Todd Wilson in CT: Affirmations about Creation everyone can agree on

(Christy Hemphill) #1

My husband just sent me this article on CT by BioLogos contributor and Calvary Memorial, Oak Park pastor Todd Wilson. (Good church, I had/have friends there.)

The article says Evangelicals of any origins persuasion should all be able to agree on these things when talking about creation and evolution:

  1. The doctrine of creation is central to the Christian faith.
  2. The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God, inspired, authoritative, and without error. Therefore whatever Scripture teaches is to be believed as God’s instruction, without denying that the human authors of Scripture communicated using the cultural conventions of their time.
  3. Genesis 1-2 is historical in nature, rich in literary artistry, and theological in purpose. These chapters should be read with the intent of discerning what God says through what the human author has said.
  4. God created and sustains everything. This means that he is as much involved in natural processes as he is in supernatural events. Creation itself provides unmistakable evidence of God’s handiwork.
  5. Adam and Eve were real persons in a real past, and the fall was a real event with real and devastating consequences for the entire human race. (He admits this will not fly for everyone and will probably eventually be a minority position)
  6. Human beings are created in the image of God and are thus unique among God’s creatures. They possess special dignity within creation.
  7. There is no final conflict between the Bible rightly understood and the facts of science rightly understood. God’s “two books,” Scripture and nature, ultimately agree. Therefore Christians should approach the claims of contemporary science with both interest and discernment, confident that all truth is God’s truth.
  8. The Christian faith is compatible with different scientific theories of origins, from young-earth creationism to evolutionary creationism, but it is incompatible with any view that rejects God as the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Christians can (and do) differ on their assessment of the merits of various scientific theories of origins.
  9. Christians should be well grounded in the Bible’s teaching on creation but always hold their views with humility, respecting the convictions of others and not aggressively advocating for positions on which evangelicals disagree.
  10. Everything in creation finds its source, goal, and meaning in Jesus Christ, in whom the whole of creation will one day achieve eschatological redemption and renewal. All things will be united in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

(Dominik Kowalski) #2

I agree with seven and a half statements.

This is the half one, but probably is my fault. “Central” as I understand it, is the most important aspect, isn´t it? If so, then no, creation is not the central one, it is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, which is the central claim of Christianity.

Inspired yes, but certainly not inerrant. This doctrine ignores that humans make mistakes, be it through misunderstanding or perspective. And it is useless when we are talking to sceptics or analysing the history.

This is the problem if you include a minority position in your list of things, everyone should agree upon. I prefer the original blessing since it is better to focus on the joy of life and see it as the gift that it is, than on the suffering. Maybe Adam and Eve existed, for me personally it is not important at all.

(Christy Hemphill) #3

I would think of it more as “essential.” Like he’s saying it’s not peripheral, it’s a main belief that God is Creator. I think the author would probably agree with you about the resurrection.

(Shawn T Murphy) #4

I follow TGC on Twitter and often comment that they tweet more about sex than about Jesus. I am not sure if they can bring Christianity together on these 10 points, especially on the infallibility of the current bible.

(Christy Hemphill) #5

CT is Christianity Today, the magazine. It isn’t related to The Gospel Coalition. Are you thinking of Jared Wilson? I guess Todd Wilson has contributed three article to TGC, but he’s not a regular blogger there or anything.

(Shawn T Murphy) #6

Sorry, I just google Todd Wilson and got Todd Wilson - The Gospel Coalition as the first hit. I don’t see him mentioned in conjunction with CT anywhere.

(Laura) #7

I’ve seen similar confusion over YEC organizations referring to Genesis as “foundational” to the faith. I’m not sure whether that’s intended to mean simply “very important” or more along the lines of “even the gospel rests on our interpretation of this.”

(Dominik Kowalski) #8

An argument regularly made here once a YEC snows in, is that once you don´t take the text of Genesis at face value you have to treat the rest of the Gospels the same way, of course ignoring the fact, that the books have very remarkable different use of language.
So I think the view that Genesis is foundational is only consequentional if you think that the resurrection can´t be true if the snake didn´t actually seduce Eve to eat the apple.


You said it! Gives himself away as a creationist right at number 1, so the other stuff is no surprise. Note that Jesus is mentioned last, at number 10.

(Dominik Kowalski) #10

Yes, but even at number 10 there is no mention of the resurrection but again a link to creation

This is strange. Why are the historical Adam and Eve important, but Jesus is a footnote? It reads like a creed from Dennis Prager, Jewish rather than Christian.

(Christy Hemphill) #11

If you click on the link to the CT article in the OP, he is the author.
Or here it is:

(Christy Hemphill) #12

There is a context: Affirmations about Creation. So it makes sense that everything is linked to creation since that is the topic. The topic is not “essential doctrines of Christianity.”

(Christy Hemphill) #13

Um… did you read the article?

(Dominik Kowalski) #14

Well then I misunderstood it. My bad.

(Christy Hemphill) #15

Maybe I’ll edit the OP so you don’t have to reference the title, to avoid confusing anyone else. :slight_smile:

(Randy) #16

Thanks. I really enjoy Christianity Today’s ecumenical approach.

(Phil) #17

Thanks for sharing. As you mentioned, you really have to read the article for context. When all is said and done, I am probably about 75% evangelical by this list.

(Shawn T Murphy) #18

Thanks Christy, the title of the thread says ‘everyone can agree on’ and the article says ‘all evangelicals’.

Thanks for clarifying. I cannot agree with most of what is said, but I can see evangelicals could come together on these points.

(Mary) #19

My problem with deciding how good a list this is is that I am even more unsure about what “evangelical” means these days than I am about what we should agree on! I used to be one, but definitions have changed! Some days, I want to be included - like when interacting with things written by the Evangelical Alliance (UK). But some days I don’t - like when talking to a non-Christian who reacts to what “those evangelicals” think! On this list, I’m around 75% too!

(Christy Hemphill) #20

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