I’m currently reading N. T. Wright’s Creation, Power and Truth: The Gospel in a World of Cultural Confusion. I enjoy reading N. T.'s books not because I always agree with him, but because he always makes me think deeply.
In his section on Creation, Wright puts forward the case that since the Enlightenment much western Christianity’s thinking about creation has been influenced by the psychical-bad spiritual-good dualism of Gnosticism. (Part of Gnostic thinking is the desire to escape this material (and ultimately defective) world for a better spiritual existence. Contrast, Wright says, with the biblical hope of resurrection bodies in a new material creation.)
As part of his argument, N.T. offers the following critique of ID and YEC arguments:
The anti-evolution agenda (to generalize for a moment) is driven by those who claim, and seek to prove, that the Bible is literally true. But when they have proved a six-day creation, they do not leave us with the fully biblical theology in which the creator God will redeem the world, renewing it so as to make new heavens and new earth, but essentially with the same dualist, even gnostic, theology: an otherworldly spirituality in the present, an otherworldly hope in the future, and a vacuum where there should be serious political critique.
So-called ‘creationism’ is, in my experience, wrongly labelled, because it does not take seriously, as the second- and third-century Christian teachers did, the full meaning of the assertion that the God we know in and through Jesus Christ remains committed to his creation and will one day put it to rights, renewing it from top to bottom. My point is this: that the debates about creation which have characterized Western culture have largely taken place within an essentially gnostic framework, an assumed dualism which has itself largely gone unchallenged. (pg.14-15).
Now, at first, I thought this was a fair critique of some (much?) anti-evolution writing. Then a more uncomfortable question began to surface in my mind. To what extent am I (and the larger EC community) guilty of seeking to prove that evolution is true and stopping there. In other words, am I/we at risk of replacing one vacuum with another.
So here are my questions for you all:
To what extent is there a danger that our desire to prove that evolution is true produces a ‘vacuous creationism’ devoid of a theology of creation and new creation?
What steps can we take to ensure we are promoting an understanding of the goodness of creation alongside our desire to promote a good understanding of science?
Discuss. -runs and hides under the bed-
Ps. after a bit of a break due to work and life commitments, it is good to be back.