Series: Evolution Basics (50 entries)
Written by BioLogos Fellow of Biology Dennis Venema, this series of posts is intended as a basic introduction to the science of evolution for non-specialists.
The BioLogos Book Club discussion of Francis Collins’ The Language of God.
“All of a sudden, it was possible to grant a text deep authority (a ‘high view of scripture’ we say) while discounting neither our own experience, nor the historical experience of those writing, compiling, editing that same text. To put it differently, all of a sudden, history mattered—the history of the text itself, and the history of our interpretations of a text.”
“We were (mostly) prepared for the academic arguments but not necessarily the thing many fear in this discussion: personal conflict.”
Having won an ECF grant, Cara Wall-Scheffler, biological anthropologist at Seattle Pacific University, and I are now planning to host a group of 18 young Christian paleobiologists for a week-long seminar during late June, 2014. Our seminar will include guest lectures by scientists, historians, and pastors who all have an interest in discussing bridging faith and science ‘gaps.’
This week in the news: a new conversation about rifts in the Christian church (sponsored by the Colossian Forum), a 46-million-year-old fossilized mosquito turns up in a Montana lake, and more…
There is no formula for generating beliefs in people. There are plenty of people with access to the same facts who end up believing different things. But for many Christians—like the ones I heard from this week—access to information about the position we call “evolutionary creation” could make a significant difference for reconciling science and Christian faith.
News about the Ebola outbreak and initiatives in genomic medicine lead our news roundup this week, with a collection of research and learning opportunities in biology and at the science/faith border to follow.
The purpose of Jesus’s art was to give verbal, visual, and dramatic forms to those complicated and confounding relationships, symmetries, and harmonies between himself, the father and spirit, and between the triune God and the world… Such creative expressions did not and do not make everything clear, but rather resist simple clarity, forcing their hearers to come at the whole complicated truth from a position of intellectual and spiritual humility.
The great irony lies here: these partisans are actually leading good-hearted people to reject their faith, precisely because these partisans have convinced these good-hearted people that they must accept a false dichotomy.
We don’t have all the answers and never will. And when God says that he is revealed in his creation, I think that means we need to take care of what we have and understand where we came from. The more I understand how things work, the bigger God gets. When he was just a magician pulling things out of a hat, that doesn’t even compare to how I see him now!
This week in origins news is a rousing medley of articles about science and faith, from multiple angles. Some classics on science, religion, and the classroom along with some probing into where atheists come from, new resources from John Polkinghorne, and an off-the-beaten-path blog post.
Most Christian students have a lot of questions about evolution and the other controversies, but are afraid to ask them for fear of the adults gasping in horror. The right way for a Christian teacher to proceed is to accommodate questions, foster inquiry, and encourage students to think and engage with the issues.
This series discusses the importance of unity among Christ’s believers. Ross Hastings, an expert in the areas of both chemistry and pastoral theology, is eager to see the church seek out unity rather than divisions in this science/faith interface. Unpacking Ephesians 4:1-6, he explains that unity in Christ through the Holy Spirit is the primary concern of both Jesus as seen in John 17 and Paul in Ephesians 4, making this matter pressing. He urges all believers to be in agreement that God indeed created, yet to be in dialogue over how that creative process occurred.
... 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.
I look my students dead straight in the eye and tell them that no matter what, debate within the intellectual sphere cannot and should not take away or diminish the importance of the personal nature of their faith. The intellect, to use a scientific phrase, while necessary for the faith, is not sufficient
Congratulations to the 37 winners of the Evolution & Christian Faith (ECF) grants competition! ECF is a new BioLogos program designed to support projects and network-building among scholars, church leaders, and parachurch organizations.