Re: [asa] Christian Evolution?

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Tue Dec 12 2006 - 10:25:50 EST

*Is it possible for a human being to 'evolve' into being a Christian? If so,
are they more complex or simple (as a person) when they become a Christian
than they were before?
*
Interesting question. If anything is clear in the New Testament, it is that
human nature is incapable of achieving salvation. Those who follow Christ
and are saved do so only because of grace through faith, as a gift from God
(Eph. 2:8-9). Moreover, IMHO, although people have free will, the Bible is
also clear that God foreknows and elects those who are saved. I don't know
how to tie free will, foreknowledge and election together, but I do think
the concepts of foreknowledge and election in the economy of salvation
preclude an "evolutionary" view that would attribute salvation to random
events acting on something inherent in human nature.

That said, the process of conversion often involves a slow movement towards
faith. Those of us who are evangelicals like to emphasize moments of
conversion, but sometimes such a single dramatic moment isn't there. The
Bible often speaks of the gospel using an agrarian metaphor -- seeds are
sown, they are watered, they begin to grow, and then at the right time they
are harvested. But the proper view of this, I think, is not that a person
is "evolving" towards salvation, but that God's grace progressively takes
root in that person.

As for whether a person is more "simple" or "complex" after conversion, I'm
not sure what you mean by "complexity" here. It seems to me that the NT
also is clear that conversion is a radical process: we are reconciled to
God, partake in a "new creation" (I Cor. 4), and are given the Holy Spirit.
I'm not sure "simple vs. complex" is the right paradigm. After conversion,
we're set on an utterly different teleology.

On 12/11/06, Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca> wrote:
>
> Please excuse if I am about to ask what might seem to be an especially
uncomfortable question, but the thought came to me: if you can't ask this
question on-line at the ASA then where can you ask it? If anyone offering an
answer would prefer to send a personal e-mail in reply, then feel free to do
so.
>
> Is it possible for a human being to 'evolve' into being a Christian? If
so, are they more complex or simple (as a person) when they become a
Christian than they were before?
>
> Hopefully this question will be treated with care, accepting that faith
and love are also the basis for our human life, including the vocations that
we select (are selected for us), the particular sciences and scholarly
fields in which we are working.
>
> G. Arago
>
> ________________________________
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>
>

-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Web:  http://www.davidopderbeck.com
Blog:  http://www.davidopderbeck.com/throughaglass.html
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Received on Tue Dec 12 10:26:46 2006

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