Monday, April 07, 2008

From Creationist to Evolutionist - my story

You may not have heard these statements before, but 'only an evolutionist can be saved'; 'only an evolutionist can speak in tongues', 'evolutionists are God's special agents', 'evolutionists are generally holier and better people than creationists', 'Calvin predestined me to be an evolutionist' etc.

You know they are all true.

As we've been discussing evolution again in the comments on an earlier post, here is my own little story of how I moved from poor, unhappy and lonely creationist to revived happy, popular, wealthy, victorious and blessed evolutionist.

I actually became a Christian listening to a tape by Ken Ham (who, in retrospect, looks suspiciously like the missing link to me), and consequently 'creationism' was a very important topic for me, for years. Evolutionists were for me either atheistic naturalists or, if claiming faith, compromised to the core. However, a number of factors came together that have since caused a change in my view.

First, my doctrine of scripture changed such that I did not need to affirm a literal reading of Genesis 1 and 2 to still believe it was text inspired by God, a step precipitated by reading Goldingay's Models for Scripture. I believe that my doctrine of scripture became, in this phase, more scriptural, and I appreciated the differences in genre in scripture. A text could say something true without me having to read it literally (cf. Jesus' parables). At this point I could accept Christians who promoted an evolutionary view, though I had too long swallowed the teachings of 6-day creationism to suddenly become convinced by Darwin and his followers.

Second, while creationists were still perpetuating quasi-intellectual claims about dinosaurs living with humans and such like, I started to find myself convinced by the science of evolution, by how the theory could explain such diverse material from biogeography, palaeontology, embryology, morphology and genetics (for the last I refer to Sean B. Carroll's brilliant book, The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution).

Third, it became clear to me how the ancient world of creation myths had shaped the biblical material. Biblical cosmology operated, as did the other myths, with a flat earth, and the differences between the biblical accounts of creation and flood were of the same milieu as other Akkadian literature, such as the Enuma Elish, and the Atrahasis and Gilgamesh flood stories. I then started to see what the biblical text was trying to do in its context; I could hear the text again, unclouded by concerns with proving its supposed scientific worth, something I found very exciting. It was making subtle and creative theological points about God, humanity and the world that implicitly critiqued these other myths, and their idolatry (e.g. God just speaks and creates, other gods had to e.g. kill each other to form the landmass with a god's dead body). As Enns writes, 'To put it this way is not to concede ground to liberalism or unbelief, but to understand the simple fact that the stories in Genesis had a context within which they were first understood. And that context was not a modern scientific one but an ancient mythic one' (Inspiration and Incarnation, 55). I remembered that no one was there when God created, and the text does not present itself as 'prophecy'. Rather, it adopted and critiqued the myths of its ancient worldview. Had God inspired a text that told ancient Israel what happened at a scientific level, they would not have understood anyway. God was speaking in and through an ancient worldview.

As I wrote on this blog before: Yes, I believe evolutionary theory is correct. Yes, I believe in God the creator of heaven and earth. Yes, I believe Darwin, despite errors, was basically correct. Yes, I believe that Genesis 1 and 2 is the inspired Word of God. Yes, I believe humans evolved from lower life forms. Yes, I believe we are made in the image of God.



At 4/07/2008 9:27 PM, Anonymous Jim said...

When did you grow the beard? It becomes you.

At 4/07/2008 9:28 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

It's easy, Jim. I hold my nose shut and blow real hard. I can squeeze out a biggy like this in minutes

At 4/07/2008 11:01 PM, Anonymous Shane said...

Amen brother - testify!

At 4/07/2008 11:54 PM, Anonymous Brian said...


At 4/08/2008 12:17 AM, Anonymous Kevin P. Edgecomb said...

One might also take comfort in the fact that in another three thousand years scientists will find the science of our day laughable. This is not so much "what goes around, comes around" but, as you noted "to every thing there is a season." There's also a season when it comes to be considered ridiculous by the uncharitable or understandably primitive by the charitable. Is an idea wrong? I suppose that depends on when you ask....

At 4/08/2008 12:25 AM, Anonymous Looney said...

Leaving aside the Biblical and other creation accounts, we still have to deal with the assertion of evolution intellectuals that technology (biological or otherwise) proves the non-existence of the technologist, or the lesser assertion that technology can spontaneously generate from non-technology. It still seems to me that these views require infinitely more faith than a simple creation faith.

