Thank for this info Jay. I wanted to clarify a few things if this is okay. Here is what your website says:
“We believe that the diversity and interrelation of all life on earth are best explained by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent. Thus, evolution is not in opposition to God, but a means by which God providentially achieves his purposes. Therefore, we reject ideologies that claim that evolution is a purposeless process or that evolution replaces God.”
In light of precepts spoken about often in Scripture that our doing is the fruit of true believing and faith, can you help me to understand exactly how you perceive this non deistic God you believe in performing in the creative process? For example, those in the naturalistic philosophy camp do not allow God in any of the process of creation including the very beginning but many times they might give him a shout out at the beginning as seed planter but from an agnostic perspective only. The only difference I sense from you based on these statements is that the only difference between you and the naturalistic philosophy camp is that God is being confirmed as the seed planter only and the natural forces of nature take it from there only…with a few bumps of Jesus turning water into wine that have nothing to do with the process of development.
Can you help me to discover specifically how you are any different in the naturalistic methodology, the very “do’s” of the faith of naturalistic philosophy?
Words and semantics are cheap. If we are going to tell the folks a gospel of supernatural love yet insinuate a picture of weakness and inability in God who has to rely on time, chance selection and energy to create, then the goal of the gospel seed truly growing unto salvation may falter. Just placing the label “God is in control” on the process does not get the folks, who are made in God’s image and who are smarter than we take them for, a strong inclination towards truly believing God being in control. The necessity of a holistic accurate picture of the Biblical worldview I believe is tantamount for the gospel to sink in and grow in peoples hearts. I see this spoken about directly in 1 Cor 15 where Paul suggests that one must hold fast to His teaching on the gospel which includes the very important precept in Ro 1:20 as well as the rest of the whole picture in the rest of Romans.
So far, I have sensed that theistic evolution pushes against this in the walk they are walking while confusingly proclaiming in their words different than the walk. Of course God works in the natural…but the natural CREATING things like eyes that can see color is a whole different story…and deceitfully suggesting that the natural is some sort of pixie dust with creative powers.
I have had to study the issue of Biblical hypocrisy deeply in my time as a Christian in order to confront the ego in myself over the years. This hypocrisy is not saying one thing and doing another as much as it is playing a part in a play. Labeling oneself for a lead role knowing that it is just for the sake of the show with no reality at stake. From this, if one claims God as Creator but relies on a naturalistic worldview for actual creation, regardless of semantics plastered, then this to me points to acting a role instead of living a truth. For this all of the creationist groups, old earth, young earth and intelligent design groups who identify themselves as Christians and understand the gospel are hands down more in line with the gospel than theistic evolutionist who borrow so strongly from naturalism.
I don’t mean to sound judgmental…this is what I sense and for whatever reason I find myself in this discussion. Can you help me in this concern?
This just came to mind-I am coaching my son’s bball team in what is called an Upward league which is Christian based. I was told that I have to give stars to the players for things like effort, sportsmanship, service, Christlikeness and that it is very important that I give all of the stars in all categories to all of the players. I am not kidding you, the very first day of practice after I told the boys I would be distributing stars to the players through the season for different attributes, the youngest boy on the team who happened to play last year piped up and said in a sarcastic tone something like, “yeah, last year I was given a star for something I did not even do in a game I did not play in…” Something like that. I started to laugh and told the boy how observant of him and assured him that things would be different with me. See, when the coaches are told to make sure to give all of the stars out, they may have to rely on giving them out for just following procedure and this kid sensed the act! I don’t think that this boy’s parents are believers as I have found out so I have made the effort to be real and to only give stars when they are deserving. I have seen the demeanor in all three change from almost “here we go again” to cheery and upbeat even towards the claims of Christ.
In the same vein, if a group gives themselves stars for believing in a God of transcendence and power and gives the same to their followers but in their walk and promoted methodology relies on a naturalistic worldview perspective picture of how God does His work-who is so much in line with naturalism …then from this, if someone following this naturalism method group does not speak up with sarcasm about the lack of reality of belief in such a God, they may surely be believing it in the deepest recessed of their hearts for good soil to potentially never be produced necessary for the gospel seed to grow. And this naturalistic philosophy vein is flowing with lifeblood because I see the folks who believe it become defensive against the intelligent design movement in their challenges toward them as if the suggestion of intelligent design is a bad thing
This is why I think I have personally seen so much rotten fruit from the seeker churches because they are in line with the very same philosophy I believe at play here…they say that they believe the gospel but rely on for example, pop psychology for marital advise… and the result long term…sin issues, divorce, suicide, pregnancy out of wedlock, interest in computer games over reading the Bible…this is literally the generalized basket of fruit I have seen in the only 10 or dozen or so families I know of who attend these seeker churches.
Sorry for the length…back to work I go to make a living! I understand the dynamic that perhaps you and others personally are not in your hearts what I depict here as these generalizations. The gospel coalition and biologos are voices that are loud and clear and my emphasis is to suggest careful observance in how we lead and influence and I sense theistic evolution on the very wrong track. I do believe that promoting a man made agenda of fitting in to the god of the age for reaching folks, no matter the value of the good intentions is not founded upon the precepts of the word of God and therefore is dangerous territory.
Serving God whose hands were directly involved in designing, purposing, fashioning and creating in a direct way all of the living creatures in their kinds, Adam and Eve included!