Re: [asa] Evolution, theodicy & trinity

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Tue Mar 18 2008 - 09:43:40 EDT

I'd ask the same question as Merv, but I'd ask it a little more broadly --
is the eschatological view taking "evolution" as a sort of metanarrative
framework? Much as I admire Ted Peters' work, this is what bothers me
about his proleptic eschatology -- it seems to take evolution as the driving
force behind history and in that awfully close to panentheism. (Note that
I'm not saying here that Peters ignores God's sovereignty.) So is Russell
going down that same road? Or is it a more traditional Augustinian /
Thomistic path -- that God's allowance of evil is necessary to bring about
the greatest good?

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 9:24 AM, Ted Davis <> wrote:

> Merv has a great question about Russell's view of salvation:
> Does this include, then, something like universalism (all will be
> saved)? I've heard verses like those "Every knee will bow..." used to
> defend that, but it still seems like such a view requires too selective
> a view of Scriptures to be easily brought within the pale of orthodoxy.
> (as much as I'd like to believe it myself... there is always that
> little matter of truth...and whichever way it actually is, I wish to
> follow.)
> ***
> Ted responds:
> I don't know, Merv, I don't know. This is not specifically addressed as
> far as I can tell in this book. Russell has been influenced by John
> Hick's
> view that natural and moral evil can be answered only within an
> eschatological framework--and I think I agree with that view. For Hick,
> however, there is universal salvation, and I do not agree with that view.
> It is not clear whether Russell does.
> My own thinking about eschatology has also been influenced by NT Wright,
> who argues (The Resurrection of the Son of God) that our own
> resurrections--our own "raising" into glorified bodies--will not take
> place
> until the eschaton. This, he shows, is what second Temple Jews understood
> by "resurrection," and this is also what the New Testament teaches, more
> or
> less (I add this qualifier b/c there just isn't much said about it, and it
> isn't entirely consistent with any one view IMO). Russell also admires
> Wright's work--I directly asked him about this last week. They both
> vigorously defend the bodily resurrection, and they both (like me)
> construct
> their understanding of the faith around it.
> Ted
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David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Tue Mar 18 09:44:44 2008

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