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.
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”.
Dissonance and Harmony
People hold clearly discordant points of view, and it would be dishonest to ignore the conflict. Yet some voices emphasize the dissonance without any note of harmony to put it in context. Too often, science and faith becomes a hostile battle of worldviews, sounding angry, dissonant chords even among fellow Christians. But civil, gracious dialogue is possible.
Series: Confronting Our Fears (6 entries)
In this series, U.S. Navy Commander Mike Beidler shares his own personal journey from accepting young-earth creationism to embracing evolutionary creationism.
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.
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.
Letting God Out of the Box
I found myself in a very awkward situation. On the one hand I was a follower of Jesus Christ who loved the Bible, knew that it was God’s Word, and, therefore, not full of lies. However, I also was someone who had loved science for many years and was planning on pursuing a career in research...
Series: Following God's Path (6 entries)
In this series, Bob Jones University graduate David Buller recounts his spiritual and intellectual journey in which he came to a deeper understanding of the metaphorical nature of the Genesis creation account and no longer views evolution as contradictory to God’s Word. It is the story of a courageous and truth-seeking heart.
Series: From ID to BioLogos (8 entries)
In this series, Dennis Venema describes his personal journey that took him away from the Intelligent Design arguments toward the evolutionary creation worldview. Through careful and honest research, he discovered ID scientific reasoning to be analogy-based, in sharp contrast to evolutionary science, which was supported by concrete data. After accepting this view, God’s presence ever strengthened him as he explored the compatibility between the Bible and God’s creative mechanism.
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?
As a child, I started reading the Bible as soon as I could and I made my decision for Jesus wholeheartedly at the age of nine. Nurtured in an “all Christian environment,” I knew little else. But certain questions tended to nag at me.
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: 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.
My Faith Shouldn’t Be Alive (But It Is, and Here’s Why)
By all accounts, my faith should have perished the moment I started asking questions about faith and science. All my life I’d been taught that I had to choose—between believing the Bible and believing my science book, between honoring God and embracing evolution.
Series: Reading the Bible Plain and Simple: Biblical Hermeneutics, Culture and Science (3 entries)
In this short series, Brian Godawa relates his personal journey from faith in instantaneous creation to gradual evolution. He initially held the scientific six-day model of creation after reading The Genesis Flood, thinking this to be the plainest reading one could have. However, he quickly realized that his “simple” reading was biased by his 20th century, westernized culture that thought in scientific terms. Ultimately, the Bible is inerrant on matters of faith, life and God, but there are cultural barriers threaded throughout the text that must be overcome with proper hermeneutics.
Outside of my family and my personal relationship with God, there is nothing in recent years that has shaped me more profoundly than the Sunday School class I teach. It all began ten years ago, when I was asked to do a three week series on biology and faith.
Scripture vs. the Facts? Working through a Crisis of Understanding
I’m a conservative evangelical. When I became a Christian fourteen years ago, I not only embraced profound new spiritual perspectives, but inherited a host of new scientific views: the earth was young, macro-evolution was false, and to affirm the contrary was to discredit the Bible and even the Gospel.
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.