The other item you haven't addressed is the fact that evolution can explain everything for the simple reason that it is a framework that includes all explanations, whether true or false, real or imaginary. Yes, it can explain the relationship between any set of fossils. It can also explain the relationship between orcs and elves. Fiction has amazing explanatory powers!

At 4/08/2008 1:39 AM, Anonymous Judy Redman said...

Chris, I too was influenced by Ken Ham in my early understanding of the origins of the world (although I was already a Christian). Since I was living in Brisbane at the time, I actually met him several times. I travelled a similar path to you. Although I see significant flaws in the theory of evolution, it seems to me a more likely explanation of how the world we live in came into being than creation ex nihilo in six days. Thanks for the post.

At 4/08/2008 2:03 AM, Anonymous James F. McGrath said...

Thanks so much for sharing this Chris! In my case, I spent time as a young-earth creationist after hearing preachers and reading literature (i.e. propaganda) that skewed the data to make it sound like (1) the Bible demanded such a view, and (2) the scientific evidence supported it. How did I come to realize that neither of the above claims is correct? Thankfully, there was a small handful of mainstream biologists who took the time not simply to present the evidence for evolution, but also to show in detail where young-earth creationists either badly misunderstood or dishonestly misrepresented the evidence. For those inclined to attribute things to providence, my eagerness to read more about this subject led me to just such a book: Science and Creationism, edited by Ashley Montagu.

Nowadays there are much better books written by Christians, such as those by Ken Miller and Francisco Ayala.

At 4/08/2008 5:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since evolutionary science depends on conjecture and speculation, it sure seems strange to base your faith on science rather that what you even call the "inspired word of God". It takes faith either way...what is the need to justify and align yourself with speculative science?

At 4/08/2008 5:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate your account, but I do have a hermeneutical question. If we were to ask the ancient audiences of these texts (Enuma Elish, Genesis, Gilgamesh Epic, etc.) whether those stories realistically described the way the world came to be, what would be their reply. It just does not seem plausible to me that the early Israelites, for example, would tell us that Gen 1-3 was just a polemical myth, that there really wasn't a tree, garden, Adam, serpent, angels, etc.

IOW, I think we have to be honest about what these texts would have communicated to their first audiences.

At 4/08/2008 5:53 AM, Anonymous Mike Beidler said...


Thanks for telling your story! Although we didn't take identical paths to go from Point A to Point B, all of the elements are the same.

I'm telling my own creationist-to-evolutionist story on my blog The Creation of an Evolutionist, albeit in a much more detailed (and drawn-out) process. I envy your succinct summary, as I'm sure my own readers are dying for me to just cut-to-the-chase. ;-)

Would love for you to stop by whenever you have the time!

At 4/08/2008 5:12 PM, Anonymous Arni Zachariassen said...

I find it very strange, interesting and telling that Christians almost gleefully say that evolution "require[s] infinitely more faith than a simple creation faith." How is that a bad thing? Did I miss a memo? When did faith become a bad thing?

At 4/08/2008 5:15 PM, Anonymous Daniel Doleys said...

While I am a creationist, I am not hostile against evolutionist nor do I hold any contempt. I do have one question though. You say you do believe man is created on the image of God and that man evolved from lower beings. How do you explain this theologically? Is there a point in the evolutionary process when man began to reflect God's image? Also, how do you explain the death before the entrance of sin into the world?

At 4/08/2008 5:18 PM, Anonymous James F. McGrath said...

The existence of death before sin in the Genesis story is a non-issue. The presence of the tree of life, and the fact that exclusion from access to it means death for the humans, shows that death is in that story the natural state of affairs, and eating the fruit of the tree a gift.

At 4/08/2008 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems that theologians review scripture much in the same way scientist review their findings. You have to constantly add or subtract speculative information to hopefully make sense out of things you can't understand.

At 4/08/2008 7:52 PM, Anonymous Steve Martin said...

Hi Chris,
How come this is the only post in the catagory "Personal heresy log book"? After following this blog for a while I thought for sure I'd seen 30 or 40 posts that could qualify.

At 4/08/2008 10:26 PM, Anonymous Kenny said...

Good post, thanks. I agree with all of this but I've never thought about your point about what Genesis was doing in the context of other creation myths. Your statement about being able to finally "hear" Genesis was great.

I'd be interested in recommended reading along the lines of 'Models For Scripture.'

I feel like evangelicals really need some alternatives to the Chicago Statement and Warfield. But I'm finding such alternatives harder to locate than I'd have guessed.

At 4/08/2008 11:01 PM, Anonymous johanna chase said...

