Re: lame creation concepts

From: Ted Davis (
Date: Thu Sep 04 2003 - 11:07:35 EDT

  • Next message: Howard J. Van Till: "Re: lame creation concepts"

    I understand Howard's point about the Lutheran emphasis on Christ--he means
    a specific doctrinal thrust, not simply the acknowledgement that Christ is
    "pre-eminent" (as the motto of Messiah College, founded by Anabaptists,
    affirms through implicit reference to Scripture). It is a fair point.

    But over the years George has convinced me of the fundamental truth of what
    he is saying about the incarnation being the supreme revelation of God to
    us. This cannot be seen as Lutheran in any narrow sense, it's been affirmed
    since early in church history. Indeed, I'm told that many of the "fathers"
    regarded the incarnation (rather than the resurrection or the creation, for
    example) as the supreme miracle. Asa Gray, hardly a Lutheran, took the same
    position in 1880 when speaking on "Natural Science and Religion." Many
    Anabaptists (who like to avoid using "creeds" and other traditional ways of
    expressing theological beliefs) implicitly accept this also, since they see
    Christ as shown in the gospels as taking precedence over all the rest of
    scripture, OT and NT alike.

    My own view of the "dialogue" of religion and science is this. The
    conversation is enriched when people are not hesitant to bring the insights
    and concepts of their own traditions to the table. I want Roald Hoffmann to
    speak as a Jew, Sayyed Nasr as a Muslim, and George Murphy as a Lutheran
    (Christian). On this particular point--which I do not see as a trivial or
    idiosyncratic one, though it is certainly a contentious one--I think George
    is right and speaks actually for a large number of Christians.

    Historians have sometimes noted (the late Sam Westfall would be an
    important example) that the public conversation about "God and nature" has
    almost never included references to the one whom Christians call the Second
    Person of the Trinity. In other words, the usual situation is the think of
    "God the creator," not "God the redeemer who creates." But if George is
    right about Jesus being the primary revelation of God to us, then we need to
    readjust our thinking. I'm not surprised that a Lutheran would be the one
    showing us the way, but I'm glad more clearly to see the Way and I'd like to
    think that more Christians would want that same vision.


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