The creation debate continues, and continues, and…

It never stops, does  it? The most recent hurrah developed around Al Mohler’s speech at this year’s Ligonier conference, “Why Does the Universe Look So Old?“, in which he unsurprisingly argues for a young earth, 24-hour day view of creation. Apparently he sees this as the only view that takes scripture seriously – i.e. it doesn’t try to “bend” scripture to fit science or cultural preconceptions.

The folks over at BioLogos responded by initiating a discussion on the subject, one that has generated quite a bit of comment so far.

  • Karl Giberson offered three questions that he would like to see Mohler respond to in more depth. Actually, this felt like one of those posts where the “questions” are really a platform for pointing out where you think the other person is wrong. But, it was still interesting.
  • Today, Peter Enns weighed in arguing that both the new atheists and the traditional creationists make the mistake of viewing Scripture as claiming to be scientifically accurate. Instead, he contends that we need to see them as ancient “fictional” narratives about who created everything, rather than “scientific” accounts of how they were created.

No wanting to be left out of the discussion, Scot McKnight offers some thoughts of his own. He’s particularly concerned about the tenor of Mohler’s speech, criticizing him for making this a battle rather than a conversation.

And, on a related note, Huffpo’s new Religion and Science discussion continues with Clay Naff’s rather unhelpful post arguing that we need to reject both the traditional view of an all-powerful God creating the universe (in any way), or the growingly popular secular notion that ours is just one of many possible universes. Instead, he argues that he most intellectually viable position is that a limited being created everything through an evolutionary process.

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on July 8, 2010, in Creation and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Just a couple of rambling thoughts if I may on this topic.

    This BioLogos controversy is very intriguing to me.

    It seems that the atheist scientists and the YEC’s are both vehemently attacking them in a manner which demostrates that they don’t seem to quite know how to handle BioLogos.

    Christians call BioLogos – Theistic Evolutionists – and scientific atheists use their pejorative description, “accommodationists”, implying that they are either trying to fit God into science, or science into God. Or to be more precise the bible into science and science into the bible.

    The focus of this new “war” appears to revolve around Jerry Coyne (Why evelolution is true) vs BioLogos, and also Biologos vs Dr Albert Mohler & Phil Johnson of
    Pyromanians, & John MacArthur of Grace to You.

    So, BioLogos are attacked from both extremes….why is this? Because they seek the middle path which undermines both extremes.

    This seems to be a new front in the creation “war”, namely, the revolving around BioLogos, as opposed to a war between simply scientific atheists, and fundamentalist literalist Christians. We have almost veered toward atheists supporting YEC’s against BioLogos….weird.

    It’s almost as if the atheists and YEC’s are somewhat interdependant.

    The scientific atheists don’t know how to handle this, because they don’t fully understand the internal conversation taking place within Christianity, through the likes of BioLogos.

    Thanks to Dawkins and P Z Myers promoting Jerry Coyne (whyevolutionistrue), they are making BioLogos even more famous.

    So the question is: Why are the scientific atheists attacking an institution that is attempting to promote and explain rational advanced science to Christians? Why focus on them rather than say, Ken Ham?

    Here’s my attempt at an asnwer:

    P Z Myers & Phil Johnson still putting the boot in to BioLogos

    Perhaps in truth, the atheists do not really know how to respond to a group communicating science within the Chrictian community, and are running a little scared.

    The atheists flaw is the lack of understanding of the internal christian conversation, and of course their theological lack.

    Just a few thought on the move….

    • Good question. I think atheists respond so critically because they see a position like this as being intellectually deceptive and a corruption of something that they value (science). In that sense, I wonder if it’s not similar to the way that evangelicals responded to the “open theism” debate a few years back. One could argue that at least open theists aren’t atheists, so why worry about them? But, that’s not how we responded because most evangelicals saw open theism as a potentially deceptive corruption of something that they valued highly.

      I also think they’re less likely to go after YEC types because they think they’ve decisively refuted those arguments already. So, while they’re happy to ridicule that position, they rarely engage it in any meaningful sense. From their perspective, that would be like getting in an argument with someone who insisted that the earth was flat. Why bother?

  2. Thanks for the mention. Why did you find it “unhelpful”?



    • Hey, thanks for checking in with us. And, I apologize if my “unhelpful” comment was a little abrupt. It’s difficult to summarize that much information in a short post. I actually found the end of your post, when you specifically stated your position, to be the most helpful. The part that I found unhelpful was when you were summarizing the creationist and multiple-universe views. The tone and tenor of the rhetoric throughout that section seemed rather dismissive and well-designed to shut down dialog rather than create opportunities for “conversation,” which is ostensibly what Huffpo is trying to do.

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