Introducing Niamh Middleton

I have likened my re-birth and subsequent connection to the Holy Spirit to tapping into an almost primal animal instinct, similar to what I would consider as a dog panicking before an earthquake or a Salmon knowing which stream to swim up…Though when I say it, the response is something like (“sound of crickets”)…

I keep seeing a similar thread of thought in your writing. I would suppose that a crocodile would not consider eating a small child as evil, but as instinct, and therefore good. Do you see a connection between the characteristics of animal instinct and spiritual revelation?

Personally, evolutionary creation doesn’t describe me. I’m a Christian that affirms evolutionary science (CAES), but I’m not an evolutionary creationist.

No, let’s not, since we’ve already had the discussion many times. I just wanted to answer Niamh’s question. I look forward to his response.

Actually, you have merely avoided having that discussion many times. The answer to my question may be “no”, and that may be why you avoid answering, but that’s all speculation since you refuse to say.

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Well I think some of our instincts are the cause of our greatest behaviour, like sacrificial and heroic behaviour for those we love, but others cause the worst, like for example mob instincts. I think our spiritual longings and spurs come from our souls, and that our souls facilitate moral discernment, helping us to distinguish between good and evil

For me evolutionary creationism should be a broad, flexible term because it relates to the open question “Who were Adam and Eve?”. There are several theological hypotheses that attempt to synthesise the Christian and scientific accounts of human origins. The most important thing is that each links human origins to the Incarnation and salvation. Any theologian who accepts evolution as God’s instrument in bringing about the emergence of life on earth is an evolutionary creationist IMO.I wouldn’t include Intelligent Design as it blurs the boundary lines between religion and science, and asserts that divine agency is intrinsic to biology. I do believe that God guides and sustains the process, and that evolutionary creationism doesn’t rule out direct divine intervention. However such intervention must relate to the supernatural, as natural selection is a process that achieves the natural. As I said earlier like Darwin’s co-discoverer Wallace I believe there was divine intervention in relation to the infusion of our spiritual souls. That’s my opinion, grounded in evidence, but I don’t rule out the view that our spiritual/ cognitional abilities evolved. That’s a theological school of thought that is also classified as evolutionary creationism. For me Joshua’s Adam and Eve hypothesis does count as an evolutionary creationist one because it holds to our evolution as a species with an act of supernatural divine intervention that relates to our morality and salvation.

Suppose that is one way it could have played out, with EC being a broad term. Turns out that isn’t how it played out. :slight_smile:

Could do sometime in the future. We’re still nowhere near a formal change of doctrine on human origins in Christianity. Not even in RC, which accepts evolution and allows for a mythological dimension to Genesis. Way to go! And in the meantime ‘evolutionary creationism’ is such a useful umbrella phrase in theological discussions of the various hypotheses for synthesising the scientific and Christian accounts of human origins :+1:

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Is “theistic evolution” a problematic label in your opinion? Could you see GAE fitting into theistic evolution?

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I’ve been wondering about this one. At a superficial glance it appears to me the term “theistic evolution” has been sufficiently polluted, at least in conservative Christian circles, to mean someone who accepts evolution with some nebulous role for God, but doesn’t drone on and on about how much they love Jesus too.


13 posts were split to a new topic: Thinking Again About EC, TE, and CASE/CAES

It is a bit of both.

EC implies a particular theological approach that is more distinctly Christian than TE, which makes it more orthodox than TE. At BL, for example, they really do affirm the physical resurrection of Jesus, a view that not all TE will affirm.

But at the same time EC is also meant more narrowly non/anti-conservative than TE might allow, with EC pushing what many evangelicals have stated they see to be radical revisions of historical theology. That conjunction is sometimes called “neo-orthodox,” because of its reductive emphasis on historical creeds alongside critiques of “traditional” theology. It is also sometimes called “post-evangelical” too, for several reasons, in part because it is really on the borderlands of evangelicalism.

He was searching for a term, and settled on that. I told him at the time why I didn’t like MTE, and so did WLC, and he privately agreed that CASE might be a good alternative.

What has stifled this conversation, though, is that it was unclear where BL was headed at the time. In the end, BL wanted to own the whole space, without actual making space for views they disagreed with (e.g. de novo creation, traditional readings of genesis, etc), but we didn’t know that that the time.

They have been pretty opposed to conversation about this, because it is a critique of their approach. They could have responded by adjusting and opening up their community, but instead, they worked hard to be sure that the conversation would not proceed. I’ve been told in very clear terms by them not to talk about it.

But now, it’s been a few years. We now know the path BL is taking, so that changes things. Sometime soon, this conversation needs to be opened up again. This time we have a lot of clarity about where BL stands in this, and that might help the rest of move forward, with or without them.

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