Re: [asa] Theological Perspectives Without a Literal Adam

From: Merv <mrb22667@kansas.net>
Date: Wed Aug 22 2007 - 00:07:11 EDT

Okay -- here is an attempted answer on relationships between theology
and established scientific findings.

A creationist can still have a healthy scientific curiosity even about
origins, and in a scientific sense (i.e. naturalistic) that curiosity is
unbounded except for the external naturalistic limitations imposed on
it. In contrast, his/her theological curiosity faces internally
imposed bounds of faith. I.e. I hold centrally important doctrines
above question as a matter of faith and being faithful. --I also
consider it a struggle of faith when my thoughts are assaulted by doubts
of those central tenets. If evolution inherently promotes those doubts
(e.g. doubts, say, about whether God even exists), then it is no longer
just a scientific curiosity and it being used as a religious weapon.
If, however, people are fusing these concepts in an unholy alliance,
then the yoking together of science and faith is the real problem
causing the religious crises. In that case naturalistic curiosities
should be considered irrelevant to spiritual realities. Each stands or
falls to their own master: evolution to the scientific method, faith
to the object/source of that faith.

In the latter case, the answer to George's question is that evolution or
one's quest to find and build answers in that construct is totally
irrelevant to the world of faith in God. (Or at least it would be if it
weren't for the warfare folks promoting science to the level of
theology, thereby demeaning theology.) If one's preoccupation with
science (of any kind) becomes an obsession displacing their passion and
love for God, then it is idolatry (and always would have been from long
before evolutionary theory). In that case science has strayed out of
its subset into wider faith domain that contains it, and it becomes a
matter of faith to deal with it.

That would be my attempt at answers to those questions as a modern
theist in our age of scientific "enlightenment". Some here sneer at
this as just being another way of relegating religion to a spiritualized
world of irrelevance. In reply, I can only say: it is your own world
of so called "factual realities" that suffers bereavement from the only
thing which could have given it real meaning and indeed, the very
relevance you so crave. It is tempting to maintain against all popular
sensibility that it is the typical scientist who would have the bigger
gain by aspiring to the humility present in good theology, than the
theologian would gain by acquiring good scientific understanding. But
that is not quite fair. It would be a tremendous gain in both directions.

--Merv

David Opderbeck wrote:
> These are all great questions as well -- but shouldn't we try to
> answer them as well as asking them? If the "Christian tradition" is
> nothing but a gaggle of different local traditions without any center
> of gravity, isn't that a problem? I guess I'd try to focus on the
> basic outline of the Nicene Creed as a rough guideline. Or maybe,
> using propositional doctrinal statements as the center of gravity
> isn't quite right -- maybe it's more of a MacIntyre-ian tradition; but
> still, the virtues and practices inherent to the tradition have to
> stem from God's revelation in Christ and in scripture, so that at
> least some sort of Christological claims must form a boundary between
> /this/ tradition and some other one.
>
> On 8/21/07, *George Murphy* <gmurphy@raex.com
> <mailto:gmurphy@raex.com>> wrote:
>
> David's questions are certainly important but there are others
> that need to be asked as well. What constitutes "historic
> orthodoxy"? E.g., those outside the Lutheran tradition will not
> feel the same commitment to Augustana 2, which I cited below, as
> will Lutherans. Even for the Lutheran tradition (& I continue
> with that just by way of example), we should ask whether the
> reference to "Adam" in that statement was intended to teach the
> historicity of Adam - especially in view of the fact that that
> wasn't at issue in the 16th century. & what are we to say of
> theologies that fail, or even refuse, to take into account well
> established results of historical or scientific research, such as
> evolution?
>
> Shalom
> George
> http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/ <http://web.raex.com/%7Egmurphy/>
>

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Received on Tue Aug 21 23:55:45 2007

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