Reflecting theologically on evolution

PSCF coverEarlier this year, I wrote several posts related to creation and origins issues. In one post, I reflected on the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye debate over creationism. In another, I suggested that reading the early chapters of Genesis ‘literally’ might not be the best way to discern what the author (and more importantly God) was trying to communicate to us. Recently, I wrote a post about devout Christians who affirm evolution and suggested that this should provoke our curiosity concerning how these believers integrate their science with their Christian faith.

I had indicated in a few of my earlier posts that I was in the process of writing an article on how we might approach evolution theologically. Well, it’s just been published in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (the journal of the American Scientific Affiliation and the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation).

The abstract for the article is as follows:

This article proposes that a trinitarian eschatological hermeneutic, applied to the doctrine of creation, helps us to make sense of evolution theologically. From this perspective, the Holy Spirit incessantly draws creation to the Father’s intended destination for it (new creation) through the cosmic, creative-redemptive work of the Son. This article first develops the proposed hermeneutic in dialogue with scripture and Trinitarian theology. It then commends the hermeneutic as a way forward in resolving theologically three important issues in the science-faith dialogue concerning evolution: (1) it avoids both a deistic naturalism/materialism and a crude supernaturalist interventionism with respect to God’s interaction with creation; (2) it provides a rich theology of nature while avoiding the pitfalls of pantheism; and (3) it helps us to account theologically for the existence of death as a naturally occurring phenomenon intrinsic to creation.

Here is the link to the article:

Patrick Franklin, “Understanding the Beginning in Light of the End: Eschatological Reflections on Making Theological Sense of Evolution,” Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 66, no. 3 (Sept. 2014): 154-70.

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