Science & Christianity
On why we should agree with contemporary atheists — or why a generic god does not exist
Robert Brennan, May 2013
Wheaton College's John Walton on why Genesis 1 shouldn't be read as a science text but taken seriously for what it is.
John Walton is Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton college and author of numerous books including The Lost World of Genesis One. He is a specialist in comparing the literature and culture of the Bible with that of the Ancient Near East.
He sat down with CPX to discuss approaching the Bible's creation story from an Ancient Near Eastern perspective.
Yes, writes Owen Gingerich.
"Frankly," Gingerich writes, "I am psychologically incapable of believing that the universe is meaningless. I believe the universe has a purpose, and our greatest intellectual challenge as human beings is to glimpse what this purpose might be."
"My belief is not the result of a blinding flash of a road-to-Damascus revelation. Nor is it the imprint of a nurturing home environment. Kindergartners in their simplicity ask many profound questions, but the purpose of the universe is rarely among them. Maturing teenagers in their angst may ask, "What's the meaning of it all?" The question is existential, but the answer is subtle. Understanding emerges not in thunder, earthquake and fire, but in the still small voice of the universe itself."
An excerpt published on the BioLogos Forum of Loren Haarsma's essay, 'Evolution and Divine Revelation: Synergy, not Conflict, in Understanding Morality', asks whether evolution compromises human morality.
Once we have a scientific hypothesis for how something exists, it is tempting to make the philosophical inference that this is also why it exists. Richard Dawkins (1976), as well as Michael Ruse and Edward O. Wilson (1993), do this in the evolution of human morality.
Denis Alexander writes on the Biologos Forum on the theological implications of human genomics.
The tenth anniversary of the human genome has been marked by some striking new genetic insights into human evolution and diversity. Do these new discoveries have any significance for the dialogue between science and religion in general, or for our sense of human uniqueness in particular?
Does it matter that people who have had near-heaven experiences are confused theologically, so long as good news is preached?
Mark Galli writes in Christianity Today, "This to me is the great redeeming characteristic of near-heaven experiences. Despite their varied accounts and sometimes confused theology, there are moments when it is apparent that many of these people have had a remarkable encounter with the living God revealed in Jesus Christ."
The 2012 Gifford Lectures featuring Denis Alexander are available to view online.
Tim O'Connor ask whether we have a soul.
Plato taught that the soul is a simple immaterial thing that relates to the human body (brain included) as a captain to a ship. The person is a soul, the bearer of all psychological capacities and the fount of purposive action. It has a body as a vehicle for acting upon this world, until death severs its ties and it continues on forever, as something that is naturally indestructible and so immortal.
A collection of galaxies that is a whopping four billion light years long is the biggest cosmic structure ever seen. The group is roughly one-twentieth the diameter of the observable universe – big enough to challenge a principle dating back to Einstein, that, on large scales, the universe looks the same in every direction.
Alvin Plantinga reviews Sam Harris' book, Free Will. "Sam Harris claims that free will is an illusion. What we ordinarily believe in this neighborhood, he says, is completely mistaken: "You will do whatever it is you do, and it is meaningless to assert that you could have done otherwise"; "we know that determinism, in every sense relevant to human behavior, is true." Doesn't that imply that we human beings are not responsible for what we do?"