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“The Language of God” Book Club – Chapters 10-11

Collins’ original use of the term “BioLogos” was as an alternative label for the position often known as “theistic evolution.” Now this gets a bit confusing as “BioLogos” became the name for our organization that Collins founded (after the publication of this book). We continue to be dissatisfied with the label “theistic evolution” because as Collins said, most non-theologians are unsure how the term “theist” “could be converted to an adjective and used to modify Darwin’s theory.”

 

Series: On Creating the Cosmos, by Ted Peters (3 entries)

Last year I introduced readers to one of the leading voices about Christianity and science, John Polkinghorne. I also helped BioLogos bring in another leading voice, Robert Russell. This new series introduces a third prominent Christian thinker, Lutheran theologian Ted Peters, Research Professor Emeritus in Systematic Theology and Ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (http://www.ctns.org/), and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

 

Interpreting Adam: Introduction

Four Views on the Historical Adam shows that evangelical Christians are far from agreeing on the particulars of Adam and Eve. But this book also makes clear that there is strong agreement among evangelical Christians on the fundamentals of the Christian faith. We agree that all Scripture is inspired by God and authoritative, even while disagreeing on the interpretation of some passages.

 

Series: Why Do We Have This Problem In The First Place?: Evolution, Creation, and Divine Hiddenness (2 entries)

 

Did God Have Any Choice When He Made the World?

Theological ideas about divine freedom and human reason were important reasons for adopting an intellectually modest, empirical approach to nature during the Scientific Revolution. The common picture of ongoing, inevitable conflict between science and religion is not only false, but perverse, for it prevents us from seeing the kinds of deep connections [between the two].

 

Evolution, Chance, and God

The affirmation of genuine chance and randomness in the universe does not rob the universe of meaning and purpose.

 

Series: From the Dust (13 entries)

In this series, Ryan Pettey offers several clips from his powerful documentary "From the Dust". This feature-length film is divided up into various sections, each of which wrestles with the difficult problems that arise when reconciling Scripture with the theory of evolution. A light of hope dawns on the science-faith conversation, however, as scientists and theologians engage in honest dialogue about tough issues such as the interpretation of Genesis, the nature of the Fall, and the idea of random design. Their profound insights are sure to enlighten all minds, raise deeper questions, and provoke new thought.

 

The Challenge of Cosmology

The idea that the story we know is only the very beginning raises a new question in place of Feynman’s objection that Christianity is provincial. Is it presumptuous to claim that in such a grand universe, possibly with intelligent life arising in many places, the redemption and transformation of the entire cosmos starts here, on our pale blue dot?

 

God's Extravagant Love in Creation

Critics of Christianity look to evolution to show how the emergence of human life on earth demanded enormous ruin and ravage, billions of years of apparent waste and futility, species extermination and organism road kill. Not only was the massive dying off rampant, it’s mandatory too.

 

Conversing With Our Children about Creation and Evolution

We are often offended that God should have to accomplish anything in steps, as though that made him less divine and all-powerful. But engaging a child can be a fruitful remedy for the biases that have been woven into the fabric of our thinking over time.

 

Series: Searching for Motivated Belief (12 entries)

Over the next few months, with permission from Yale University Press, BioLogos will offer edited versions of chapters from John Polkinghorne's best books, Belief in God in an Age of Science and Theology in the Context of Science, in order to help readers delve more deeply into some of his most important ideas.

 

Miracles are Impossible, Part 1

People who believe in miracles usually don’t think of them as God’s “breaking” the laws of nature but as God’s being constantly attentive to his cosmos.

 

Does Resurrection Contradict Science?

So what then does Resurrection mean? For Benedict it represents a new dimension of reality breaking through into human experience. It is not a violation of the old; it is the manifestation of something new.

 

Series: Understanding Randomness (5 entries)

In this series, Kathryn Applegate addresses the concern that randomness implies the absence of God's activity and involvement in the natural world. She begins by clearing up some common misconceptions about the concept of "randomness", and later focuses on the mechanisms of the immune system to demonstrate that God works through random processes to preserve life. Far from being an indication of a "godless" universe, one might conclude that randomness is one of God’s favorite mechanisms for creating and sustaining life!

 

Series: God and Creation (5 entries)

In this four part series, David Opderbeck explores the interesting relationship between God and his creation. He first looks at his transcendence over the material world. In one respect, God is completely distinct from all creation, yet he is also immanent, or present within all creation. Another aspect of God reflected in creation is his Triune nature. Just as love, fellowship, and delight exist within the Trinity, so these characteristics are present in the world, and experienced by humans. He completes his thoughts with a discussion about God’s interaction with humans.

 

Creator of the Stars at Night

The God who created the cosmos is the God who came to us as a child in Bethlehem.

 

Looking at the Collapsing Universe in the Bible

The language of a collapsing universe is related to the end of the old covenant and the coming of the new covenant as God’s “new world order.”

 

Surveying George Murphy's Theology of the Cross

If God himself is willing to die, particularly in such a gruesome way, then perhaps we should at least consider the possibility of God allowing the death of other creatures, too. But would this really be compatible with what we know of God through Scripture?

 

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.

 

Jesus the Artist

Speaking in parables is indeed similar to an artist’s craft. They create impressions, whole new worlds of meaning intended to turn old worlds on their heads.

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