Evolutionary Theism Essay

1046 words - 4 pages

In this latest installment of college-age church dissatisfaction, I'm trying the online sermon route today. There's one obvious pitfall here though- unrestricted reign of my distractibility.

I'm still listening to the sermon. It's just paused for now, while I'm reading the Creation vs Evolution essay posted on the site of the Emerg Doc referenced as a sermon example. Well-written, balanced stuff, and encouraging to realize how long ago it was written, even if I disagree slightly with the conclusions.

I'll try to type out coherent thoughts about church later, suffice to say that it's never been deeply important to me as an institution, and I've been mostly surprised by what I don't miss, more so than what I do.

What I'm mostly thinking about these days is complexity and creation. The mechanics of how God may have made the world don't excite me as much as they used to, but I still nestle comfortably into my evolutionary theism. The aforementioned essay notes that most of how Christians choose to interact with science seems to bear more with their concept of God than on any sort of consistent set of objections. It's true. I like the story of evolution. I like God as an artist more than a magician, shaping eons of development like movements of a symphony.

I can run through evidence for certain readings of Genesis later, if anyone actually cares (... *crickets*... Okay, thought so.) And honestly, I don't really care which viewpoint people eventually subscribe to- so long as they understand the uncertainties and implications of their positions. I just want to address the statement that ends most discussions about science/religion I have with church people. They will wade through the distinction between types of knowledge, even humour a discussion of literary genres in the Old Testament, and acknowledge that using God merely as the caulking for any gaps in our scientific understanding is a foolish approach to apologetics. (My God is more than the Strong Force, thanks.) Some are even okay with the suggestion that sections of Genesis are Mythological in their approach to truth.

The objection is far more primal: "It's just too complicated."

There's something horribly messy and wasteful about natural selection, even with the provision of divine guidance. It's brutal and unelegant, and worst of all, it's indirect. There is something inherently confusing about an omnipotent being choosing to accomplish plans through such convoluted means, especially if we are to believe that humanity is somehow special amongst the species, more than a bald ape with a highly developed prefrontal cortex.

And then there's death. Buying into anything but a literalist interpretation of Genesis involves the demise of individual organisms, if not the extinction of entire species (depending on which of the non-literal readings), before humanity even emerges with the moral capability to sin. Even if we make a distinction between 'physical' and 'spiritual' death,...

Find Another Essay On Evolutionary Theism

The Advancement: Keeping the Faith in an Evolutionary Age

576 words - 3 pages In L. Russ Bush’s Christian apologetic work, The Advancement: Keeping the Faith in an Evolutionary Age, he details the development and apparent fallacy of the modern naturalist worldview. Bush, a professor at Southeast Baptist Theological Seminary, focuses on the idea of inevitable progression within the modern worldview and provides an overview of this view’s promulgation within epistemology. Moreover, the naturalistic worldview incorrectly

On Being A Theist Essay

2073 words - 8 pages theist after considering his attacks? McCloskey does not present a solid case for the truth of atheism. His objections to the theistic arguments are unsuccessful in showing theism to be unsound. Unfortunately, he fails to address several important arguments for the existence of God. McCloskey indicates that the theistic proofs should be rejected because he does not consider them to be absolutely decisive. McCloskey sets the bar

Creation Theories VS. Evolution

2238 words - 9 pages ) and believe that life is the product of intelligent contrivance (“Creation vs. Evolution” 1). A number of people believe in “a creator God who is transcendent of over and governor of the material universe”, a belief known as Theism (Sailhamer 133). People that have faith in Theism belief that only God is eternal and the material world, “which he created and governs, had a beginning and, if he so wills, has and end (Sailhamer 133). In scientific

Title of Paper

765 words - 4 pages , the “Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism” (EAAN) proves to be a somewhat controversial topic. Plantinga attempts to argue that the theory of evolution and the Naturalist philosophy are logically incommensurable. The union of evolution and naturalism implicates that human cognition is unreliable, and if both are true, then man must reject his cognitive rationality. Belief possesses the dualistic state of… Plantinga’s postulation possesses an

Creationism, Evolutionists Among Other Theories

2087 words - 8 pages occurrence above the level of species (Dobzhansky, 1937). Patterns that drive the processes that can be classified as macroevolution are patterns like paleontology, comparative genomics and evolutionary development biology. One example of macro evolution was when feathers formed on birds from the theropod dinosaurs. • Natural selection – One of the cornerstones of biology and science that we know today is due to natural selection. It was also

King versus McCloskey: Does God Exist?

