The Perils and Promise of Preaching the God of Two Books
“A vast number of congregational leaders know that when they deal with evolution, they are also dealing with job security.”- Joel Hunter
If you read Ecclesiastes carefully, Solomon is not saying that knowledge and learning are bad; he’s saying they’re incomplete.
By getting rid of the miracle stories in the Bible, Bultmann and his followers hoped to make the Christian story more palatable to modern man. Although I recognize the emotional weight of this sentiment, I am not convinced that it is an intellectually coherent approach, mainly for reasons of self-consistency.
From 2012: Many secular and many evangelical voices agree on one ‘truism’—that if you are an orthodox Christian with a high view of the authority of the Bible, you cannot believe in evolution in any form at all. New Atheist authors such as Richard Dawkins and creationist writers such as Ken Ham seem to have arrived at consensus on this.
Wright reminds us that robust Christian faith takes evidence on board, but fuses reason with faith, hope and love.
Everyone is so worried about success and getting this or that honorable diploma—the people here are smart and understand many complex things perfectly—but it’s a long distance from the head to the heart.
We now take for granted an understanding of the Christian story that was largely worked out by Paul and later theologians. Even though the Gospels were composed after Paul’s letters, they were concerned to tell the story itself in all its strangeness as it had been preserved by the first generation of Christians. And what we find in the stories themselves is the shock and wonder and surprise that the resurrection caused.
All of you who do science, all of you who teach or research or you’re involved in engineering or medicine or education, or biology or chemistry or physics—you are doing a noble thing. You are thinking God’s thoughts after him. … You are obeying God’s command given way back in Genesis to exercise dominion, to learn about, to be curious and discover and steward the earth.
The Psalmist is saying that when we walk outside and look up, the heavens are telling us two things about God: they tell us about his glory, and they tell us about what his hands can do.
“Such a paradigm will enable joyful Christ-followers to be wholly engaged in being the presence of hope in our glorious—yet broken—world.”
It’s eminently easy “in God’s name” to demand things of people as a pre-requirement for acceptance by God—things which Christ himself never demanded.
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.
To understand more clearly where Polkinghorne lies on the larger landscape of science and religion, let’s consider his approach to the Resurrection. Many contemporary thinkers, including some theologians and clergy, believe that “science” has somehow made it impossible to believe in the Resurrection, the deity of Jesus, and even belief in the transcendent God of the Bible.
There’s a word beneath the water, and the Bow River belongs to God. Have you been listening?
... 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.
The God who created the cosmos is the God who came to us as a child in Bethlehem.
The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. “Off with his head!” she said, without even looking round
During his seminary education, Dr. Murphy also gained a deeper understanding of Luther’s theology of the cross, and he realized that it’s really the best way to approach the science and theology dialogue.
The debate is often not about evidence, but about making sure that others do not transgress our interpretive boundaries and insist that we're wrong. We've bitten from the tree of knowledge and we love its taste.
“I flatter myself,” Hume triumphantly proclaimed, “that I have discovered an argument . . . which, if just, will, with the wise and learned, be an everlasting check to all kinds of superstitious delusion, and consequently, will be useful as long as the world endures.”