Monday, April 26, 2010

Biblical Brouhaha-Bruce Waltke and Creationism Debate

I've been following the discussion on the Internet closely over the resignation of the reknowned biblical scholar, Bruce Waltke from the the Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and thought I should put together some links to keep you up to speed.

Essentially, the "brouhaha" as described by Waltke in his letter to colleagues which is now on the SBL website resulted from a video posted on the Biologos website (now removed though a transcript is available here) in which he endorsed evolution. Now I haven't seen the video but considering the uproar in the blogosphere (just google "bruce waltke video" to see for yourself) it would seem that it has been heavily edited and taken rather out of context. Biologos' mission statement is "The BioLogos Foundation explores, promotes and celebrates the integration of science and Christian faith" which would seem a solid enough endeavour and their own blog is quick to highlight their side of the argument and it's worth quoting Dr Waltke's "clarification" that was given to the site:

Dr. Bruce Waltke’s Statement of Clarification:

“I had not seen the video before it was distributed. Having seen it, I realize its deficiency and wish to put my comments in a fuller theological context:

1.Adam and Eve are historical figures from whom all humans are descended; they are uniquely created in the image of God and as such are not in continuum with animals.
2.Adam is the federal and historical head of the fallen human race just as Jesus Christ is the federal and historical head of the Church.

3.I am not a scientist, but I have familiarized myself with attempts to harmonize Genesis 1-3 with science, and I believe that creation by the process of evolution is a tenable Biblical position, and, as represented by BioLogos, the best Christian apologetic to defend Genesis 1-3 against its critics.

4.I apologize for giving the impression that others who seek to harmonize the two differently are not credible. I honor all who contend for the Christian faith.

5.Evolution as a process must be clearly distinguished from evolutionism as a philosophy. The latter is incompatible with orthodox Christian theology.

6.Science is fallible and subject to revision. As a human and social enterprise, science will always be in flux. My first commitment is to the infallibility (as to its authority) and inerrancy (as to its Source) of Scripture.
7.God could have created the Garden of Eden with apparent age or miraculously, even as Christ instantly turned water into wine, but the statement that God “caused the trees to grow” argues against these notions.
8.I believe that the Triune God is Maker and Sustainer of heaven and earth and that biblical Adam is the historical head of the human race.
9.Theological comments made here are mostly a digest of my chapters on Genesis 1-3 in An Old Testament Theology (Zondervan, 2007).”
Yup. There you have it. Adam and Eve. Historical Figures. Fuller Theological Context. Historical Head of the Human Race. I'm salivating at the thoughts of the handout I'm going to make for my students for my course on the Pentateuch next year in Milltown.

Have a look at some websites that bring the arguments together including John Hobbins' brilliant roundup over on the Ancient Hebrew Poetry blog.

Christian Post
Everyday Christian
Get Religion
Science Blog (Got so excited they used exclamation marks)
The Washington Times
Folsom Telegraph (Californian newspaper, clearly not in favour of Evangelical Protestants)
USA Today

Science Now

And I'm also going to try for a class trip to go to the Creation Museum in Kentucky
This walk through history is the centerpiece of the Creation Museum and features amazing scientific and biblical answers for the world we live in today. Witness the true time line of the universe unfold through the 7 C’s of History—illuminating God’s redemptive plan throughout history.
Not much on the shop though, I was hoping for a tshirt...

1 comment:

  1. Eden garden sex?
    The lyrics stink.
    But the scandal's about evidence.
    So forget about lyrics that stink.