NT Wright: If Creation is Through Christ, Evolution is What You Would Expect

(system) #1
We must start with what we know of Jesus’ own vision of truth and the kingdom and power and ask what that might mean for creation itself.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/guest/nt-wright-if-creation-is-through-christ-evolution-is-what-you-would-expect


I’ve watched the four minute clip of NT’s presentation. I appreciated the emphasis, not least that the good professor appeared to be quite tightly bound to his notes and seemed to be reading them. Times past with Wright, he seemed to speak “off the cuff” in multiple enclicopedic paragraphs without notes. So he seemed quite human :grinning:

? NT spoke about Jesus creating and sustaining Creation emphasizing the generous nature of Jesus. What of earthquakes, tsunamis that obliterate people and places? I get that I should watch NT’s entire presentation but thought I’d ask because those questions were bouncing around my brain as I watched the 4 min clip.

Larry Schmidt

(Curtis Henderson) #3

I’m much more familiar with scientific presentations than philosophical or theological, but I believe it is standard practice to read from a prepared document, or at least have a well-organized guide for a talk. It has little to do with perceived “humanity”.

Your question is the same that has been asked, discussed, and debated for centuries. I tend to think it is one of those things we will only know when “face to face”.

(Doug B) #4

I’ve never heard this perspective and find it quite intriguing. Going a step further, creation and the discussion around it must lead to our mission here on earth–the spreading of the gospel. How can Biologos equip us to minister the gospel–to the skeptical life scientist, to the secular crowds at “Science” rallies, to the lonely materialists etc? That has been my question for some time–how to connect with gospel proclamation.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #5

Praise God that we finally have someone who has taken a NT view of evolution and found it to be very compatible with Christianity,

However I must point out that Darwin and modern evolutionists take a position which is directly opposed to Jesus in that they based their understanding of evolution not on the abundance of Nature, but the lack of abundance of Nature.

Charles Darwin based his view of Natural Selection based on the understanding that population grow geometrically, while the food supply grows arithmetically. Thus population out paces food supply which leads a struggle for survival won by the fittest, which are selected.

Thus Darwinian evolution is based on scarcity, while Jesus spoke of abundance. Too be sure there can be scarcity if people do not act as good stewards of nature’s abundance, but Darwinian evolution ignored this and focuses on the “selfish gene” and the War of Nature.

Darwinian is based on scarcity and conflict, while abundance and sharing. It is revealing to me that in the last presidential was won by the candidate who appealed to fear and not to faith. He appealed to fear of others and fear that the US was becoming a second class power militarily and economically.

Besides the fact that this is an outright lie and he had no real way of strengthening our nation, this appeal was anti-Christian in that it was based on fear as well as lies. It is about time that God Church stands up for the truth, that Darwinian survival of the fittest is false and so is the politics of fear and selfishness.

(Phil) #6

Not to be redundant again, :wink:, but Wright’s example has made me continue to ponder while weeding my garden as to whether God takes pleasure in the process: planting the garden in Eden, developing both individuals and the church, and so forth, including the “growing” of life through evolution.


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(Mario Anthony Russo) #8

Great question, Larry. Prof. Wright deals at length with this question and others like it in his book, Evil and the Justice of God. I would heartily recommend this book if you are interested in receiving a thorough treatment from Wright on the subject.

(Peaceful Science) #9

This, in my view as a scientist in a secular institution, is one of most important and neglected problems. If not from evolutionary creationist, who will our world hear the Gospel from without being asked to leave science?

@praveens have done good work here, as has Collins. My effort here:


What do you think?


Thanks Mario, I may well have read NT on this, just forget the dynamic between Jesus as creator and God (the father) as creator. I still haven’t watched the entire presentation. But just to do a thought experiment it see,s to me that some theological systems and people emphasize God sending natural events as judgment upon people. Didn’t Piper say something about a tornado or something? Anyway, my guess is the person and system doing so can more easily focus on God the Father sending the event (tsunami. Tornado, earthquake) then thinking of Jesus doing the same. Even though the theological system/person may hold doctrinally that Jesus was the co-creator who now holds all things together, but experientially the person thinks of God the father doing the deed not Jesus.

(Doug B) #11


I will watch that, thanks for sharing. I am in favor of a new strategic direction for BioLogos that takes it’s early experience in this dialogue and translates it into a gospel movement. If BioLogos has been influential through patient, logical, and innovative dialogue (which it has!)–it will be doubly successful through gospel proclamation and discipleship. Partners might be churches at the intersection of evangelism and theistic evolution. Okay that’s a short list now, but the Anglican Church in North America is an example, to the best of my knowledge. I’m sure others, currently “open” to the theistic evolution, would join. Of course prayer and personal effort are the best way to launch these things. And so, I will do my part.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #12

It must be pointed out that the parable of the sower is based on ecology, not Darwinism. The seed survives and thrives when it lands in the right ecological niche. It is not the genes of the seed that enable it to grow, but the favorable environment.

God makes the seed and God makes the environment. When both come together plants grow and produce. It is not only the goodness of the seed or message, but the receptivity of the soil or spirit. Often time we reject good messages or seeds, because it is not what we want or expect to hear. this is a sin against the Holy Spirit.

BioLogos has been given a great message by N.T. Wright. It needs to be true to that message and not reduce it to evolution is compatible with evolution, because Jesus/evolution is different from Darwinian evolution. This probably will turn off some vocal scientists, but will hopefully open the ears of some conservative and liberal Christians.

(Peaceful Science) #13

I cannot speak for BioLogos except to say that they do embrace my efforts here.

You might also want to see this talk “Is Jesus Greater than Anti-Evolutionism?”:

And this sermon series I just did on “The Gospel in Scientific World”.

What is Science? http://www.outpourstl.org/?p=2296
What is the Gospel? http://www.outpourstl.org/?p=2309
What is Science in Light of Jesus? http://www.outpourstl.org/?p=2310

And these Urbana Missions seminar on the topic:


If this something of interest to you @Doug_Bodde, consider working with @David_Buller about bringing me to your Church or University community to talk more about this. This is really where my focus. Engaging the greta call of our faith to confess Jesus to a scientific world, in the language they understand.


Joshua (Swamidass), I just read your “Confident Faith” essay. It was magnificent! You covered many key themes, and kept coming back to the essential truth that the evidence Jesus offers is not some sign which is subject to our scientific scrutiny, but is rather the historical Resurrection. Unless God enlightens people, their idolatry will prevent them from discerning Him among their observations of nature.

FYI, I could not get the link in your comment to work. I tracked this down on the web via google. Here is the link that worked for me (which I know looks identical to what is in your comment):

(Doug B) #15

Wow, I will review these talks, thank you. I’ll also poke around the Rochester, MN and Mayo Clinic communities for a similar opportunity for you to speak.

In Christ,
Doug Bodde

(Christy Hemphill) #17

A post was split to a new topic: Reconciling RTB and BioLogos Biblical Creation Models