Re: P.J. Bowler book

From: Michael Roberts (
Date: Sat Jan 12 2002 - 15:20:51 EST

  • Next message: Howard J. Van Till: "Re: P.J. Bowler book"


    I looked up your paper and liked it very much on the whole.

    My main reservation is your footnote 41]" In passing it is worth noting
    that views not dissimilar from Barnes' on evolution and the fall are now
    espoused by some evangelicals, for example, R. J. Berry God and Evolution:
    Creation, Evolution and the Bible (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1988). "
    That is simply not the case and a misrepresentation of Berry's views (which
    are similar to mine and many others in Christians in Science and also ASA).
    Berry holds to a historical Adam and an actual fall and is similar to views
    held by evangelcials and others in the 1830s e.g. William Buckland. He also
    holds in toto to the Virgin birth, divinity of Christ substitutionary
    atonement and resurrection.
    Barnes simply ditches the fall and the virgin birth bodily resurection which
    he confuses with physical resurrection and virtually everything else.
    Hence Berry is an old fashioned evangelical, whose views are similar to
    those of most 19 century evangelicals and Barnes the wooliest of wooly
    liberals and is more akin to dear old Bishop John Spong although at least
    Barnes believes in God
    Barnes and Berry probably agree on evolution with a 4.5 by earth the
    succession of life and descent with modification as have most orthodox and
    unorthodox Christians since the 1860s.

    I would suggest this error and misrepresentation of Sam Berry is removed as
    soon as possible.
    It spoilt an otherwise comptent article.

    On Barnes you could/should have made it clear that he swallowed the conflict
    thesis of science and religion hook line and sinker. Many of his references
    to positions taken by earlier christians are just woefully inaccurate and
    assumes that there was a royal battle between geologists and the church,
    ignoring such orthodox clergy who were geologists (or geologically informed)
    such as Buckland, Sedgwick Conybeare, henslow, Wilberforce and of course HF
    Lyte who wrote Abide with me , when he was dying of respiratory disease
    caused by looking for human remains in dank caves.

    I find there are two groups of Christians who seem to adopt the conflict
    thesis of science and religion to justify their theologies.
    1) The modernists or wooly liberals, who start by taking the conflict line
    as we find in Ted davies' favourite book Andrew White The Warfare of Science
    with theology and then argue that until the 1890s Christians were stuck on
    literalism and the Modernists were the first to accept science and that
    means out with any orthodox belief e.g Atonement divinity of Christ etc etc.
    A good recent example is Paul Badham The Contemporary Challenge of Modernist
    Theolgy and of course Spong's nonsense
    2) The YEcreationists who want to demonstrate that orthodox Christianity is
    literalism with a 6 day creation etc.
    Neither have history on their side.



    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Steve Bishop" <>
    To: <>
    Cc: <>
    Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 8:18 PM
    Subject: Re: P.J. Bowler book

    > Michael,
    > You might be interested to read my article on Bishop Barnes, science and
    > religion:
    > I'd be interested in what you - or anyone else - thinks about it.
    > Steve
    > _________________________________________________________________
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