Sunday, November 23, 2008

Creation or Evolution

The Dean of St Mellitus brought a new book in for our growing library the other day. I, um, promptly bagged it and took it home. Suppose I shouldn't say that here, but hey ho - 'sin boldly' as Luther wrote to Melanchthon. The item in question is Denis Alexander's new book, Creation or Evolution: Do We Have To Choose? His book Rebuilding the Matrix is an absolute gem. A part of me is a bit bored with the whole creationism-evolution hubbub, but this book will no doubt be worth your investment.

19 Comments:

At 11/24/2008 10:11 AM, Anonymous RobHu said...

I am looking forward to reading your review.

 
At 11/24/2008 5:56 PM, Anonymous Grandmère Mimi said...

Fetching cover, all right. I answer, "No" to the question in the title before reading the book, nevertheless, I await your review, too.

I'm also tiring of the creation/evolution debate, perhaps because I have never seen the two in conflict. What's all the fuss about?

 
At 11/24/2008 10:32 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Rob, Not sure if I will get round to reviewing it! But thanks!

Well I agree with you Mimi.
I know that the creation evolution debate used to be very important to me as it touched upon crucial world view issues.

 
At 11/24/2008 10:41 PM, Anonymous RobHu said...

Hi Chris - might you perhaps write a few paragraphs of your thought if not a full review? ;-)

There is a fairly critical analysis of some of the theology in Evangelicals Nows: Rescuing Darwin or Wrecking the Faith, and another criticism (this time in terms of thermodynamics and information theory) in the latest issue of EN.

Personally - I'm a recently recommitted (after 4 years of atheism) Christian, and given that I feel very confident that the evolutionary account of origins is correct it is of significant importance to me that the biblical account is compatible.

So ongoing comments on the book (wherever I find them) are useful.

 
At 11/24/2008 10:45 PM, Anonymous Grandmère Mimi said...

Chris, you could do the short form and simply recommend or not recommend the book.

I do realize that the creation/evolution debate is important to quite a few folks, but I am mostly out of it.

 
At 11/24/2008 11:05 PM, Anonymous Mark Stevens said...

Chris, others, I am set to speak at a forum in a few weeks on the topic of sin and judgement. There is no doubt at some point that the topic of creation and fall will arise (it is a young adults forum - mainly young people who have grown up in fairly conservative churches).

My question relates to the Adam and Eve narrative. If we understand the Genesis account (1-3) to be narrative or allegory relating to why there is evil in the world, how might I (a minister) answer a question (pastorally) in relation to how sin entered the world? I feel that people find it comforting that they can point to the fall as a historical event because then there is something to blame for all of this evil round us. Having said that I want to have integrity with my answer.

Any help would be appreciated.

Mark Stevens

 
At 11/25/2008 1:29 PM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

I never finished Rebuilding the Matrix as it was so dull.

Is it really God's plan that human beings develop through natural selection?

Is immunising children against killer diseases a good way to interfere with the mechanisms that God put in place?

 
At 11/25/2008 1:33 PM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

The Evangelical News statement says 'Again, the concept of ‘vestigial organs’ (‘left over organs’ from earlier stages of evolution) has been discredited since they don’t exist: all organs, it is clearly recognised now, serve important though not necessarily vital functions. '

I wonder why God commanded people to chop off foreskins, a piece of the body which allegedly serves an important function?

 
At 11/27/2008 12:51 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Mimi,
"I do realize that the creation/evolution debate is important to quite a few folks, but I am mostly out of it"

I hear you. You are no doubt in the best place!

 
At 11/27/2008 12:51 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Mark,

Great question! I would suggesta look at a book called Original Selfishness. Other than that, I would insist on using the story in Genesis as a true account, one which exonerates God. Not that this means it must be taken literally ... it grasps the truth of the matter in the way God wants us to know it.

What think you?

Hi Steven,

“I never finished Rebuilding the Matrix”

I would encourage you to make it to the end.

