It seems to me that the question of how God interacts with His creation will
never be resolved by man. The only thing Christians can do is to choose a
specific approach and argue it cogently. But that is all that it is, a
choice like, almost, any other we can make. Is it important what approach
or name we use? I do not think so. But what is very important is that our
approach to the creation/evolution issue does not override our Christian
faith to the point of further dividing the Body of Christ. Moorad
From: Howard J. Van Till <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: RDehaan237@aol.com <RDehaan237@aol.com>; email@example.com
<firstname.lastname@example.org>; email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Monday, April 16, 2001 9:49 AM
Subject: Re: Don't forget about me! (distal vs. proximate)
> I am not sure Howard would consider himself a TE. As I recall, he
> strenuously to this label in the book _Three Views of Creation_ (I think
> that is the title. Maybe someone can help me here.) You might want to ask
Here's what I wrote in Three Views on Creation and Evolution (pp. 172-173):
What would I call such a perspective? Oddly, that presents me with a minor
problem. I wish to employ a name that does not carry all of the negative
baggage that has come to be associated with some of the more familiar
terminology of the creation/evolution debate. And since this book is
directed primarily to a Christian audience, I wish also to employ a name
that most clearly demonstrates the Christian foundation on which my
perspective is built.
Views similar to mine are sometimes identified with the label, theistic
evolution. But that term has some very serious shortcomings. As I see it, it
turns the order of importance of divine and creaturely action upside down.
Because it appears as the noun, the term evolution‹which focuses our
attention on the natural action of creatures‹appears to be the central idea.
Meanwhile, by referring to God only in the adjective, theistic, the
importance of divine creative action seems to be secondary. But that
implication would be unacceptable to me.
As a means toward restoring the relative importance of divine and creaturely
actions I have sometimes used the label evolving Creation for my
perspective. I think it's a much better term than theistic evolution, but it
still has the problem of having to deal with all of the negative attitudes
that a majority of Christians have toward anything that even sounds like
'evolution.' As I have already indicated, the scientific concept of
evolution, properly defined, does not entail any idea that conflicts with
the historic Christian doctrine of creation. The reality is, however, that
many persons, both within and outside of the Christian community, and both
within and outside of the scientific community, have been led by the
rhetoric of the creation/evolution debate to associate the word 'evolution'
with the worldview of naturalism. That association is, I believe, the result
of a serious misunderstanding of both 'evolution' and 'creation.' But even
if the association of evolution with naturalism is entirely unfounded, as I
believe it is, that association is deeply established in our culture and
extremely difficult to correct.
So, then, what label shall I choose for my concept of a Creation that has
been equipped by God with all of the capabilities that are necessary to make
possible the evolutionary development now envisioned by the natural
sciences? For the purposes of the discussion to be carried out in this book,
I shall call it the fully-gifted Creation perspective‹a vision that
recognizes the entire universe as a Creation that has, by God's unbounded
generosity and unfathomable creativity, been given all of the capabilities
for self-organization and transformation necessary to make possible
something as humanly incomprehensible as unbroken evolutionary development.
Howard Van Till
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