I will be presenting a paper at the upcoming CETA conference in October. The conference theme is “New Creation” and I am presenting on evolution and eschatology.
Here’s the paper proposal that I submitted:
The biological evolution of human beings remains a controversial subject amongst many conservative evangelicals, even though it is not a controversial subject for scientists (even amongst scientists who are themselves conservative evangelicals, according to a recent survey of members of the American Scientific Affiliation and its Canadian counterpart).
This paper will propose and explore a hermeneutical framework for making sense of evolution biblically and theologically. Specifically, it will offer a theological reading of Scripture that employs eschatology (in which I engage themes of new creation) as a hermeneutical lens through which we can come to understand creation and redemption in a way that differs from traditional evangelical readings. The basic thesis is that God always intended an eschatological consummation for creation. This perspective allows us to avoid both an unscientific biblicism on the one hand and a reductionist materialism on the other. It allows us to avoid both god-of-the-gaps and deistic approaches in our theologies of creation and providence. Moreover, creation in this model is not just purposive (designed) or even teleological (oriented toward certain ends), but, to speak more comprehensively, eschatological (drawn by the Holy Spirit to its God-intended completion and perfection). New creation involves both continuity and discontinuity with our present biological form.
The paper will bring together important contemporary streams in both science and theology to defend its thesis. Along the way, theological questions related to the problems raised by the existence of sin and death will be considered briefly.
Check out the conference page here.