Re: "Icons of Evolution"

From: george murphy (
Date: Tue Jun 05 2001 - 16:42:53 EDT

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    "William T. Yates" wrote:

    > George--
    > Would you care to elaborate on your comment, 'Moreover, one can present
    > good _theological_ arguments to validate such "methodological
    > naturalism."' I beleive these arguments may represent a method for
    > getting some believers to be more comfortable with science and its findings.

    Bill -
            There are three (at least) kinds of argument for such a view. These shouldn't be seen as independent theologies but as overlapping ones.
            1) I have based my own approach to these questions, under the rubric "chiasmic cosmology", on a theology of the cross. Cf. Bonhoeffer's argument that the world can be understood "though God were not given" because "God allows himself to be pushed out of the world onto a cross." I have set out this approach (with references to the next two) in a recent article in the March 2001 PSCF and in other writings. (Check the bibliography at my website below.)
            2) One aspect of the cross is _kenosis_, the "emptying" of the Son of God in Phil.2:5-11. This has been taken by a number of theology-science writers as a model for God's self-limitation in his action in the world, so that God cooperates with but doesn't override natural processes.
    Nancey Murphy & G.F.R. Ellis work out a kenotic theology in considerable detail in their _On the Moral Nature of the Universe_ (Fortress, 1996).
            3) Both of these (closely related) approaches are supportive of Howard Van Till's idea of the "functional integrity of creation" or "creation's robust formational economy" for which he has argued on this list and in other settings.

    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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