Re: [asa] an Archimedean point in theology?

From: Dave Wallace <>
Date: Sat May 16 2009 - 16:37:36 EDT

Cameron, I thought that was an excellent post and I would certainly like
to see ID and TE relate to each other in a more respectable and loving
way. I do wonder how realistic that is with some YECs who appear to be
part of the big tent of ID.

A former minister of ours defined weak heresy as that which obstructs
the closeness of our walk with Christ. Strong heresy of course is that
which makes one not a Christian. I strongly suspect that the very
best of us here in this world have at least some amount of weak heresy.
I think that when many TEs talk about heresy with regards to ID, they
are implying weak to moderate heresy.

Dave W

Cameron Wybrow wrote:
> I agree with you that on some issues, including some of the ones that
> Luther felt compelled to take a stand on, Christians must take a
> position. However, I *don't* agree that speculative questions about
> how God and evolution are related -- whether via front-loading, or
> invisible interference via quantum indeterminacy, or through
> "miraculous" breaks in the causal nexus, or through some immanent
> intelligence -- are in that category. Therefore, while I can
> understand why Luther might actually get angry if someone insisted
> that one could earn one's way to heaven through ethical brownie
> points, without the aid of divine grace, I see no reason why any TE
> should be angry (personally or theologically) with an ID proponent for
> suggesting that God's design *might* be detectable. Christianity does
> not stand or fall on the indetectability of design in God's creation,
> any more than it stands or falls on unleavened versus leavened
> bread. The indetectability of God's intelligence in the world is
> simply not a doctrine upon which the Bible or the Church (at least,
> any Church known to me) has ever clearly pronounced. Nor does
> Christianity stand or fall on the proposition that creation takes
> place through kenosis rather than through the exertion of God's will
> as more traditionally understood. Etc. Therefore, it is possible to
> have a sincere personal Christian faith, to accept the authority of
> the Bible, to affirm the Creeds, to adhere to the decisions of the
> seven ecumenical councils, to affirm the Westminster Confession (or
> the Council of Trent, or the Thirty-Nine Articles, etc.), and also to
> accept or reject design detectability, accept or reject the
> creation/kenosis connection, accept or reject the divine
> action/quantum indeterminacy connection, and more generally, incline
> towards either TE or ID, or towards a combination of the two (which
> is, as far as I can tell, the inclination of Mike Gene, and is also my
> own). Therefore, it seems to me that on the theological front, the
> TE/ID dispute is more rancorous than need be.
> And while charges of heresy fly from the lips of people on both sides,
> it seems to me that ID people are more often on the receiving end.
> But even if I am wrong about that, even if ID people are just as quick
> to scream heresy as TE people are, it seems to me that an easy way to
> make peace on at least one issue would be for TE people to acknowledge
> that neither the Bible nor the Christian tradition has spoken
> decisively on the question of design detectability, and therefore
> the proposition that design *might* be detectable in nature is not to
> be condemned as un-Christian, heretical, unorthodox, erroneous, etc.
> on theological *a priori* grounds. That one concession by TEs,
> especially if coupled with a resolve by TEs to refrain from the charge
> (frequently repeated by members of this group) that ID people claim
> that design *must* be detectable (which ID has never claimed), could
> go a long way toward reducing the rancour and turning the theological
> discussion into one of an exploratory nature, which is what it should
> be. Where fundamental, core doctrines of the faith are not at
> issue, Christians should be exploring theological possibilities
> together as intellectually curious friends, not shouting angrily at
> each other as implacable enemies.

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Received on Sat May 16 16:38:40 2009

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