In response to David Campbell's statement that the Christian understanding of
original sin is not contradicted by possible evolutionary origins of the
human body, Adrian Teo said:
> Thank you for framing the issue so clearly. I would agree that the processes
> you described are probably scientifically indistinguishable, which BTW,
> seems to support my contention that OEC is a viable alternative for
> Christians who do not reject science.
My first reaction was that this missed the point, but on reflection I think
it, and my reaction, illustrate how different people understand the term
"OEC." Of course it means "Old-Earth Creationist," one who believes the
Earth is old and that God did some "interventions" in nature over the years
to produce (or to help natural processes like evolution produce) life. But,
within that, there are two very different categories:
OEC-1) OEC believing not only that God did such interventions, but that such
"gaps" are a theological necessity. This category of OEC, in which evolution
is seen as something that must be false in order for Christianity to be true,
seems to be the category in which most people today who are famous for OEC
views (Phil Johnson, Hugh Ross, John Wiester) fall.
OEC-2) OECs who think evolution is theologically OK, but believe that God did
it some other way. I can't think of any "famous" OECs today in that category
(maybe Robert Newman, maybe Bernard Ramm 50 years ago), but it seems to be
the category for Adrian and several others on this list.
When I see "OEC" or "progressive creationist" I tend to assume "believes
evolution is incompatible with Christianity." I suppose that reflects my
perception that the dominant flavor of OEC is OEC-1 in my classification
above. "Dominant" perhaps referring to total amount of noise made (or amount
of harm done to the Christian witness, or amount it offends me?), not
necessarily total numbers.
Given that we have these two very different things under the "OEC" label, we
should be careful about how we are using it. As has been discussed before,
OEC-1 is "God-of-the-Gaps" theology and amounts to a denial of God's
providence, so I would not call it "a viable alternative." But I would have
little quarrel with OEC-2 (just as they would presumably have little quarrel
with people like me who lean toward thinking evolution probably does describe
how God did it). Do we need some different terminology to distinguish these
two very different positions?
Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado | SteamDoc@aol.com
"Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cats"
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