Theistic Evolutuonists

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Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Apr 7 2014 4:42 AM

I was just speaking to a Logos rep and he told me that Tim Keller, BY Warfeild and Walter were all theistic evolutuonists.  Blew me away.  After some light digging it seems this is actually true.  Got me wondering how many other theologians may be of the same persuasion.   Anyone know others?

Posts 824
GregW | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 5:52 AM

I don't know about them but John Polkinghorne would be a good place to start if you wanted to investigate further. He is an Anglican priest who was previously a physicist and has written extensively on theistic evolution. Some of his work is available in Logos - see: 

https://www.logos.com/products/search?q=polkinghorne&Author=8824%7cJohn+Polkinghorne&redirecttoauthor=true


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Posts 274
Daniel Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 6:49 AM

See this: http://thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/article/b._b._warfield_on_creation_and_evolution or if you have recent Themelios Journal in Logos, then try this.

Basic gist - BB Warfield may not have been a theistic evolutionist as the term is commonly understood. 

I would also open Logos and you might find more resources searching All Text in Entire Library for the phrase "theistic evolution".  That brought up quite a few results for me.  Or you could narrow it down by adding other search terms.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 7:30 AM

I was reading yesterday and a well known 'theologian' (he's a favorite, but in quotes since I don't agree with the term) was quoted with a very unusual conclusion. So unusual I wondered how he fit within his religious tradition.

I won't say who/what but I would say (1) it induces you to read the author more closely and (2) you wonder what exactly are the benefits of the labels we attach.  I know we absolutely have to have them, but quite often they're no more than reassuringly vague.  

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 7:36 AM

Take a look at this book for more thoughts:

  

http://www.amazon.com/Four-Views-Historical-Adam-Counterpoints-ebook/dp/B00BW2U54G/tag=fhj-20 

I will be publishing my review either later tonight or tomorrow.  It is one of two books that I will be reviewing this week.

Blessings,
Floyd

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Posts 27
Chris Myers | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 8:09 AM

You won't find him in Logos, but someone I was fortunate to hear speak and teach many times over the past decade at my church (where he served on staff) is George L. Murphy.  He's a theoretical physicist and priest who has a passion for exploring and writing about the interface of science and religion.  I found a video of him here:

http://biologos.org/blog/scientists-tell-their-stories-george-murphy

About 3:00 in he touches on this topic.  There are also a couple other videos of George on that website, which, I believe, would be a good place to get general information on the compatibility of science and religion.

Posts 4030
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 8:22 AM

I was shocked that two of my professors of OT are theistic guys. They argue there is a gap in the genealogies sufficient to allow as much time as evolution might need.

Their hypothesis as to the engine? Big Bang & String theory. Big Bang you'll remember is a theory even Steven Hawking is distancing himself from. Last I knew he was putting forward directed panspermia as the most likely source of life on earth, ie aliens or another civilization seeded life here on earth to resemble their own on some distant (or not) planet.

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Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 8:36 AM

abondservant:

I was shocked that two of my professors of OT are theistic guys. They argue there is a gap in the genealogies sufficient to allow as much time as evolution might need.

Their hypothesis as to the engine? Big Bang & String theory. Big Bang you'll remember is a theory even Steven Hawking is distancing himself from. Last I knew he was putting forward directed panspermia as the most likely source of life on earth, ie aliens or another civilization seeded life here on earth to resemble their own on some distant (or not) planet.

If one attributes the origin of life on earth to alien life, doesn't that just back the problem of the origin of life back a step, rather than solving it? Doesn't seem to make a non-theistic solution any more probable in my mind.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 8:58 AM

Big-bang just got another boost just last week.  I agree with Michael 'process' not 'origin'.  But I'm also fascinated as I study geology and thense astronomy that the concepts are so closely aligned (with Gen 1).  Of course the sticking point is 'days' without a sun to work with. Reading my present volume of the franciscans in the 1600s southwest (US), apparently the church argued earth-centric by virtue of the Gen 1 verse sequence (which matched the pueblo views going back potentially to the Anasazi and Chaco).

