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Origins News Roundup for July 23, 2014

This week in origins news, a great collection of articles by key players in the conversation about theology and science, a surprising science fair discovery, and the Apollo 11 anniversary!

 

What Americans Think and Feel about Evolution

The new Gallup survey shows in broad strokes the challenge we face. But more nuanced surveys find that only 8% of Americans are convinced creationists whose beliefs are dear to them, and only 4% are convinced atheistic evolutionists whose beliefs are dear to them. The vast majority of Americans are not sure of their position and are open to a conversation.

 

Creation Unfolding: Reading Genesis in a Historical Setting

For my part, the historical setting of the text plays an important role in how I read. It’s not a problem in my view to see the authors of Genesis embedded in their times, writing in the scientific/mythological terms they knew, even if those terms are now obsolete.

 

Video repost: Chris Tilling on Biblical Genre and Relational Truths

“There are clues in a text as to how the text should be written, so with Genesis, the rhythmic nature of Genesis 1 and 2, the almost poetic, and hymnic, function that it would have played in the liturgy of the earliest Jewish lives… it seems to me that there are clues here that it should be read in a theological way.”

 

Interview with Ronald Osborn

We must press beyond the various creation narratives in the Hebrew Bible, including the final chapters of Job, to the picture of God revealed in the New Testament—the Creator who does not rationally explain away the scandal of suffering but who instead enters into it.

 

A Review of “Death Before the Fall: Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering” by Ronald E. Osborn

The confident assertion that the Bible trumps science stems from a misunderstanding of the purpose of the scriptures, and a misapplication of the Bible to answer questions that can only be answered by the application of science.

 

Ken Ham and Biblical Authority

Because BioLogos accepts the scientific evidence for the age of the earth and common ancestry, Ham believes we are undermining the Bible and denying its authority. However, the authority of the Bible is key for all that we do at BioLogos.

 

Series: “The Language of God” Book Club (7 entries)

The BioLogos Book Club discussion of Francis Collins’ The Language of God.

 

Ham on Nye – What to Watch for

Watch to see whether the debate encourages the opinion that science and Christianity are at war. We don’t think you have to choose sides.

 

To Tame the World: What terrifies us about reality pushes us toward its Creator.

We can understand why man, modern man in particular, would like to mop the floors and bleach the walls. We might not be able to tame reality, but we can tame our perception of reality. We intellectualize in order to feel in control.

 

Confessions of an Evolving Baptist

“Being confronted with evolution may have been the catalyst for asking the difficult questions, but the real problem for me was not evolution – it was biblical literalism.”

 

The Father of Intelligent Design

“There was no better way, in Boyle’s opinion, to ‘give us so great a Wonder and Veneration’ for God’s wisdom, than ‘by Knowing and Considering the Admirable Contrivance of the Particular Productions of that Immense Wisdom,’ by which he mainly meant the exquisitely fashioned parts of animals both great and small.”

 

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?

 

Response to Ken Ham

Last week Ken Ham addressed BioLogos specifically in a blog post, in response to Daniel Hamlin’s testimony told in our blog on October 14th.

 

Biblical Credibility and Joshua 10: What Does the Text Really Claim?

Once we recognize that no one takes the text literally, and that we have often failed to account for the details in the text regarding the time of day, we can begin anew to try to understand the text as an ancient text rather than as a modern one. As such, we must begin with the idea that the text operates in the world of omens, not the world of physics and astronomy.

 

Series: Apologetic Issues in the Old Testament (3 entries)

This series, by Old Testament scholar Richard S. Hess, was first published as an appendix to Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (Downers Grove: IVP Academic; Nottingham: Apollos, 2011).

 

Belief in God in an Age of Science: John Polkinghorne, Part One

The world is not full of items stamped “made by God”—the Creator is more subtle than that—but there are two locations where general hints of the divine presence might be expected to be seen most clearly. One is the vast cosmos itself, with its fifteen-billion-year history of evolving development following the big bang. The other is the “thinking reed” of humanity, so insignificant in physical scale but, as Pascal said, superior to all the stars because it alone knows them and itself.

 

Series: Excerpts from “Evolving: Evangelicals Reflect on Evolution” (13 entries)

We need to hear stories from others who have wrestled with evolution and Christian faith. What arguments made them change their views on science? How did they hold fast to their relationship with God? The essays in this series will eventually comprise a book, provisionally titled, “Evolving: Evangelicals Reflect on Evolution.”

 

A Plea to My Shepherds

... I would exhort these, my fellow conservative evangelical shepherds and thinkers, to set aside all reticence and fear, emerge from anonymity, and storm the forum of discourse, engaging this most pressing matter with vigor, equanimity, and humility. In doing so, know upfront that there will be few handrails to guide; you will not be building upon an extensive precedence of published conservative thought.

 

Denis Alexander on Understanding Creation Theology

In this video Conversation, Denis Alexander asserts that contemporary Christians are not taking the early chapters of Genesis seriously enough.

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