Re: [asa] Wilson's "The Creation"

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Thu Sep 21 2006 - 12:58:50 EDT

There's a trenchant review of Wilson's book in this month's First
Things<> by
Stephen M. Barr (author of "Modern Physics and Ancient Faith"). Barr
suggests that Wilson is not extending a hand of cooperation here.
Wilson continues to promote a warfare model of Christianity and science,
based on some the same historical canards we've recently discussed here,
while at the same time seeking to appropriate the resources of
religion (including its language and political clout) for his own
Says Barr, Wilson

"is up to something else, and what takes shape in the pages of
[Wilson's new
book], though never avowed explicitly as such, is a new religion, or
a new
form of a very old religion. It is naturalism write large. Here are
tenets of this Naturalist creed: Nature is all in all."

Barr contrasts Wilson's Naturalistic faith with a view of creation
that many
of us here would be comfortable with:

"[Wilson's] theological ignorance runs deeper [than a few misplaced
references]. He plays with the word *creation, *even choosing it as the
title of his book, while evincing no grasp of what it means. In its
traditional and profounder meaning, creation is that timeless act
God holds all things in existence. It is not an alternative to natural
theories of origin or natural explanations of change.... For Wilson,
is a play that somehow wrote itself, and, since he cannot find the
among its dramatis personae, he concludes that [the author] must not

I haven't read Wilson's book but I don't doubt that Barr's summary is on
point. If Barr's reading is right, I'd have to say that we can't accept
Wilson's invitation. Wilson is not merely identifying a common
cause, he's
calling us to conversion to a different faith.

On 9/5/06, Randy Isaac <> wrote:

> Wilson's latest book is due out today. The summary extraction of
> it is at
> I wondered what those of you on this list thought about his
> approach and
> his appeal to the Christian community to join forces in this endeavor.
> Randy
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Received on Sat Sep 23 11:00:23 2006

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