Saturday, October 16, 2021

Ideas that have invaded the church

In a history of philosophy course, just finishing the unit on Aristotle, I was asked about philosophical ideas that have influenced the church.

This is part of my answer:

The dominating cultural and intellectual influence of 'grand theory evolution' pervades the church and does much to both define its thinking and undermine its mission. At base, evolution is the story that creation is only material and came about purely by unplanned material interactions. Personhood (including God's) is based on material. and god is within the material world.

But the scriptures have it differently​. God is distinct from and logically prior to the material world. Personhood (God-in-three-persons' personhood - -intended plural possessive) is before the material world and produced it as the place were we would commune with and worship him and reflect into his creation God, our creator.

Evolution, even if formally rejected by the church, is accepted with its broad denial of the veracity of the days of creation and the very carefully set out 'chronogenealogies' that together put creation into our flow of history. Importantly for the context of the incarnation and the God who is near, they connect us to the Word and actions of a proximate God, rather than the distal god of theistic evolution and theistic materialism (the long age idea) that drive god into a deist absence or a panentheist invisibility.

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