Ah...Enuma Elish. Even American Indian ancient mythology speaks of a large flood, which could be due some universal concept of agrarian happenings that are unknown to myself, or that there was a large flood, which might support evolution? (I'm still green in this area)
An 'anonymous' blogger up the line of comments asked a question about ancient cosmology and our hermeneutic towards such...I would point them towards the references of 'sheol' and 'gehenna', throughout the OT and then the references of 'gehenna' and 'hades' in the NT...this could become a bad idea quickly, unless the relationship between science and revelation is thought about when looking at this difference. The LXX scribes (all 70 of them according to the myth?!) combined the Greek and Hebrew concepts of 'hades' and 'gehenna' and 'sheol', introducing the 3-part world of Greco-Roman world to their audience. (3 part world:underworld, skies/water, earth/land) The process from one cosmology to the next was not really a shift folks were told about by their local priests, per se. wonderful to hear this. Thank you.

At 4/08/2008 11:24 PM, Anonymous TJ said...

Mr.Tillinch, I am so happy for you. It is reassuring to know that you believe you developed from apes. Keep up the appearances! It's really really persuasive.

At 4/09/2008 1:28 AM, Anonymous Michael said...

I'm sorry, I had to come back. I only just noticed Kenny's comment,

"I feel like evangelicals really need some alternatives to the Chicago Statement and Warfield."

I suggest that's like saying Christians need some alternatives to Christ.

Evangelical means 'gospelly'or as has it, "pertaining to or in keeping with the gospel and its teachings." Evangelical is a word used to describe those Christians 'that emphasize the teachings and authority of the Scriptures'.

If you cannot sit under the authority of the Scriptures as outlined in either Warfield or Chicago you don't need a new statement, you need a new label.


At 4/09/2008 3:06 AM, Anonymous Michael said...

Note: This is edited and reposted because when I read it I didn't like the tone in a couple of places...

Surely you've jumped out of the kettle and into the fire.

My issue with creationists is not that they do science poorly, it's that they do the Bible poorly. It's not a science textbook. We do need to understand it in it's literature and context.

My issue with evolutionists is not the untold assumptions behind the theory, nor it's holes, it's the (by and large) atheistic agenda that drives it today.

But evolution is definitely the greater error. Creationism will give you a good understanding of God with a screwy understanding of how he made the world. Evolution gives you a screwy understanding of how he made the world and a screwy understanding of God.

But it's not an either-or proposition. You can just let the Bible speak as an authority. It tells us God made the world. God made two human beings from which we all descend. These humans rebelled... This disallows some of the tenets of evolution but neither does it mandate all of the tenets of creationism

My biggest issue with Christians who jump into bed with evolution is Jesus. How does your enlightened evolutionary stance understand a Jesus who clearly took the creation narratives (and other OT 'myths') at face value and taught them as truth, even as authority, to his followers. (Mk 10:16 Mt 19:4)

Maybe he was contextualising and using the myths he didn't really believe to make a more important point???


It's all true, or none of it is true.

If there's no first Adam why do we need the second Adam.

You don't have to be a creationist to be a Christian, but you definitely have to be a creator-ist.

At 4/09/2008 1:02 PM, Anonymous volker said...

Hi James (McGrath),
thanks for your inspiring comment re: the tree of life. It makes a lot of sense. But doesn't it imply an anachronism or even contradiction within the "biblical" view of sin, suffering and death? It would imply that suffering and death were part of God's original intention/creation, rather than the consequence of alienation from God. This seems to me to be a blow for central aspects of soteriology and eschatology (the eschaton as a place without suffering and death).
I'd be interested to hear what you think!
P.S. Perhaps you remember me from your vistit to LBC (end of the nineties, Alex Neagoe)!

At 4/09/2008 1:52 PM, Anonymous James F. McGrath said...

Let me start with Volker's comment (and yes, I do remember you! Do come pay a visit to my blog as well, where I've explored a lot of these subjects in detail!). I think you are right that what I'm suggesting is that death is in fact a natural part of the created order. Isn't it nice when the Bible and science actually agree on something? :) We do indeed have to rethink our theology in light of our increasing understanding of humanity and of the natural world. That happened in the Bible too - earlier works for the most part assume a three-tiered view of the universe, but Paul's reference to multiple heavens shows he had adapted himself to the Ptolemaic worldview.

