RE: [asa] Evolution, theodicy & trinity

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Wed Mar 19 2008 - 10:39:40 EDT

Armenian mothers, like my own, raised their children with sayings,
maxims, and wisdom stories. One that I remember is when someone asked
the camel why his neck was crooked. The camel answered, what is straight
in the world that my neck should be straight. I believe there is a
mystery in our existence that will never be answered on this side of
death. I know many want answers to as many questions as possible for
their mind to be at ease or even at peace-let us hope this not to be a
case of pride. Where one draws the line, is a function of one's mental
ability and, mainly, wisdom.


Christ is risen from the dead,


The Armenian traditional greeting on Easter is "Krisdos haryal i
merelots" (Christ is risen from the dead), to which you reply "Orhnyal e
harutyun' Krisdosi" (Blessed is the resurrection of Christ).



From: [] On
Behalf Of David Opderbeck
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 10:12 PM
To: George Murphy
Subject: Re: [asa] Evolution, theodicy & trinity


So tonight my boys (7 and 9 years old) and I watched the movie "The Game
Plan." It's a lighthearted kid movie, but at the end a little girl
almost dies because of a peanut allergy. All turns out well and it
isn't ever really scary. But at bedtime, my 9 year old asks me, "why
are people allergic to nuts." I try to explain allergies as an
over-reaction of the body's natural defenses against things that can
hurt us. My son asks, "why did God make us so that our systems would
over-react? Why couldn't he make them work right if he can do anything
he wants?"


Wow. I try to explain -- I'm not sure; I wonder, if people hadn't
sinned from the very beginning, if things might somehow be different;
but we also have to remember that our lives are much more than this
life; life can be hard but Jesus came into the world and died for us so
that we can always be with him; someday, the things that seem hard to us
right now will seem small, like if you were sick with the flu a few
weeks ago and today you can hardly remember what that felt like; but
some things like this we can't really totally explain. He ponders. It
gets filed away in his bright little mind. I hope what I said helps him
some day.


And then he changes topics... "what happens to babies when they die?"

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 4:30 PM, George Murphy <> wrote:

I don't think it's accurate to say that Ted's theology is driven by
evolution. Its sources are theological - going back to (& through)
Moltmann's "theology of hope" & Pannenberg's idea of "revelation as
history" in the 60s. In fact Michael Welker begins his foreword to
Ted's recent book Anticipating Omega by pointing out those connections.
I added the parenthetic "& through" above because the basic concepts are
biblical. Already in the 1st Genesis creation story you have the hint
of a history that is directed toward a goal that is represented by the
Sabbath, as Jews have often seen more clearly than Christians. The fact
that biological evolution fits into this picture (N.B., especially for
Gregory, not the other way around) is then of course very significant.


BTW, my review of Anticipating Omega will probably be in the next issue
of PSCF.



        ----- Original Message -----

        From: David Opderbeck <>

        To: Ted Davis <>

        Cc: ; Merv <>

        Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 9:43 AM

        Subject: Re: [asa] Evolution, theodicy & trinity


        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 <>

        Merv has a great question about Russell's view of salvation:

        Does this include, then, something like universalism (all will
        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
        a view of Scriptures to be easily brought within the pale of
        (as much as I'd like to believe it myself... there is always
        little matter of truth...and whichever way it actually is, I
wish to

        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
        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
        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
        Wright's work--I directly asked him about this last week. They
        vigorously defend the bodily resurrection, and they both (like
me) construct
        their understanding of the faith around it.

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        David W. Opderbeck
        Associate Professor of Law
        Seton Hall University Law School
        Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology

David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology 
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Received on Wed Mar 19 10:42:00 2008

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