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 1011
Mike Pettit | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 9:49 AM
I came across an interesting quote from Cardinal Bellarmine, the cleric who “forced” Galileo to recant his Copernican conviction that the Earth orbited the Sun.  
This quote shows that far from holding that Science should be subservient to theology the Cardinal took a thoroughly enlightened view that if there was a clear clash between science and theology it is the theology that must change. Like Warfield however he differentiates between proof and speculation.  
...I say that if there were a true demonstration that the sun is at the center of the world and the earth in the third heaven, and that the sun does not circle the earth but the earth circles the sun, then one would have to proceed with great care in explaining the Scriptures that appear contrary, and say rather that we do not understand them than that what is demonstrated is false. But I will not believe that there is such a demonstration, until it is shown me. Nor is it the same to demonstrate that by assuming the sun to be at the center and the earth in heaven one can save the appearances, and to demonstrate that in truth the sun is at the center and the earth in heaven; for I believe the first demonstration may be available, but I have very great doubts about the second, and in case of doubt one must not abandon the Holy Scripture as interpreted by the Holy Fathers.”
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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 10:25 AM

Michael Childs:

abondservant:

I was shocked that two of my professors of OT are theistic guys. They argue there is a gap in the genealogies sufficient to allow as much time as evolution might need.

Their hypothesis as to the engine? Big Bang & String theory. Big Bang you'll remember is a theory even Steven Hawking is distancing himself from. Last I knew he was putting forward directed panspermia as the most likely source of life on earth, ie aliens or another civilization seeded life here on earth to resemble their own on some distant (or not) planet.

If one attributes the origin of life on earth to alien life, doesn't that just back the problem of the origin of life back a step, rather than solving it? Doesn't seem to make a non-theistic solution any more probable in my mind.


Agreed - in fact and on a technicality I think this may have unwittingly slid him into the Intelligent Design camp.

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Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 10:37 AM

Hawking hasn't distanced himself from the Big Bang at all (in fact, he is still widely influential in fleshing out and adjusting its details). Keep in mind that theories of the origin of the universe (e.g. the big bang), theories of the origin of life (e.g. panspermia) and theories of the development of life (e.g. evolution) all deal with separate questions. Hawking can (and does) toy with the idea of panspermia without rejecting either the big bang or evolution.

As for the original question, there are tons of theologians who are theistic evolutionists! BioLogos is a great resource on this, with articles and talks from Peter Enns, N.T. Wright, Greg Boyd, and many other well-respected theologians and biblical scholars.

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 11:07 AM

Another approach is to check whether we understand the creation story correctly. Sailhamer takes that approach in "Genesis unbound". I assume I did not understand him fully and I may not buy his theory anyway. But reading the creation story in Hebrew is quite interesting, the current translations are impregnated with an interpretation already!

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 11:27 AM

Some people are young earthers; some allow for much greater age. I used to be firmly in the latter camp (with reservation allowing that I could be wrong), but I have moved back to the former perspective while still holding the same reservation. Some folks will say it doesn't really matter...once things get rolling, it really isn't a big deal one way or the other. Some think that God is robbed if "young earth" isn't promoted, but that is a rather small-minded view that has more to do with the individual person's perception than it does God's ontology. What does matter and is significantly affected, though, is YHWH's psychology and the psychology of Satan as well. The motivations of both are affected in rather significant ways by the variations inherent in these two scenarios. The big difference has to do with what Satan knew and when he knew it, which affects YHWH's response/plan.

This will make the third time I've said it here, I think, but I think YHWH created creation with physical and mathematical characteristics that are essentially apparitions. By "apparition" I mean that they have a seeming history that in fact never existed or took place. Dinosaurs never existed except as fossils. The Big Bang with the subsequent cosmic inflation just found to be supported by measurements made by the BICEP2 radio telescope? Never happened, even though the physical evidence and math support the idea. To me, this is a far more plausible and far less ludicrous idea than the typical young earther attempts to tweak the existing physical evidence, which supports billions of years of existence, in order to force it to support a ~6000 year old creation out of nothing.

Of course, if a Christian has spent his or her entire career trying to prove that there were dinosaurs on the ark, or any number of less absurd but equally far-fetched ideas of similar nature, my suggestion will appear to be nothing less than sheer blasphemous madness and heretical chutzpah. What such people don't comprehend even in the slightest is that their certainty is actually flaming idolatry. Most Christians read the Book, draw conclusions, and then assume (typical timebomb included) that their understanding is flawless. They trot out books and hold conferences and whatnot to support their conclusions that they are quite sure must be true because God said so...when He really said no such thing. They are, in effect, insisting that YHWH be what they have erroneously envisioned. Trying to make the existing evidence support an almost 6000 year old universe & planet is just plain silly.

