> As for Phil and the implication that evolution implies atheism: I think he
> has history largely on his side when he says so He also has the theologian,
> Charles Hodge in his corner. Is not the criticism deserved by the
> evolutionist Richard Dawkins, and the philosopher, Daniel Dennett, than whom
> more outspoken atheistic defenders of evolution and bashers of Christianity
> and religion in general would be hard to find.
I would like to hear more about how you might support the idea that
Phillip Johnson has history on his side. In particular, I would like
any references to other theologians who have supported Hodge, or a
cogent explanation of why there are none. I have asked at least twice
in the last few months for references to any contemporary or even
near-contemporary theologian who has argued in any systematic way that
evolution is incompatible with Christianity. Nobody has responded and
I have not been able to find any in my own searches (I have yet to see
if R.C. Sproul and Francis Schaeffer have written anything systematic
on this). Maybe you can help me out.
Absent any other voices, your citation of Charles Hodge considered in
the context of the variety of metaphysical commitments among
evolutionists (both contemporary and historical) might seem to
contradict your statement that Phillip Johnson would have history on
his side (or beg the question of how one voice implies history's
support). If Hodge had been persuasive, we would expect theologians to
affirm his position over the 125 years since he wrote. In fact, I
have so far found only the opposite, or, at best, equivocation.
As was the case with seminal fundamentalist B.B. Warfield,
co-author with Hodge of the Hodge-Warfield doctrine of biblical
inerrancy who also called himself a "Darwinian of the purest water,"
Carl F.H. Henry  (somewhat eqivocally) and J.I. Packer  (without
equivocation) find no inherent conflict between evolution and
Christianity. Indeed, even one of the essayists in Dembski's book,
Mere Creation, disagree with Dembski and Johnson's position. After
careful analysis of randomness and design, philosopher Del Ratzsch
concludes that design and the randomness inherent in evolution are not
As Michael Roberts has indicated, Livingstone's book provides many
other counter-examples (most of the church at the turn of the
It would seem that many American Christians seem to be getting their
theology regarding what it means to believe God created the world from
other lay persons such as Henry Morris, Hugh Ross, and Phillip
Johnson, rather than from people trained in theology.
 D. Livingstone, Darwin's Forgotten Defenders (I need to confirm
 "It is untrue that science has gradually eroded the domain of
divine activity and that, had evolutionary theory not been challenged,
divine activity would have been reduced to zero." Carl F.H. Henry,
God, Revelation and Authority, Vol. VI, p. 193.
 J.I. Packer, God Has Spoken, p. 170, Baker Book House, Grand
Rapids, 1988, and J.I. Packer, The Evangelical Anglican Identity
Problem, p. 5. Oxford: Latimer House, 1978.
 ``This means that one cannot accuse theistic evolution of being
inherently logically incoherent on grounds that genuine Darwinian
evolution is profoundly chance-driven whereas theism is profoundly
committed to supernatural design, control, superintendence and
guidance.'' Del Ratzsch, "Design, Chance, and Theistic Evolution,"
p. 308, Mere Creation, ed. William Dembski, IVP, 1998.
Joel W. Cannon | (724)223-6146
Physics Department | email@example.com
Washington and Jefferson College |
Washington, PA 15301 |
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