“Is immunising children against killer diseases a good way to interfere with the mechanisms that God put in place?”
Do you think this question poses a problem for anyone other than the theologically illiterate?

“I wonder why God commanded people to chop off foreskins, a piece of the body which allegedly serves an important function?”

This is, as I tell my students, the WTW problem (like ‘synoptic problem’ and a ‘JEDP hypothesis’). Why the Willy?!

Hi RobHu,

So glad you recently committed to Christ! Wonderful to hear!

I would strongly recommend Denis’ work for your consumption on this question! A friend of mine has this website you may find useful:

HERE

 
At 11/27/2008 8:53 AM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

CARR
“Is immunising children against killer diseases a good way to interfere with the mechanisms that God put in place?”

CHRIS
Do you think this question poses a problem for anyone other than the theologically illiterate?

CARR
Alexander's book 'Rebuilding the Matrix' never answered any questions either.

This is why it is impossible to become a Christian. When I ask what I should believe to make it consistent, I never get any answers to questions.

Christians often refuse to answer atheist questions and then pour scorn on them for their lack of knowledge of theology.

Gosh they say, Dawkins just does't understand Christianity.

I think the fault lies with Christians who answer questions with scorn rather than information.

 
At 11/27/2008 9:08 AM, Anonymous RobHu said...

@Carr: Don't try to portray yourself as an innocent unbiased person trying to find out whether Christianity is consistent. You spend all your time trying to undermine Christianity on the internet.

 
At 11/27/2008 6:56 PM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

Robhu also refuses to answer the question I asked.

Just think how quickly I could be silenced if all these questions of mine were answered.

But Christians show great mercy and refuse to divulge all these answers they have - answers which would show just how wrong I was, and make me look very embarrassed.

 
At 11/27/2008 7:15 PM, Anonymous RobHu said...

Carr, the issue is more that you popup on virtually every Christian blog I've ever seen, jot off a few short critical sentences and then when someone does spend the time to carefully answer your objections you rush off somewhere else to make more critical comments.

You very strongly come across not as someone seeking the truth, or even acting neutrally, but as someone who has made it their hobby to try to attack Christian belief on the internet (in fact I remember one occasion where someone said they were feeling left out because you'd not criticised their post yet).

I personally think that engaging you in these places is fairly pointless because (at least on blogs) where people do that you ignore their response, or misrepresent them.

 
At 11/27/2008 8:14 PM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

Robhu refuses to answer questions and engages in personal , unsubstantiated abuse.

But I am used to personal abuse instead of answers.

Does this alleged god use a process of natural selection to create, and are human beings interfering with this process of natural selection by immunising their children?

 
At 11/27/2008 11:15 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi persecuted Steven!

I used to try an answer your questions here - and did do so often - but soon realised that you did not attempt to dialogue, to enter into a mutually edifying communication - so I thought I wouldn't bother wasting my time. Hence I won't now try to answer your question.

Instead, I thought I would start to respond to your questions with questions of my own (which you do not answer, I would note). Sorry to be preachy, but perhaps it will help you to learn to value proper dialogue, and for your own good.

 
At 11/28/2008 7:12 AM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

My apologies.

I did not realise that 'Why the Willy?!' was not a rhetorical question.

I'm not sure how to answer that question.

Of course, dialogue is a two-way process. I can not dialogue on my own. I am dependent upon people doing more than engaging in abuse.

 
At 11/28/2008 7:32 AM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

I should point out that Chris is far too nice a guy to engage in abuse.

 
At 11/28/2008 9:02 PM, Anonymous mark Stevens said...

Thanks Chris, that is great. I think the problem for most of the people that will be at the forum lies in the fact that for so long Genesis 1-3 has been taught as the foundation of "how" creation occurred whereas the younger generation of minister's like myself, have come to a point where we are far more comfortable with the mystery of not knowing the exact dates and details of the fall. It is a matter of helping people see that Gen 1-3 is more about "why" we were created not how. I like the point about it being true regardless if it did or didn't happen that way.

No if only I can find my end times wall chart and red laser pointer I will be set ;-)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home