YHWH wants people to believe because He spoke to them...and He fully expects them to respond appropriately. Too many people think that simply proving God exists solves something. It solves nothing. Neither evidence nor hyper-evidence (miracles) solves anything. Yeishuu`a healed and fed many thousands...and 120 showed up for Shaabhu`ohtth (Pentecost). Millions walked between walls of water and had a massive pillar of fire for a nightlight for 40 years, waking to gather bread from the ground that wasn't there when they went to sleep...yet Hebrews 3 says they all died in the desert because of unbelief. People need to wrap their heads around the fact that YHWH is capable of FAR, FAR, FAR more than they have ever contemplated...some of it would shock them out of their shoes. Deliberately creating a world that doesn't have seams and edges...what is so "wrong" with that? The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. Again, that old question arises, but with a Creator's spin: "So, folks, are you going to believe Me and what I say, or your eyes and what they see?" Contrary to popular belief, He isn't looking for reasons to make eternal life "easy" for people to lay hold of...any more than he is apt to throw pearls before swine. His entire plan is predicated on people doing what is practically impossible to do...simply because He spoke to them.

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David Bailey | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 11:35 AM

Michael Childs:
If one attributes the origin of life on earth to alien life, doesn't that just back the problem of the origin of life back a step, rather than solving it?

One of the mysteries that scientists are trying to explain is the origin of life on earth. Even if we find a planet that is similar to earth, it does not provide the answer(s), but it furthers the long time belief in the scientific community that there are many planets that harbor life.

I tell people who bring up the subject not to be surprised about alien life because it's a very biblical concept. We already know we are not alone; no need for SETI funds to answer that question.  Smile

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 11:59 AM

abondservant:
Big Bang you'll remember is a theory even Steven Hawking is distancing himself from

Have a reference for this? I'd be interested in it.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 12:03 PM

DBailey:

I tell people who bring up the subject not to be surprised about alien life because it's a very biblical concept. We already know we are not alone; no need for SETI funds to answer that question.  Smile

I do think it is erroneous to equate spirit beings with extraterrestrial beings. The angels and demons are not aliens...at least not in the way the word is used in common American parlance.

While this planet does seem like small potatoes in consideration of the seemingly infinite power YHWH has, the character Q from Star Trek (STNG) is an interesting figure to contemplate. He was of a race that essentially had god-powers--they could warp and shape the fabric of time and space at will. Yet Q often chose to piddle and fiddle with Captain Jean Luc Picard because he found him interesting. We, whose lives are constantly beset with constraints, tend to think grandiose ideas when contemplating infinite, omnipotent power. Interestingly, Q often lamented along the lines of a jaded teen--when you can do absolutely anything you want, absolutely everything seems boring. I can therefore easily contemplate YHWH choosing to settle His attention and focus. Though the Bible doesn't exactly say it in so many words, it does indicate at times that the scope of the Book is THE scope.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 12:07 PM

MJ. Smith:

abondservant:
Big Bang you'll remember is a theory even Steven Hawking is distancing himself from

Have a reference for this? I'd be interested in it.

I think he may be confusing Big Bang with black holes, which Hawking did distance himself from...but not as much as was reported when the story broke. I don't think he says they don't exist, but just that they don't exist in the way scientists (he being one of the foremost) had popularized them as existing, particularly with regard to the concept of an "event horizon". Hawking, who used to play up that concept quite a bit, now says there may not be an event horizon as such. Because that feature was such an integral part of what black holes were in his mind, he seems to feel like they don't exist anymore...even though there is still "something" there that has an impact on its neighborhood.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 12:09 PM

Mitchell:
there are tons of theologians who are theistic evolutionists!

Assuming 160 pounds as an average that makes for 12.5 theologians per ton. Given that the majority of theologians are theistic evoutionists, you are probably "under estimating" the number by implication. I would suggest Tielhard de Chardin as an interesting historical starting point. He's not in Logos but he should be.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 7 2014 12:15 PM

David Paul:
I think he may be confusing Big Bang with black holes,

Thanks - that makes a bit more sense.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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