Re: [asa] Re: Gingerich on TE and ID

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Mon Jun 08 2009 - 10:34:09 EDT


You have called attention to Owen Gingerich's words about "choosing to
believe" in a purposeful universe, raising objections to that approach from
various angles. I understand your objections and have some sympathy for

On the other hand, I also have some sympathy for Owen's choice of words, and
I think I can add something that might help illuminate what is going on
here. Owen is a Mennonite, and as you know Mennonites and other Anabaptists
reject not only Calvinism, but also other Christian theologies oriented
toward close relationships between church and state in the broadest possible
conceptions of those terms. That is, Mennonites typically embrace a "two
kingdoms" theology, according to which there is the kingdom of God and the
kingdom of the world. The role of the church is to advance the kingdom of
God, and the church is the visible body of real disciples of Christ, who
have freely chosen to be members of that body (hence the defining Anabaptist
belief in baptizing only adult believers, not infants or children). Thus,
Mennonites literally "choose to believe," as Owen put it.

Messiah is an Anabaptist college, more or less (the founding denomination is
an odd duck, a combination of Anabaptist, Wesleyan, and Pietist influences),
and many of my colleagues here would not blink an eye at Owen's choice of
words. Neither do I.


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Received on Mon Jun 8 10:34:37 2009

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