RE: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology? (Isn't God a male?)

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Mon May 18 2009 - 18:38:21 EDT

Bethany said:
"I appreciate your discussion on this (especially your arguing that the body is important), but I might add that there are many theologians, both present and past, who would support this possibility of "something other" as good theology. "

But I thought we were made in God's image??? Doesn't that prove that God has five fingers like us? Going down that slippery slope, you mind end up believing that God isn't really a male!

Just kidding, of course... I know no one would question the sex of God. Just kidding again... ;-)


From: [] On Behalf Of Bethany Sollereder
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 1:44 PM
To: Nucacids
Cc: Iain Strachan;
Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?


I appreciate your discussion on this (especially your arguing that the body is important), but I might add that there are many theologians, both present and past, who would support this possibility of "something other" as good theology. First, because the determinate nature of the future is not universally supported, and second, because the freedom God gives to the Creation must mean that in some senses Creation creates itself, or at least, co-creates with God. This would be rejected, of course, by those at the extreme Calvinist side of the spectrum but it would not cause problems amongst Arminians or Open Theists.

I think this debate really rests, not on the science, but on the age-old determinism vs. free will debate. This is predestination at the earth history scale, and a variety of options are open to orthodox Christians.

On Mon, May 18, 2009 at 1:00 PM, Nucacids <<>> wrote:

Hi Douglas,

"As for Mike's concerns, I'm with Ted: I just don't see how Mike
interprets this hypothesis as bad theology. Isn't the implication of
Conway Morris' argument that it is scientifically defensible to
content that God had us in mind from the beginning, indeed that he
structured and governed the formation of life to ensure that we

According to Conway Morris's argument, God did NOT have us in mind. What was in mind from the beginning was some human-like species. Another species could have easily filled our shoes. Now, I did not say his argument was indefensible or useless. I simply note it is a bad theology.

"Perhaps you can get out of your theological quandry this way:
Depending on your view of God's foreknowledge, he either knew each of
us specific individuals (soul and body) from the beginning (as I think
Mike is arguing), or he foreknew (and ensured) that sentient beings
would emerge with whom he would communicate (and become one of to

If it is the latter, then we were not foreknown or intended. As I said, I would call that Christian nihilism - God intended only some human-like species, and from His perspective, each one of us is just a face in the crowd. What mattered to God is not us, but the fact that we happen to be an example of a sentient being. If any one of us did not exist, no matter. There are plenty of other humans to take our place. If humans did not exist, no matter. There are plenty of other humanoids to take our place.

Hi Gregory,

"Yet, I am just as much trouble in the tunnel to you Michael (biology-centristic) Gene. Your pseudo 'anthropic' principle (and it is really quite obviously amateur, from a professional perspective) discussion makes this entirely clear. So much for 'forget my background fields of study,' or 'it doesn't matter what fields a person is educated in' Mr. Gene. Better to tell these things openly and straightforward, truthfully, as I have done here. Biology-alone is insufficient to account for the philosophical, anthropological, psychological or theological realms in our current map of knowledge.

You are not a theologian. So, on what basis do you claim 'bad theology'?"

Honest, Gregory - the "Hey Mike, you are just an amateur" criticism has no sting. On the contrary, have you ever considered that you sound like a.....Pharisee?

Hi Iain,

"Surely "humans" is just a name we call ourselves. The required characteristics are an intelligent rational being, with a moral sense and a sense of being a created being. If that species has six fingers, or pointed ears like elves or Vulcans does that really affect the argument? If talking dolphins were the dominant species, and had a sense of the Creator, would that affect the argument?"

No, it would not affect C-M's argument. The teleological essence would remain intact, just as it would if God had instead intended rabbits to exist.

"Only if you assume that God actually looks like us."

No, the problem comes if our theology entails that God actually intended us to exist. C-M's argument never gets to us. What is worse, it is content to substitute another species for us.

Now, if C-M simply wants to make a teleological argument (something akin to ID), this is fine. But if C-M is trying to harmonize science and Christianity, it is bad theology.

"But I think that talking dolphins is probably not what C-M intends; I'm guessing he means a humanoid species. In which case I can't see what the problem is."

It's not a problem if the objective is to use scientific data to show a teleological essence to reality. It becomes a problem if this is supposed to be a Christian belief.

"Is it not the case that God cares about our immortal soul more than about the physical form the body takes?"

Do you believe that our body is superfluous to our identity? Ghost in a machine?

- Mike
Non timeo sed caveo
(")_(") This is a bunny copy him into your signature so he can gain world domination

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Received on Mon May 18 18:38:42 2009

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