“We at BioLogos agree with the modern scientific consensus on the age of the earth and evolutionary development of all species, seeing these as descriptions of how God created.”
To which he responds,
I first want to focus on the phrase “agree with the modern scientific consensus.”
There are two possible issues at play here. The first is the harmonization of the truth of Scripture with a truth discovered elsewhere — whether or not anybody else agrees with you on that truth discovered elsewhere. The second issue — and topic of this post — is the harmonization of the truth of Scripture with what all the respectable people think. The key word from that phrase above is consensus. The word consensus means that these are the conclusions of many minds that must be taken into account. Nothing objectionable there, and the biblical virtue of humility requires us not to be automatically contrarian. There is no biblical mandate for always believing that it is the rest of the army that is out of step. But the word consensus also brings with it the concept of peer pressure. Peer review is a good thing, except when it is a thin disguise for peer pressure.
Now sometimes all the respectable people are right, but even when they are, a biblical thinker is going to triple check his motives. Why? The reason we need to check our hearts is that God has designed much of his truth to be intellectually disreputable. That’s not a bug, but a feature. Not all of it works that way, of course — you can believe the sun rises in the east without much danger, and that water at sea level boils at 212 degrees F. Nobody looks at you funny. But when the madness of crowds sets in, the fact that it is a stampede of “approved” scientists doesn’t keep it from being an approved stampede. Think of the kind of trouble you can get in for questioning the dogma of climate change. You can easily become the world’s fool for simply refusing to be a fool.
A biblical worldview thinker must therefore have a robust immune system when it comes to facing the scorn of the educated elites. More.
Actually, a willingness to buck the consensus is a prerequisite for serious thinking in any tradition. Remember, Socrates was forced to drink poison because the consensus was that his encouragement of asking questions was corrupting Athenian youth. In other words, you needn’t be Peter or Paul, just someone who won’t take “consensus” for an answer when it doesn’t coincide with the facts.
4. An essential part of the task of Christian education is to give a biblical account of evil in the world, along with the resident evil that every believer has seen in his own heart. Where did that come from?
“The sciences of evolution and archaeology can provide some insight into these questions [of original sin] but are not equipped to answer them. These questions are theological, and over the centuries the church has considered many possible answers. Some of these options are consistent with the scientific evidence currently available. [From BioLogos]
Well, I am very glad these some of these options are consistent (see Journal of Scholarly Handwaving, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 17-28), for if they were not consistent with biblical revelation, we would have to abandon them, right? Right? Where did everybody go?
How we came to be sinful is one of the bedrock questions, and students in our schools need something better than “scholars think stuff.” More.
And third, nothing said here is intended to question the sincerity or niceness of any particular BioLogos brothers and sisters. I believe their vision is destructive, but if a destructive vision is being promulgated here by very nice people, it wouldn’t be the first time.
No indeed. It is very nice people who do most of the damage. If a pirate jumped off his ship and shouted, “Become a Christian for Darwin or I will feed you to the sharks!”, we would all know what to think and how to react.
But the nice BioLogian assures students that they can believe anything that is a current consensus among evolutionary biologists (and presumably, if the consensus changes – remember, it reigned for decades around Piltdown Man – they must change right along with it).
Who was it said, he who marries the spirit of the age will be a widower in the next? Of course, he can always solve his problem by marrying again, right? But his catechism will be some kind of monthly newsletter about what he is permitted to believe.
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