Me and BioLogos…
Recently found out the hard way that BioLogos forum moderators are uncomfortable with me explaining why I am not part of BioLogos any more. For understandable reasons, both (1) some people just assume I am part of BioLogos, and (2) others are very curious why I Ieft. BioLogos understandably wants to move past our conflict from last year, and it’s to their advantage if I’m perceived as having “returned to the fold.”
We are not in conflict right now, however we are also not in the same camp. A good summary is that we have very different values, and right now those values often place us cross purposes. Though we have a great deal of common ground, the differences are too great for us to work together right now (http://peacefulscience.org/confessing-scientist/). Without getting into details, it seems that feeling is mutual too.
I think these differences are important to delineate. So I am going to occasionally post on this forum what I am seeing what some of these differences in values are. This is not meant to be aggressive or an attack on BioLogos but as a helpful way of understanding values that we both think are important.
Is it Polite to Ask About the Resurrection?
There are two values both BioLogos and I have, but might see a different interaction between:
- Confessing the Resurrection in the public square.
- Refusing to divide the Church on evolution.
For this reason, BioLogos is spending this month writing several articles on the Resurrection, and I am entirely supportive of this. I think it is a great move, and a departure from some of their past patterns. In this series, an important exchange took place:
I thanked Dennis Venema for confessing the Resurrection in a post (https://biologos.org/blogs/guest/can-a-scientist-believe-in-the-resurrection-part-1), something I had not clearly seen him do in the past. One of the BioLogos staff (@Brad_Kramer) responded:
Wouldn’t it be nice if someday an openly Christian scientist who affirms evolution would not automatically attract doubts about his belief in the Resurrection.
I thought about that a bit, and I think I really disagree.
First, this brought some context to some strange conflicts last year. I asked some theologians making some “far out there” claims if they affirmed the Resurrection. This deeply offended one of the BioLogos staff, because it was seen as rude. However, I was disoriented by their claims, and understanding where they stood on the Resurrection helped clarify if I was talking to someone who was part of orthodox Christianity or not. It was not rude, but necessary to make sense of what they were saying.
Second, a confession of the Gospel in public square (#1 above) is more important than being default accepted in the Church (#2 above), and that confession might even be how the Church can recognize who is a Christian when they affirm evolution. For me, I’m glad to get the question, because that gives me opportunity to declare the Resurrection in the public square.
This, it seems, might be a very real difference between me and the standard strategy at BioLogos, though let’s not read too much into a single comment. I might be placing a higher value on declaring the Resurrection, even if it means tolerating exclusion in the Church to do so. Moreover, I think the most likely way for that exclusion ot end is by confessing the Resurrection too. Asking questions about the Resurrection, to me, seems to be clear command of Scripture, especially when we face disagreement on doctrine (1 John).
To be clear, BioLogos does affirm the Resurrection. I also affirm that Christians who affirm evolution should be included in the Church. I, however, think that exclusion will most likely end when we make a habit of confessing with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and that he rose from the dead. I welcome the questions too, because it is an opportunity to confess Jesus in the public square. I hope the questions do not stop.