This doesn't mean that there aren't resources in the tradition that we can draw on, though, that will fit well with our changing scientific understanding. W. D. Davies suggested that Paul's language of "flesh" (or "sinful nature" for readers of the NIV) reflects the Rabbinic concept of the "evil impulse" (Yetzer ha-ra). What is interesting is that the rabbis recognized that these basic instincts are necessary to survival (the impulse to eat, to survive, to reproduce), and it is not their existence that is evil but our failure to restrain them. I don't see anything in that concept that would not fit an evolutionary origin of such impulses.

As for Michael's comment, I'll just point out that if you believe the Bible, you have to believe that Jesus could be mistaken. If you are going to pretend that Matthew 16:28 or Mark 13:30 are not there, you can easily pretend the passages about the last Adam aren't either. Personally, I decided quite some time ago to stop trying to get the Bible to conform to my demands and let it be what it is.

This doesn't mean that Paul's statement cannot be made sense of in an evolutionary framework. His point is about two ways of life, two modes of existence and ways of relating to God.

At 4/09/2008 3:18 PM, Anonymous Nance said...

To one of the anonymous folks who asked about the reception of the creation myth by the original audience:
I can't speak for the earliest audiences and speculate how they would have understood the account, but I can let a slightly later hearer speak for himself...
"And if God is said to walk in the paradise in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that any one doubts that these things figuratively indicate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not literally."
- Origen, On Principle Things, Book IV, 16 (Church father, 3rd Century A.D.)

At 4/09/2008 4:31 PM, Anonymous Jon Henry said...

Interesting, I just found this recently in Slavonic Enoch:

And Uriel spake, "Hast thou not seen [Tilling's] latest post?"

And the Lord said unto Uriel, "Uriel, turn up the temperature three degrees in [Tilling's] reserved room in the nether abyss, and leave it that way."

At 4/09/2008 5:07 PM, Anonymous Alex said...


Of course Origen would say that. He said that kind of thing about nearly every passage of scripture of dubious historicity. Origen is the ancient equivalent of the modern day Bultmann, Borg, and Spong.

At 4/09/2008 5:56 PM, Anonymous James F. McGrath said...

I don't think one has to have the outlook of Spong or any of the others mentioned in order to suspect that God doesn't literally go for strolls in gardens when the weather is nice.

At 4/09/2008 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

J. T McGrath: I take it you've never walked in the garden with God? Sad...and you're teaching from His book.

At 4/09/2008 6:40 PM, Anonymous James F. McGrath said...

I assume the last comment was intended for me in spite of getting the initial wrong. Anonymous, do say more about your own non-metaphorical experience of walking with God in the garden. Presumably when you refer to the Bible as a single book whose author is God, you really believe that you are not speaking metaphorically, too? If so, is your God named "Paul", since that is how he signed a number of his letters...

At 4/09/2008 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, how do you get the world being flat out of reading Gen 1 & 2?

j.F. Mcgrath: Hope you find out for yourself that it's not metaphorical and the Paul comment was really weighty. I probably won't sleep tonight thinking about it.

At 4/09/2008 7:35 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Anon,
Everybody assumed the earth was flat in those days in Israel, and though there is little direct evidence in the Gen 1-2 acount, there is plentiful evidence in the rest of the bible, and creation was certainly not only discussed and explained in Gen, but also in the Pslams, in Job etc. Here is some of that evidence.

At 4/09/2008 7:39 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Anon, I would say that matters need to be judged case by case. Do I believe in a literal physical resurrection of Jesus. Absolutely, and I think it important to do so. Do I think the gospel accounts are largely accurate accounts of the life of Jesus? Basically, yes. Do I think the end of 2 Kings and the exile stories are basically historical? Absolutely. But I have good reason to doubt the flat earth cosmology of the bible, and so when I read of the devil taking Jesus to a high nmountain to see all teh kingdoms of the earth, I can now understand that figuratively, even though it was likely understood literally by all who first heard the story. Plus, genre is a very important factor to keep in mind. Does the liturgical, worship orientated text in Gen 1 really sound like scientific descriprtion? No. But is it true? Yes and Amen! Does that help?

At 4/09/2008 7:45 PM, Anonymous James F. McGrath said...

If the earth wasn't flat, then there wouldn't have been anything for the dome to rest on... :)

The flat earth is also possibly there, as Chris just pointed out, in the reference to a mountain from which one could view all the kingdoms of the earth, although that may equally well fit a Ptolemaic cosmology as long as there are no antipodes! :) I actually had someone suggest that the mountain in question was on the moon in a desperate attempt to avoid the plain meaning of the text...

(On the meaning of the Hebrew word for "dome" in Genesis 1:6 see any decent commentary. There are also useful online sources as well).

