Christian Darwinism

BioLogos distances itself from views of founder?

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Religion news running a bit late this “weekend,” but better late than never:

From biology prof Wayne Rossiter, author of In the Shadow of Oz, (not a fanmag for Christian Darwinism], an account of his dealings with BioLogos (reclaiming the Christian world for Darwin) here:

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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3 Replies to “BioLogos distances itself from views of founder?

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Well, it’s kind of odd for an organization to distance itself from the views of its founder.

    Three letters. UMC. 🙂

  2. 2
    News says:

    Mung at 1: Now that you mention it … well, as we say in news media, it takes three to make a trend. Do we have a third? 😉

  3. 3
    tjguy says:

    Mung, exactly my thoughts!

    On another note:

    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.

    EXACTLY!!

    I was just dialoging with someone on the Biologos site about this exact thing. At first he said he agreed with Wesley who in his words said that he doubts whether unguided mutations could produce all of life.

    I challenged him on that because that is exactly the position of ID. When challenged, he backed down and admitted he didn’t disagree. He isn’t positive that it can, but he sees no real reason to doubt that it can, but he also quickly and firmly assured me that he definitely believes in a Creator God.

    I asked him why? Why would you believe in a Creator God if there is absolutely no evidence for His existence in nature? To me that smacks of BLIND FAITH! (Believing when there is no evidence)

    He didn’t answer – yet.

    I asked him why others should see God where there is no evidence for God? I didn’t get an answer – yet.
    That is exactly what this post points out! Biologos ministers to and is supported mainly by Christians who have been persuaded by the evolutionary paradigm. I doubt they appeal to anyone else. [Well, there are people with even more wacko new agey ideas there on that site who definitely are not Christians, but they are believers in some sort of supernatural power or force.]

    I find it incredible that in spite of all the Bible has to say about God and His work of creation, that they oppose any insinuation that design might actually be detectable in nature! The Bible is so clear on this point!

    Could it be that they have a stronger desire to be thought of as “scientific” than “biblical”?

    Maybe that’s their motivation. Maybe it’s a pride thing.

    Maybe their own reputation matters more to them than God’s reputation.

    Maybe the reason they can’t bear to be called “unscientific” is because their first love is science, and not God.

    [To protect ID from criticism here, I should make it clear that I am speaking as a creationist here, not as an ID proponent – but of course creationists also believe in a Designer.]

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