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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Biologos - Evolutionary Creationism vs. All Other Christian Schemes


Leafs in Decay. A Lesson for the Christian Faith where Rebirth evolves continually.

Years ago as I was working through what it meant to be a Christian while holding to Darwin's Evolutionary Science. During this time I had to accept some very hard things about my faith, my bible, and how I thought about the God I loved and adored. What I learned is that God is amazing. And wonderful. And wonderfully complex in His Creatorship.

It allowed me to find an integration with the bible I couldn't find earlier in my university training of applied mathematics, organic chemistry, and classical physics (sadly, quantum physics hadn't been embraced yet by my college; this I had to later learn and teach myself). It brought reconciliation to my faith. And it deeply changed both me and my faith.

Basically, I had to let go of the old paradigms I grew up with which weren't working anymore as my world expanded and got more complex. Old bible teachings were out of date. Old traditions were too easily toppled by poignant academic studies. But when I did let go, I found a livelier bible, an open theology no longer closed off to the world, and a God who blew my mind and no longer was trapped in the box of religious belief I had accepted and allowed to stay too long.

This, among many other fundamental discoveries, began my journey towards an open and relational faith which brought a level of integration with the world I had never imagined before. It allowed the complexity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to live-and-move amongst a world become foreign to them in my belief system. For the first time I could see God's handiwork, actions, love, and presence all around me as if the bedroom curtains had been lifted to allow the morning's strong sun into my illumined sleeping eyes.

It was beautiful.

And it brought a kind of soul-healing I dearly needed.

Which brings me to the organization of Biologos. For many years I thought I labored alone (as you can tell from the vast array of articles I had worked on under the "Science section" found along the topic list on the right). But I was not alone. Many others were hashing this adventure out with me as well. One group which was has come to be known as Biologos. Unlike myself, as I tried to make sense of the subject within a wider matrix of theological truths, Biologos was simply concentrating on the one subject of Evolutionary Creationism.

Not Theistic Evolution. That was a different theology for an older time using an out of date theological system (that of Calvinism, mostly) as I've pointed out many times in the past. But a system which would place an emphasis upon God being fully involved and present in the process of chaos and random natural selection we know as evolution. An oxymoron if ever there was one. But this I have discussed many, many times as well. That the sovereignty of God, and His decree of creational indeterminism and free will, allows for the fullest explanation of how He has worked through the Divine process of evolution.

A process always tilted towards the evolutionary creation and survival of life against the worst environmental hazards of the earth's geologic ages as they come-and-go. When the world breathed in methane air, life survived. When the deadly gas of oxygen evolved, so did biologic life as we know it today. When the seas changed in their salinity content, so did the life within them. When the sun could no longer penetrate earth's atmospheres and species died off, new life went underground and thrived in the darkness.

There was always a deep longing within evolutionary life to live, to survive, and to evolve, according to the environment it was presented. This was the wisdom of God.

After discovering Biologos it allowed me to move from the basics of the subject to the complexity of the subject. And when I do, I no longer need to re-create the wheel, but may plow ahead into what evolution was, is, and is becoming in the world of science. Especially within the context of a developing corpus of contemporary, postmodern theologies as it does the same with the church's past, present, and future traditions and belief structures.

Biologos allows me to be more hard core. Perhaps less Christian while being more fully Christian. I don't have to explain subject ideas as much any more but may leap into the pile of gathered ideas, discoveries, and known facts to make sense of them all. Or, mostly, to elucidate what these new ideas now means to an open and openly complex faith as it too evolves in its permutations and labyrinths of thoughts and ideas.

I love it. And I love the world of theological imagination as it re-embraces God in dynamic ways of fullness and meaning in a world of beliefs which too often live in lands of fear and defense. These latter outcomes was never a help to the church. Mostly, it held back the church's mission to the world which might grant a holism of spirit with a holism of living.

But a living God heals. He heals the mind, the soul, the spirit. He breathes His divine breath upon mankind and says "I AM" the ONE who evolves with you in the symmetry of creation seeking life in  its disorders and chaos. It means my life may also be chaotic and out of order but that my God of Shalom will bring me into fellowship with Him through the redemption He has provided in Christ, and in this world He has made, if we but look and imagine His grace and wisdom.

R.E. Slater
October 12, 2017


http://biologos.org/common-questions/christianity-and-science/biologos-id-creationism

At BioLogos, we present the Evolutionary Creationism (EC) viewpoint on origins. Like all Christians, we fully affirm that God is the creator of all life—including human beings in his image. We fully affirm that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative word of God. We also accept the science of evolution as the best description for how God brought about the diversity of life on earth.

But while we accept the scientific evidence for evolution, BioLogos emphatically rejects Evolutionism, the atheistic worldview that so often accompanies the acceptance of biological evolution in public discussion. Evolutionism is a kind of scientism, which holds that all of reality can in principle be explained by science. In contrast, BioLogos believes that science is limited to explaining the natural world, and that supernatural events like miracles are part of reality too.


According to Young Earth Creationism (YEC), a faithful reading of Scripture commits Christians to accepting that the earth is young, between 6,000 and 10,000 years old. YEC claims that Scripture is not compatible with the idea that humans share common ancestry with other life forms on earth, and most YEC proponents feel that evolution is a direct threat to Christianity.


According to Old Earth Creationism (OEC), the scientific evidence for the great age of the earth (4.6 billion years) and universe (13.7 billion years) is strong. This view typically maintains that the days of creation in Genesis 1 each refer to long periods of time. OEC does not accept the common ancestry of all life forms, often opting instead for a theory of progressive creation in which God miraculously created new species at key moments in the history of life.


We at BioLogos maintain that the scientific evidence from many branches of modern science would make little sense apart from common ancestry and evolution. We also believe that the cultural and theological contexts in which Scripture was written are key for determining the best interpretation of the creation accounts.

In contrast to EC, YEC, and OEC, Intelligent Design (ID) does not explicitly align itself with Christianity. It claims that the existence of an intelligent cause of the universe and of the development of life is a testable scientific hypothesis. ID arguments often point to parts of scientific theories where there is no consensus and claim that the best solution is to appeal to the direct action of an intelligent designer. At BioLogos, we believe that our intelligent God designed the universe, but we do not see scientific or biblical reasons to give up on pursuing natural explanations for how God governs natural phenomena. We believe that scientific explanations complement a robust theological understanding of God’s role as designer, creator, and sustainer of the universe.

While Christians differ on their views of the age of the earth and evolution, we all agree on the essentials of the faith: that all people have sinned and that salvation comes only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We agree that the God of our salvation is the same God we see in the wonders of his creation. Whether we ponder the intricacy of DNA, the beauty of a dolphin, or the vastness of the Milky Way, we can lift our hearts together in praise to the divine Artist who made it all.

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