It seems like a good time to reiterate a key value we should strive to live out on the forums. Advocacy for the Empty Chair. So what is BioLogos' problem with Dr. Swamidass? - Open Forum - The BioLogos Forum
Advocacy for the empty chair is an act of love I hope to see become common practice on the forums.
The Empty Chair is a symbol of those who could join our conversation, but have been excluded by our lack of hospitality, or even intentional exclusion ( http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/world/europe/11nobel.html?pagewanted=all ). Right now, in this conversation, there are large parts of the Church that could be in the conversation. We could invite them to join us, even though they are different. However, after so much time of opposing them, they are not going to join the conversation unless we advocate on their behalf to make this a safe place first.
Instead of advocating for our own theological agendas, as is the norm, I hope we can turn to advocating for the empty chair. In this way, let us welcome the full diversity of the Church into an accurate account of science. We will still have our disagreements in theology, but we can come to be defined by our love for one another instead.
This is a counter intuitive approach I am asking us into. Of course, we all thing we have the science right. Of course we all think we have the theology right. That is beside the point. Here, especially the regulars, we need to look to serve others by advocating for their values. Certainly, describe your own positions. We are hear to understand and be understood. We are not here, however, to advocate precisely for our own point of view. Instead we are trying to make space for others.
A great example of this is the de novo creation of Adam. Many of us do no think this is required of the text (Is the Hebrew phrase, "formed from dust" a repudiation of normal childbirth for Adam?). Many in the Church, however, do think it is required (Keller on Adam and Eve http://peacefulscience.org/defense-tim-keller/) . It is not against science, so we really should not divide over things like this.
Likewise, there has always been a large range of views on the Image of God (Disability and the Image of God). Certainly share your view, but keep in mind the full range that has been part of the Church. Certainly, we are not going to resolve that debate. Better use might be made in finding a better grounding for rights than a disputed area of theology. This is not to say that there is not a correct view. I’m sure there is. Advocating our own views, however, is not the most important thing to do here.
Instead, we can advocate for the empty chair. One day, hopefully not long from now, we will see a large range of participants from a wide range of views. Maybe at that time, it will be easier to have some fun conversations trying to “hash out” different notions of these things. We are very far from that time now.
Consider, instead, advocating for the empty chair with me.