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Series: “And God Saw That It Was Good”: Death and Pain in the Created Order (6 entries)

The tension generated by our understanding of God’s character, as revealed in the Bible, and by the reality of the natural world around us has been the focus of much debate within the Christian church since the first century. This series examines critically several of the proposed solutions to this problem, viewing them from the perspective of a geologist, paleontologist, and orthodox evangelical Christian.

 

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.

 

"Come and See": A Christ-centered Invitation for Science

Classical Christian orthodoxy as expressed in the Creeds begins at the beginning: nature owes its existence to and is sustained by Jesus Christ. One implication is that the best way of finding out about nature is to look at nature.

 

Series: Southern Baptist Voices: Evolution and Death (4 entries)

This exchange brings together related essays on death in light of evolution and Scripture from Southern Baptist theologian Dr. John Laing. Laing argues that evolutionary theory requires death to play a central role in the creation of new life, but sees Scripture depicting death only "as an invader, disturber of peace, and a force of evil." A BioLogos response is given by Dr. Jeff Schloss.

 

Series: Asa Gray and Charles Darwin Discuss Evolution and Design (5 entries)

Many Christians believe that they face a painful choice-- either life was designed by God or it is an evolutionary product of natural selection. Charles Darwin himself believed in this dichotomy, and people ever since have felt the need to "choose sides". However, looking back at history, we find that one of Darwin's chief scientific colleagues, Asa Gray, did not share this perspective. In this three-part essay, part 1 charts the relationship of Asa Gray and Charles Darwin. Part 2 describes Darwin's struggle with the problem of natural evil and design in nature, and part 3 explores how Asa Gray was able to embrace evolution without rejecting the idea of design.

 

Series: A Quest for God (6 entries)

In this five part series, two young men, Josh and Aron, engage each other through e-mail letters. Their conversation oscillates between the seemingly suspicious elements of God and the gospel (raised by Josh) as well as responses that offer meaningful insight into these questions (answered by Aron). Ideas such as prayer, judgment, and the concealed nature of God are among the many points in this truth-seeking exchange.

 

Series: The Collapsing Universe in the Bible (9 entries)

This series written by Brian Godawa delves into eschatological passages with “de-creation language.” He argues that these passages do not foretell literal geophysical events to come, but, put into the context of the Old Testament thinking, actually describe the dethroning of worldly powers and the establishing of God’s kingdom on Earth. This, according to Godawa, happened when Jesus Christ came in the flesh.

 

A Pastor's Perspective on Death and Evolution

If death did not exist before Adam and Eve, how could God have used evolution to create man? And what about predators and natural catastrophes such as the mass extinction of the dinosaurs?

 

Philip Yancey on "What Good is God?"

In this video “Conversation,” Philip Yancey explains that on the way home from a trip to Mumbai, India, during which terrorists attacked the city, he began to form a list of the challenging situations he has experienced.

 

Series: Human Evolution in Theological Context (5 entries)

Physicist, theologian, and minister George Murphy offers a theological look at human evolution and the implications it has for Christianity.

 

Series: How Could God Create Through Evolution? A Look at Theodicy (4 entries)

This series, written by Bethany Sollereder, seeks to address this question: “How could God create through a process that involves so much pain and death?” She first presents the two drastically opposite worldviews held by theologians and scientists. She also reflects theologically on how a world created through evolutionary means can be good, and concludes with some thoughts concerning the Fall, physical decay and spiritual death.

 

The Creator is the Redeemer

Central to all of this is the resurrection of Jesus. Rising from the dead is the true beginning of this new mode of existence in which believers—right here and now—take part. Believing in Jesus means you are benefiting from Jesus’ resurrection already now in the new life you experience by the power of the Spirit.

 

Death's Resurrection

Death has occurred since the first breath of biological life (and some would say since the first “breath” of cosmological life), long before Adam inhaled. Ironically, therefore, death must be a part of God’s good creation. Moreover, human death due to sin must be something different than the physical death we all die.

 

Word Games

"Why would the omnipotent Creator of the universe use such a wasteful (and cruel) process of survival of the fittest to bring about the higher forms of life? This view of 'theistic evolution' goes against God's very nature -- and logic itself."

 

Series: The Human Fossil Record (19 entries)

In this series, James Kidder provides an intriguing study on transitional fossils and the evolutionary history of modern humans. He begins by discussing the fossil record, explaining how new forms are classified. He then explains the physically distinguishing trait of humankind—bipedalism. From the discovery of Ardipithecus, the earliest known hominin, to the australopithecines, the most prolific hominin, Kidder focuses on the discovery, the anatomy, and the interpretation of these ancestral remains.

 

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.

 

Are We Genetically Predisposed to Believe in God?

This entry was originally posted on February 13, 2010. While the question of evolutionary predisposition toward religious belief may be challenging, Christians need not see it as threatening. In fact, this is actually a Pauline notion that is explored in Romans 1, where Paul claims that it is in mankind’s nature to “know God”.

 

Stochastic Grace

I was raised in a household of atheists. My parents were card-carrying members of the American Communist Party, and therefore the atheism in my household was quite close to the militant anti-theism of the so-called “new atheists”.

 

Series: What I Wish My Pastor Knew About... The Life of a Scientist (5 entries)

Andy Crouch examines the life of a scientist based on his experience of walking alongside his wife Catherine, an experimental physicist. That relationship has shown him that a life in science is a journey “into a set of virtues,” of cultivating a specific character suited to the particular demands of research and investigation. Crouch's hope is to persuade pastors and others in the church to prayerfully support the scientific endeavor as a reflection of God’s image in humankind as well as offers some suggestions for ministering to their needs.

 

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!

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