According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Friday, June 3, 2011

Christianity Today - The Search For the Historical Adam


Christianity Today and BioLogos are coming out this month with findings based upon current human genome studies (popularized by National Geographic in 2008 - see below for more links). CT has given its June 2011 article a video preview (shown below). Please follow along with future links on this site to RJS's Search for the Historical Adam as he reviews a Christian perspective all these newest theories and suppositions: http://relevancy22.blogspot.com/2011/06/search-for-historical-adam.html.

skinhead
June 3, 2011


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BioLogos and the June 2011 “Christianity Today” Cover Story
http://www.biologos.org/blog/biologos-and-the-june-2011-christianity-today-cover-story/

by Darrel Falk
May 31, 2011

BioLogos and the June 2011 “Christianity Today” Cover Story"Science and the Sacred" frequently features essays from The BioLogos Foundation's leaders and Senior Fellows. Today's entry was written by Darrel Falk. Darrel Falk serves as president of The BioLogos Foundation. He transitioned into Christian higher education 25 years ago and has given numerous talks about the relationship between science and faith at many universities and seminaries. He is the author of Coming to Peace with Science.

The cover story of the June issue of Christianity Today, entitled "The Search for the Historical Adam" (the full article can be viewed here), notes that our website The BioLogos Forum has played a prominent role in moving the discussion surrounding the historical Adam forward and cites various blogs and articles that appear on these pages. We are pleased that a matter deemed so important by us is beginning to play a prominent role in the discussion for the Church as a whole.

As detailed extensively on these pages over the past two years, there is now little doubt that God has created all life forms, including human beings, through an evolutionary process. God could have created in an instant. After all, in the supreme divine act of all time Jesus was raised from the dead—in an instant. However, it now seems certain that this is not the way He chose to create the human body. God’s process was gradual, not instantaneous.

We are fully aware that interpretation of scientific data changes and this fact causes some to be skeptical about the scientific consensus regarding human creation. True, scientific revolutions do occur. However, the data with regard to human creation has been accumulating for 150 years, and the conclusions have been substantiated through a wide variety of scientific disciplines. Astronomy shows that the universe is billions of years old. Geology independently shows that the earth, though a little younger, is also billions of years old. Paleontology poignantly lays out the parade of created life forms and graphically documents the species-changes over hundreds of millions of years. Comparative anatomy and developmental biology show feature after feature in living bodies, each with its distinctive trademark pointing to gradual alteration from that which came before. And, with the sequencing of the human genome, genetics provides the final confirmatory lynch pin. Creation through a gradual process is not a hypothesis that emerges from a peripheral scientific sub-discipline. To show it wrong would involve overturning principles that independently lie at the very core of the findings of most of the natural science disciplines. True, they all together cry out in unison with a loud voice—“Created!” However, they also, in a subtle, but persuasive whisper, add the all-important qualifying phrase—“…slowly and not in an instant!”

The Christianity Today cover story is important because it engages the Church in one of the most important questions of all: was there a historical Adam and Eve? There has been much discussion of this point on these pages and although we strongly encourage ongoing discussion, BioLogos does not take a position on the issue. Denis Alexander, Director of the Faraday Institute and a frequent contributor to the BioLogos conversation says ‘yes’ in this BioLogos article, and Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City affirms it in this one. Denis Lamoureux and Peter Enns believe otherwise and have expressed their views here and here, for example. The scientific data are silent on the possibility of a federal headship—two unique individuals singled out by God from all others to enter into relationship with him and to bear his image. Similarly, science is silent on the veracity of the alternative possibility— that the story of Adam and Eve is not a story of two unique individuals. According to this latter view, the story of Adam and Eve is in a very real sense the story of all humankind—we have all sinned and we are all in need of redemption. [(this is also the position of this website here, Relevancy22, given the burden of proof from human genomic studies (several of those articles can be found on this site's sidebars) - sh)]

These are theological questions, not scientific ones. Science makes it abundantly clear, we believe, that God has created through an evolutionary process and that there was never a time when there were just two individuals on earth. It goes no further though. Beyond that, we are in a different realm, one deeply steeped in the traditions and creeds of the church, and in theology, biblical scholarship, and philosophy.

Although The BioLogos Forum has raised the issue and encouraged discussion, we also urge caution. The “Federal Headship” model that accepts the scientific findings while at the same time holding to the historicity of a real first couple has not yet been carefully worked out by theologians. The reason that we haven’t had many articles of that sort is because we haven’t been able to identify theologians who are looking at the question from that perspective. In general, our experience has been that theologians are in one of two camps. Either they work within the framework of a non-historical Adam and Eve or they believe the scientific conclusions will eventually prove to be deeply flawed and humans were not created through an evolutionary process after all.

The purpose of BioLogos is to show that there can be harmony between mainstream science and evangelical Christianity. We are in complete agreement with Richard Ostling (the author of the aforementioned article) and the Editors of Christianity Today that working through the historicity question is of the utmost importance to the Evangelical Church. Within the framework outlined above, it boils down to theology not science, and we urge the Church to reserve judgment for a while. Let’s keep both possibilities before us. Here’s hoping that (1) some of our greatest theological minds will work on the question of what a model based on “Federal Headship” would look like. Here’s also hoping that (2) some of our finest theologians will continue to work on how the view of a non-historical Adam would address some of the issues that puzzle and concern most evangelicals. Communication is key. This must move beyond theologians speaking to each other in language that is not readily accessible to the rest of us. Let’s figure out pastorally-responsible ways of putting the issues before the Church in a manner which is respectful of all views, while not shying away from the challenges that lay before us.

This is an exciting time for the Church because there is much interesting work to be done. Personally, I reserve judgment and I urge that all of us proceed with caution. Let’s see what emerges. Let’s see what our theologians and philosophers come up with, especially those who hold to a historical Adam and Eve. The Church is 2,000 years old. It has been guided by some of the sharpest minds that have ever lived and it has done so under the guiding wisdom of Emmanuel—God with us. This is God’s Church and we must proceed prayerfully, lovingly, and solemnly. We must listen intently to the wise voices of our deep past while following the Spirit’s guidance into a future where we have not yet been. We are not alone though. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses whose lives and work remind us of the faithfulness of God through the millennia. This is still God’s Church and we are still God’s people. We are not alone. Emmanuel—God is with us!

More Pieces on the Historical Adam from BioLogos



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