Tim Keller is not an Evolutionary Creationist

You’re perfectly at liberty to reject the label, just like other people do. Meanwhile I’ll just reject the idea that they own it and get to define it.


I love the references. Thanks. Helps correct my understanding.

It doesn’t really change the meaning of it right now. I still reject EC as a label for myself. If you all want to use the term, go ahead. I’m not using it for myself, and will object having it applied to me.


Okay. I’m fine that move.


By the way @T.j_Runyon I do not affirm that there were no instances of special providence, so even by this definition I’m not EC. This sounds quite a bit like deism, even if that is not precisely what it is, and that is why it is often received as heterodox.

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You can take satisfaction in the fact that they didn’t actually coin the term.


What I think is sorely needed right now is public alternative to BioLogos for Christians to engage with mainstream science. This would make BioLogos a better organization, with their monopoly broken. Right now they have far too much power, and power corrupted them.

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Regardless of what anyone thinks is sorely needed or whether anyone has too much power, shouldn’t we be categorically rejecting tribalism?


EC is linked to BioLogos in the same way Intelligent Design is linked to the Discovery Institute. References to Intelligent Design can be found in the 1800’s, but the link between ID and DI is still there.


Yes reject tribalism, which is why we actually welcome BioLogos here and EC too, even though I’m not in their camp. I think BioLogos deserves a seat at the table. For now at least that sentiment is not reciprocated.

I think this is important to note. Just because a different group coined the term first doesn’t negate the connotations the term has today. It’s an individual choice whether one wants to “reclaim” the term or come up with a new one.

Secondly, @Jonathan_Burke is right that things may be very different outside of the North American evangelical context, but that’s a red herring. Most of the dialogue by the relevant parties (and labeling) is going on in that context. Intervarsity Press (who’s publishing the GAE book) is in that context. Biologos, DI, the Creation Project, AIG, Tim Keller, TGC, are all operating within that context. There could be a world of books, articles, and communities where the terms EC and ID mean very different things, but most of us here are not talking about evolution and creation in those places.


:man_facepalming:t2: No. I said my definition is silent on how God acts. Some may say he is in control of a lot of the evolutionary process and some say he might not be. If you think nature (or God’s normal way of doing things) couldn’t accomplish something in the biological world and God had to step outside of it to accomplish it then you’re an ID proponent. That’s what I mean by an act of special providence

You are making my point for me. I’m neither ID or EC by your definitions. I am taking a different way forward.

Do they have a registered trademark?


OK, then, I suggest that you step back, try to detach, and review what you’ve written here. Your title and your comments come off as extremely tribalist.



Now that’s interesting… my own view (which of course differs slightly from yours and from others) is that if God is interested in the precise genetic composition of life forms… then everything is going to be “intelligently” laid out … at least in terms of precision, if not necessarily in terms of “cleverness”!

So when you write “It would no longer be what I consider EC…” my bias is that it was adequately framed as “EC” all along. What I think would be weird is for God to be “vague” about his genetic arrangements… hoping for a lucky throw of the dice…

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Wow… I had no idea they were so closely connected to the term’s dispersal!!!

Okay @mercer, @Jonathan_Burke, @jordan and @T.j_Runyon, help me out here.

If someone came here saying that “Josh is basically an atheist,” I would object, because I definitively am not an atheist. In fact, even the atheists would object, because it is just not true. This is not tribalism. Atheists are welcome here. It is just that I am not an atheist.

If someone came here saying that “Josh is basically a WASP,” I would object, because I definitively am not a WASP. In fact, even the WASPs would object, because it is just not true. This is not tribalism. WASPs are welcome here. It is just that I am not a WASP.

If someone came here saying that “Josh is basically ID,” I would object, because I definitively am not ID. In fact, even the IDists would object, because it is just not true. This is not tribalism. WASPs are welcome here. It is just that I am not ID.

The same is true if someone claimed I was a Hindu, a Muslim, a European, a Deist, and so on. What ever these identities are they aren’t mine, even though people who hold them are welcome here. I’m not trying to exclude anyone, but I certainly object to being appropriated by another group, or labelled in a way that misrepresents me. This is not “tribalism,” but just insisting I am not misidentified.

The same is true if someone claims I am basically EC. I am not. There are a long list of salient difference that I need not enumerate now. If you think you are EC, fine. I don’t object. You are still welcome here. Just don’t call me EC. I’m not.

What is “tribalistic” about that?

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The apparent obsession with group identification, positive and negative. It’s not conducive to viewing people as individuals.

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If someone insisted on misidentifying you, perhaps you might appear obsessed as well. It is just a basic courtesy to respect someone’s desire not to be labeled with a group they disagree with, that does not apply to them. It is not tribalistic for me to insist on that courtesy.

I understand many people are confused because they don’t see any salient differences between me and EC. A better approach is to ask in what ways I am not EC, not to accuse me of tribalism or insist that I really am EC. Right?

@swamidass, maybe let’s think of it with a different context. What if a person who seems to “check all the boxes” as an ID proponent, who associates themselves with the Discovery Institute, at some point has an internal disagreement (maybe its a personality conflict, maybe its a policy difference) with DI. If that person was “disinvited’ from continuing to work with DI, I don’t think most people would immediately jump to the conclusion that the person was no longer an ID proponent. They would most probably conclude that there is an internal disagreement, but that both this person and DI would represent ID.

My view is that the difference (between you and BioLogos, PS and EC) isn’t so much particular positions, doctrines, etc. but rather a way of going about things. It’s maybe more of a difference in attitude or “mission” than specific beliefs.

Lastly, the fact of the matter is, when people read/hear the things you say, they are going to hear Evolutionary Creationism. That’s just the way of it. You may not like that, as you are trying to establish a new way, but I don’t think people are unreasonable in assuming you are EC.

P.S. I just wanted to point out, that it’s also true that people should try to respect your desired label (or lack thereof). If you don’t consider yourself to be EC, then I’ll try not to do so. That said, if I describe how I see PS working and somebody associates it with EC and/or BioLogos, there’s not a lot I can do about that.