Sunday, 21 September 2008

The old chestnut of Creation vs. Evolution is older than I thought!

In a week which has lamentably seen the resignation of Michael Reiss as Director of Education for the Royal Society, I have found myself thinking again about the whole creation vs. evolution thing and what the implications are.  In my quest for material to help me ruminate, I found a presentation by a guy called Joe Boot, made at the European Leadership Forum.  His talk, entitled The Battle for the Beginning – the creation foundation of Biblical apologetics, (audio file here, outline here), is a provocative one.  

(Warning: It's 1hr40 in length.  Joe Boot works with RZIM and my experience of anyone who works for them is that their material is outstanding, but it comes out of their mouths at 100mph and so needs all my of concentration power!  I will need to listen to it a few more times before I can get the full benefit of what he is saying!)

He makes many fascinating points, (not least about how Darwin himself and how Darwin's Origin of the Species was received by Darwin's contemporaries).  Two of them I found particularly interesting.
  1. That evolution was not Darwin's invention and is a system of thought that is as old as the Tower of Babel.  Boot recommended this book on the subject.
  2. That (controversially) the first 11 chapters of Genesis must be read as literal and that Jesus himself would assert this (albeit implicitly rather than explicitly).
I still have my own questions about how the first 11 chapters of Genesis all fit together, but I am even more convinced than ever, in mind, heart and spirit that God's literal account of how it happened is the one to believe and with trembling joy bet my life on.


dave bish said...

I'm loving studying the opening of Genesis with my team at the moment. Finding Francis Schaeffer, Peter Leithart and Stephen Dempster really helpful.

Schaeffer's commentary (Genesis in Space and Time) is great on how we have to take it 'literally' because otherwise we lose lots of stuff - like our own existence... but equally goes a bit flexible on timescales.

Leithart (The Kingdom and the Power) and Dempster (Dominion and Dynasty) are just phenomenal on the big theological themes and categories that are set up in Genesis.

dave bish said...

Also, it occurs to me that evolution is an alternative to believing that God created everything after it's kind and blessed them to multiply... and did the same for humanity.

Deny those and you need a different way to explain the number of species and the number of them - which is observable in the world. But, if we can't start with two of each distinct species we need a seriously longer timescale to get from the goo to the number of types and the population of each type.

All because people want to deny that God filled the empty creation with species and that He commissioned them to go on filling it.

Richard Walker said...

The great Bish has commented on something I wrote! I feel I have truly arrived in the Blog-o-sphere!! ;-)

Sean (Green) has recommended Dominion and Dynasty to me in the past. Hopefully, I'll be able to read and digest it sometime before 2012! ;-) I have ordered the Long War against God of Amazon too.