Religion news running a bit late this “weekend,” but better late than never:
Recently, a higher-up in the BioLogos organization contacted me via email, in an attempt to open up private dialogue (rather than public conversation). I replied in like fashion, dealing with several of the objections. Now clearly, I did not expect the BioLogos crowd to be happy about my book. If it had not registered on their Richter scale, I would’ve been disappointed. But, one might have anticipated a response of some sort to my reply. Apparently, BioLogos is not really that interested in establishing a line of communication behind the scenes. And so, to the public we will go.
So that guy’s beef was what, exactly?
The first substantive objection was that it was unfair for me to tar-baby BioLogos by connecting them to the views of their founders (Karl Giberson and Francis Collins). Apparently, they have distanced themselves from such views. However, it is not obvious to me where such dividing lines have been drawn. More relevant is the fact that I directly quote material from the BioLogos.org website, as well as from several of their current associates (namely, Peter Enns, who is one of their senior fellows). So, if this individual had actually read my book, he would know that I have not failed to read their website content.
Well, it’s kind of odd for an organization to distance itself from the views of its founder. In Francis Collins’s case, there may be more to the story; see his role in the preemie controversy.
Karl Giberson has been “distanced from” by quite a few people, as he seems more comfortable with atheism than Christianity but nonetheless wants to make his way among Christians.
And Peter Enns is a problematic figure for religious folk who don’t feel they need a constant source of putdown in their lives.
Okay so, a bit of background and now back to Rossiter:
I was assured that, “everyone at BioLogos today believes that God is the Creator, that he intentionally created human beings in his image, and that he has and continues to perform miracles,” and that this BioLogos representative “believe[s] God created the Hawaiian Islands, but [he] also think[s] the scientific description of that process is pretty convincing.” The BioLogos official also added, “I also believe that God knit me together in my mother’s womb, and understanding the birds and the bees doesn’t preclude us from holding to that.” Now, oddly, the best he could come up with was to draw straight from some of their “BioLogos basics” video, which offers precisely the same two examples. But, these two examples do successfully encapsulate all that is confusing about theistic evolution.
Knitted in your mother’s womb- The same issues apply to this example. Given that evolution could not guarantee the rise of our species, is it really fair to say that God knitted me in my mother’s womb? If so, then the issue of grotesque deformities, cancers, etc. all pop up. If God created me in the way that BioLogos is suggesting, then He also created the stillborn conjoined twins a mother weeps over as I write this. That is to say, not only has BioLogos rendered God undetectable in the process and disinterested in how it unfolds, but also entirely responsible for its outcomes. Thus, God is the author of all suffering, death and deformity.
Well, in once sense he is—insofar as he takes responsibility for the outcome of choosing to create a world where consciousness of suffering and free choice can co-exist with finite time and space. If there were no consciousness in a finite world, there would be no awareness of imperfection and no suffering. But if one takes the Scriptures as a guide, God foresees and is prepared to work with things as they are.
Taking them together, I would also like to know why there is almost nothing on the BioLogos website that attempts to convince atheists that God is real. More.
One can only guess, but given all this time one suspects: The purpose of BioLogos is to accommodate Christians to a God who isn’t really there, but it’s hard to see why an atheist would be interested.
See also: BioLogos: Templeton’s bad investment They may have overestimated the dumbness of Christians, possibly because Jesus-hollering produces a lot of noise but serious thinking tends to get done silently—and to have much more impact.
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