2070 words - 9 pages people disagree with this as an intelligent designer is needed for there to be life. Just to assume evolution is true, I would continue to disagree with McCloskey’s implications about evolution not needing a designer. Evans and Manis give a response to a similar question stating that the evolutionary process has taken place, but was guided by an intelligent designer (Evans & Manis, 2009, pp. loc. 828-830). It is similar to how humans have created a

Teaching Origins in 20th Century American Public Schools

6468 words - 26 pages time of the Scopes Trial and the present in several important ways. First, creationists have developed many more diverse arguments, and employ not only biblical and moralistic arguments, but scientific evidence, logical arguments, and political rhetoric to counter evolutionary theory. Second, debate was revived by evolutionist educational reforms of the 1960s and is being countered by creationists who are part of the growing fundamentalist

Feuerbach and Atheism

1269 words - 5 pages Untitled Philosophy of Religion Summary Atheism Human existence has with increasing insistence since the eighteenth century taken the place which preceding ages had reserved for God - atheism is this displacing of the divine by the human. The central place of God in theism is replaced by the centrality of the human in atheism. The key question for atheism is not the existence of god, but that of the human. Philosophical atheism

A response to an atheist

1612 words - 7 pages than arguments when discussing the three ideas that he finds to be the most motivating forces for theist’s to theistic beliefs. In the article, he states that “move ordinary theist to their theism”(3). He believes that these “proofs” do not offer definitive evidence that proves God exists without even the slightest room for doubt; therefore, the belief in God should be completely abandoned. For an individual who claims to believe in a worldview

Critical Analysis of McCloskey’s Arguement in "On Being an Athiest"

1523 words - 7 pages design” (1982, 63). Nature is a beautiful thing, and would be hard for man to copy it. People give off carbon dioxide and plants give us oxygen. Do they not have a purpose for each other? Nature does have a designer or portrays a designer for the purposes of why everything is here. “Clearly, it is the popularity of evolutionary theory more than anything else which has eroded the credibility of the teleological argument” (ibid, 65). The theory

The Perfect World Begins and Ends

1691 words - 7 pages man that justly rules the universe. The nature of The Emperor’s New Groove’s universe is somewhat displayed and partly a mystery. A creator or creation is never addressed. The Incans’ may have surfaced by a Big Bang or developed by a slow evolutionary process, but the authors do not deem this aspect of the universe important. On the contrary, the Biblical worldview states that, "In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1

Similar Essays

On Being A Theist Essay

1973 words - 8 pages Atheism is certainly one of the adversaries of theism. However, atheism provides an important role to theism by acting as a “devil’s advocate” which, in turn, ultimately strengthens theism. In the journal article “On Being an Atheist” written by H.J. McCloskey, McCloskey is both critical of the classical arguments for God’s existence and offers the problem of evil as a reason why one should not believe in God. McCloskey progresses through, in

Assignment 3

906 words - 4 pages different positions of theism for example: • Orthogenesis – A goal directed evolution • Nomogenesis – Fixed law evolution • Emergent evolution – Believes in the rearrangement of already existing structures to create consciousness and life. • Creative Evolution- Believes that creation is a vital force rather than a spontaneous process in nature. • And others (Morris & Morris, 1998) Morris also listed the “biblical evolution” which believes that in

An Being An Theist Essay

1572 words - 7 pages designer is undeniably almost impossible, much less how the nervous system works in the body. Therefore, there being a designer of the universe is more probable than there not being one. McCloskey implies that evolution has displaced the need for a designer. However, does the theory of evolution and the theory of a designer necessarily need to be mutually exclusive? If one allows for the evolutionary theory to be true, there still remains an ultimate

Philosophy Of Religion Essay

689 words - 3 pages confirmation, according to Swinburne, is explained by two main points. The first, something is considered to be true for one hypothesis, rather than the other, when it is more probably true for this hypothesis, than the other. The second point says that the greater is the difference in probability the more it can be considered as true. Author argues that this principle supports theism. Because, we do not know whether there are of have ever been