aquinas: Saint of Evolutionary Psychologists?

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was the foremost Christian scholar of the High Middle Ages and is today regarded as a "doctor" of the Catholic Church. No, Aquinas was not a materialist neuroscientist, but he understood the intimate interdependence of mind and body.

 

From the Dust: The Book of Genesis

It is our sincere hope that, above all else, the film can become a focal point for some of the big questions that inevitably arise at the intersection of science and faith.

 

Series: Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography in the Bible (8 entries)

In this six part series, Brian Godawa takes a closer look at cosmography and its relationship to the Bible. After defining cosmography as a theory that describes features of the heavens and the earth, he relates how his own views about the universe have shifted. He then continues to talk about the Mesopotamian cosmography that is so consistently reflected in Scripture. This view of the universe includes aspects such as the firmament, the pillars, the underworld, the heavens above, the watery abyss. He then explains how one understands these concepts in terms of modern scientific thought.

 

Beware Evolutionary 'Just-so' Stories About Religious Belief

As an evolutionary biologist I am fascinated by the emergence of cognitive abilities that make us so distinctive from other living species. There are, however, risks in making up evolutionary "just-so" stories to explain the origins of complex human beliefs.

 

On the Creation Account

To understand and apply Genesis 1 correctly, we have to consider issues of genre and intention. Too often these chapters are read as if they present a purely straightforward historical and even scientific account of cosmic and human origins.

 

Science, Scripture, and the Creation Narrative

In these two brief video Conversations, John Walton discusses the problem of trying to integrate ancient scripture with our modern worldview.

 

The Second Creation Story and "Atrahasis"

Atrahasis is important to biblical scholars because of it similarity to Genesis 2-9. Both stories share a similar storyline: creation, population growth and rebellion, flood. They also share some important details within that storyline.

 

On Myth and Meaning

In this video, John Walton talks about ancient myth and how we might better understand it if we think about its intended functionality—that is, myths were a way to explain a culture’s origin and universal significance though they lacked the advances of scientific discovery.

 

Genesis 1 and a Babylonian Creation Story

Found among the ruins was a Babylonian creation story referred to today as Enuma Elish. How people viewed Genesis would never be the same again.

 

N.T. Wright on Understanding Ancient Texts

In this video Conversation, N.T. Wright emphasizes the importance of understanding the context of biblical texts in order to know whether to read them as literal or metaphorical narratives.

 

Biblical Creation in its Ancient Near Eastern Context: An Introduction

It has been my experience that many Christians have not given sufficient thought to how the Old Testament was composed––that is, to the "human" side of the inspiration of Scripture.

 

Understanding Origins and the Ancient Mind

In this video conversation, Pete Enns sheds light on the key difference between the ancient and modern mind with regard to interpretation of texts. A literal understanding of Genesis from an ancient mindframe would not necessarily be the same as what we now think of as a literal reading.

 

Adam is Israel

It helps us look at the Adam story from an angle that might be new to some readers here: Adam is the beginning of Israel, not humanity. I imagine this may require some explanation.

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