At 4/09/2008 7:47 PM, Anonymous Looney said...

Chris, i think you need to pick up "Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians", by Russell.

The flat earth theory was invented by Washington Irving in the 19th century for his novel about Columbus. With this as a motivator, scholars like Andrew Dickson White (founder of Cornell) proceeded to search through historical references and place the flat earth theory into the mouths of people who probably hadn't even considered the issue, or in some cases ones who had considered the issue and concluded that Columbus made a big error and would never make it to Japan.

It was all done to support the theory of evolution. Evolution doesn't stand on evidence, so the strategy was that evolution must be true because if you don't believe, then you are one of those flat earth fools! Don't ya' love science!

At 4/09/2008 8:02 PM, Anonymous James F. McGrath said...

Looney, you are right that Columbus didn't think the Earth was flat. The ancient Greeks discovered that - that's the Ptolemaic worldview that early Christian authors like Paul held to, with the earth as the spherical center of the universe.

Columbus' disagreement with scholars was that he 'cooked the books' and argued that the earth's circumference was less than it was (otherwise the trip to India would be too long). Of course, the scholars were right, but Columbus was fortunate to reach land between Europe and India!

None of this has any bearing on whether the ancient Hebrews thought the world was flat. It is a different issue...

At 4/09/2008 8:17 PM, Anonymous Looney said...

James, the attempt to prove that the ancient Jews believed in a flat earth was from 19th century atheists and the insertion of these ideas into the public school textbooks we used as children. Without their efforts, this discussion probably wouldn't be happening.

Of course we could say that references to the creation are all allegory, unless there is something that might be interpreted as referring to a flat earth. At this point the ancient Jews wrote literally for one phrase of one sentence, and then reverted back to an allegorical stance!

Did the ancient Jews even have the vocabulary to describe a spherical earth? The one point I do agree on is that the Bible isn't intended as a science text.

At 4/09/2008 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link Chris. You've had to do a lot of stretching!..great posts looney.

At 4/09/2008 9:23 PM, Anonymous TJ said...

TJ: I’m glad you are persuaded. Your comments only further convince me of our descent from blobs of goo in the sea!

Yes, indeed. Scientific progress is a precious thing. I'm glad to help you.

At 4/10/2008 12:49 AM, Anonymous Nance said...

The idea that the creation account would be of "dubious historicity" to folks even at that time is kind of what I'm getting at.

At 4/10/2008 6:11 AM, Anonymous psychodougie said...

good. seems a common story - to me too. not that i stopped believing in creationism, but i started believing in Jesus - the creationism stuff just faded away as the main thing became the main thing.

i actually taught a seminar on science and religion and made the outlandish comment that i'm fine if you believe in literal 6 day creation, but you can't use Gen 1-2 to prove it.

good to clear it up. cheers for a thoughtful post

At 4/10/2008 6:51 AM, Anonymous Edward T. Babinski said...

Note to Looney:

The evidence from both the ancient Hebrew days right up till 1st-century Palestine is that they assumed a flat earth. Read the book of Enoch, or the N.T. itself in the Gospel temptation story in Matthew in which Jesus is taken to a 'very high mountain' and there shown 'all the kingdoms of the earth.' Why does the mountain have to be 'very' high? And why be taken to the top of a mountain to be shown 'all' the earth's kingdoms? Think about it.

Same goes for some other verses in the N.T. Compare the Book of Enoch as well.

See my online articles:

Interpretations of Biblical Cosmology
by Edward T. Babinski

The Varieties of Scientific Creationism
by Edward T. Babinski

The latter delves into the way biblical interpretation simply goes round and round to accommodate as much (or as little) modern scientific knowledge and evidence as it likes (or does not like).

Nothing like having an infallible book of truth and then having to interpret it in the light of increasing scientific knowledge. Talk about talking in endless circles past each other, which is what Christian interpreters appear doomed to have to do ever since the Bible's singular claim to infallibility has been challenged. Now we have eternal interpretation wars.

At 4/10/2008 6:55 AM, Anonymous Edward T. Babinski said...


I'm an ex-young-earth creationist.

I had just left creationism when I read Ham's first book, Evolution the Lie, and I sent him a detailed critique. He responded by saying he didn't have time to respond, and would I like to come hear him speak.

I also sent Answers in Genesis critiques concerning their ignorance of the evidence for cetacean evolution. Again, no response.


"Christian Evolutionist Resources"



At 4/10/2008 7:01 AM, Anonymous Edward T. Babinski said...

