Re: Meaning of ID #2 (fwd)...Evo implies atheism begs for theological justification

From: Michael Roberts (
Date: Mon Dec 03 2001 - 16:32:43 EST

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    May I try to answer? I cannot think of any who have followed Hodge in his
    views of old earth design. His followers at Princeton accepted evolution. I
    should have said the Hodge's What is Darwinism is in my opinion the finest
    anti-darwinian book ever written and worthy of the highest respect.

    Possibly some US evangelical theologians have done something e.g. Buswell
    but I dont have access to such stuff. Too often there has been either naive
    acceptance or rejection of evolution and some of the rubbish written by
    theologians from anywhere in the spectrum from wooly liberal (I always say
    wooly liberal!) to fundamentalist beggars belief.

    Louis Berkhof in his Systematic Theolgy (c1940s) took a 6 day creation as
    did Missouri Lutherans of the interwar years - Graebner and Hepp pf the
    Free univ , amsterdam

    Not much help am I!


    > Bob:
    > 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[1],
    > 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 [2] (somewhat eqivocally) and J.I. Packer [3] (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
    > incompatible.
    > As Michael Roberts has indicated, Livingstone's book provides many
    > other counter-examples (most of the church at the turn of the
    > century).
    > 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.
    > [1] D. Livingstone, Darwin's Forgotten Defenders (I need to confirm
    > this), Eerdmans
    > [2] "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.
    > [3] 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.
    > [4] ``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               |
    > Washington and Jefferson College |
    > Washington, PA 15301             |

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