Re: Grapenuts, anyone?

Jonathan Clarke (jdac@alphalink.com.au)
Fri, 12 Feb 1999 07:14:33 +1100

Dear Howard

Well said and thank you.

Sincerely

Jonathan

Howard J. Van Till wrote:

> >From Moorad Alexanian we have this gem of wisdom:
>
> "Christians who use evolution create a hybrid which is like grapenut,
> neither
> grape nor nut. I do not think it is reasonable to discuss the content of
> the
> Bible vis a vis evolutionary theory. A true evolutionist would dispense
> with
> Scripture altogether."
>
> As most subscibers to this list already know, I take a very different
> position. Consider the following exerpt from "The Fully Gifted Creation,"
> the chapter that I contibuted to the book (just published), _Three Views on
> Creation and Evolution_ edited by J. P. Moreland and John Mark Reynolds
> (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999).
>
> "(1) With Christian people throughout the ages, I hold to the historic and
> biblically informed Christian doctrine of creation. That is, I believe that
> the entire universe (everything that is not God) is a creation that has
> being only because God has given it being, from nothing, and that God
> continues to sustain it in being from moment to moment. To 'create'
> something is to 'give being' to something. If God were to withdraw his
> creative word, "Let there be," the creation would, I believe, cease to be
> anything and in its place would be nothing, the same 'nothing' that
> preceded it. In other words, I am a 'creationist' in the full theological
> sense of the term. I see only two kinds of being: God, who is the Creator
> (the Giver of being), and everything else, which is the creation.
>
> (2) What do I see when I look at any of the members of the
> creation--galaxies, stars, planets, atoms, molecules, cells, living
> organisms, etc.? I see things that have been given a being that is defined
> in part by their 'creaturely properties'--creatures have properties like
> size, color, weight, chemical composition, temperature, form, structure,
> etc. But the being of creatures is also defined in a very important way by
> a characteristic set of 'creaturely capabilities' to act in particular
> ways. Atoms, molecules, cells and organisms, for instance, possess not only
> properties, but also the capabilities to act and interact in a remarkably
> rich diversity of ways. Those capabilities for acting are essential
> elements of their being.
>
> (3) As a Christian committed to the doctrine of creation, I recognize all
> of these 'creaturely capabilities' as the gifts of being that God has given
> to his creation. A creature can do no more (nor less) than what God has
> gifted it with the capabilities to do. And if any one of a creature's
> capabilities for action were withheld or withdrawn, it would have a
> different (and less capable) being.
>
> (4) From this creationist theological perspective, then, each discovery of
> a creaturely capability--including every discovery contributed by the
> natural sciences--provides me with an occasion for giving praise to God for
> his immeasurable creativity and generosity. In the spirit of this
> perspective I am inclined to have very high expectations regarding the
> wealth of capabilities with which God has gifted the creation's being. This
> high expectation is affirmed each time that the natural sciences come to an
> awareness of another entry in the list of the creation's capabilities.
>
> (5) In part, the creation/evolution controversy is a disagreement
> concerning the extent of the list of creaturely capabilities with which the
> creation has been gifted by God. Has the creation been gifted with all of
> the capabilities that would be necessary to make something like biotic
> evolution possible? Special creationists are convinced that it has not. I
> am inclined to believe that it has. I believe that God has so generously
> gifted the creation with the capabilities for self-organization and
> transformation that an unbroken line of evolutionary development from
> non-living matter to the full array of existing life forms is not only
> possible but has in fact taken place."
>
> Howard J. Van Till