What about Revelation? Is the end of the Bible as mythical as its beginning?

At 4/10/2008 8:09 PM, Anonymous Alex said...


Point taken. I guess my larger point that I never really got to is that not only does Origen not represent a typical B.C. or 1st century Jew (which you also stated as a caveat in your comment), but neither does he necessarily represent a typical reader in his own time. It is possible that with his metaphorical interpretation of the creation events, he represents an outlier even in his own time.

For what it's worth, I agree with Origen, and presumably you too, that the creation account has a LARGE degree of metaphor and that the story was meant to convey certain basic themes about God, regardless of the details. But the reason I commented is that we are discussing what the ancients, such as Jesus believed about creation, flat earth, etc., and I wanted to be sure it was clear that if we use Origen at all to get a picture of the ancient's spectrum of views on creation, we were sure to not only place him well after the time of Jesus and the Old Testament, as you have ably done, but also at the far end of the spectrum in his own time.

I'm not an expert, so my source for placing him at the far end of the spectrum in his own time is Christopher A. Hall's "Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers."

At 4/11/2008 9:10 PM, Anonymous Antonio Jerez said...

I´ve read your Credo and it´s nice to see that you have left those looney creationists behind you and entered the evolutionist camp. But your comments gives me a nagging feeling that you still don´t want to buy the whole package that follows with a subsciption to the theory of evolution. You wrote:
"Yes, I believe Darwin, despite errors, was basically correct"
It would be interesting to know more exactly what you think Darwin was wrong about. And is it just Darwin´s theories that you believe contain errors or is it modern evolutionary theories like the ones presented by Richard Dawkins that you think have serious flaws?
And how do you want to sneak god into the equation of evolution. Intelligent design?
On a totally different matter. You say you see the bible as being divinely inspired despite so many things being plain wrong on a factual level. But what do you make of parts of the bible like Deuteronomy 20:1-20? In what sense do you see the divine inspiration at work in passages like that?

At 4/14/2008 9:59 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Ed, thanks for your comments.
Did you see my response to the Rev question?

Hi Antonio,

"your comments gives me a nagging feeling that you still don´t want to buy the whole package that follows with a subsciption to the theory of evolution"

That's just a misunderstanding. Darwin's theory needed tweaking and development. The dispute dterm 'neo-Darwinism' is used by some to identify some of the areas of development. Google it, if you dunno what I mean.

"And how do you want to sneak god into the equation of evolution. Intelligent design?"

Nope. Search for Intelligent Design on this blog, and you'll see some guest posts critiquing it.

What is it about Deuteronomy 20:1-20? My view of biblical inspiration importantly involves a relational ontology, but perhaps that is a discussion for another post.

At 4/14/2008 10:01 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Thanks Dougie,
Right! I too think it is fine. Many people need to believe 6 day creation - though it does say God stopped on the seventh day ....
The early Jewish commentaries had some great stuff speculating on what God made on teh seventh day!

At 4/15/2008 10:47 PM, Anonymous Antonio Jerez said...

glad to see that you haven´t fallen inte the "intelligent design" trap. Although I have a hard time seeing how the "blind" and "cruel" machinery that makes up evolution is to be combined with the biblical god (whatever way you take him - either literally or metaphorical). But I think that this may not be the apropiate forum for us to discuss evolution and the jewish god, so I leave it for another day and another place.
And hopefully one day you may explain to me how you see the relationship between truth and Deuteronomy...
And given that you have been perceptive enough to go from creationist to (almost?) fullblown evolutionist I don´t despair about you one blessed day being able to see Tom Wright for what he really is ;)

At 4/20/2008 8:19 PM, Anonymous John H said...

Thanks for recommending Sean Carroll's book. I bought this on your recommendation and am enjoying it immensely.

At 5/24/2008 8:02 PM, Anonymous brian said...

It is certainly encouraging to hear so many christians accepting evolution as fact The details are still being worked out, as are the details of the physics of our solar systems workings, but nonetheless, evolution is fact.Religious idelogical discussions are lateral by nature and move no one closer to universal truths since they are opinion based.Science, with its admiited mistakes (which it self corrects)moves vertically and gains information incrementally.I never knew freedom until i gave up all belief in a deity.All vanity and self importance disappeared. Lets not rely on a deity to rescue us in some prophetic manner, but push ourselves to love all life forms and engage in science to help us understand and deal with our furure. Contrary to what many say, science could someday explain the mechanism of our existance.I dont have 'faith' that it will, so it is not a religious statement, but it is possible that science is capable of such an endeavor


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