The BioLogos-Southern Baptist Theologian Dialogue:
Is Darwinism Theologically Neutral?
How should Twenty-first Century Christians interpret the creation accounts in the book of Genesis? How can these biblical creation accounts be reconciled with contemporary scientific accounts? Is theistic evolution tenable, or should we believe in creationism or intelligent design?
We posted an announcement earlier about a dialogue addressing these questions, an ongoing dialogue between some Southern Baptist scholars and some Christian scientists from the BioLogos organization. The BioLogos Foundation is a group of Christians who see “evolution as the means by which God created life, in contrast to Atheistic Evolutionism, Intelligent Design, and Creationism.” In essence they are looking to prove that the findings in science are compatible with the Christian faith. BioLogos was founded by Francis Collins, the former head of the Human Genome Project and currently head of the National Institutes for Health.
Each dialogue in this “Southern Baptist Voices” series on the biologos.org website features an article or two articles from a Southern Baptist scholar, with a response from a BioLogos scholar.The series arose from a discussion between Dr. Ken Keathley, Senior Vice President for Academic Administration of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Darrell Falk, President of BioLogos.
In the first pair of articles, Dr. Keathley submitted a two part article that we referenced on March 14, 2012 (click here). From this original discussion, BioLogos is building series, in which the BioLogos staff will dialogue with such invited noteable Southern Baptist scholars as: Dr. John D. Laing, Dr. Bruce Little, Dr. John Hammet, Dr. Steve Lemke, Dr. William Dembski, and Dr. James K. Dew.
The next Baptist guest in the series is Dr. William Dembski, Research Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and well-known advocate of the intelligent design movement, who is addressing the question “Is Darwinism Theologically Neutral.”
In part 1, Dembski compares the “non-negotiables” of Christianity with the “non-negotiables of Darwinism (click here). And in part 2 (click here) he continues his analysis of the comparison of the non-negotiable tenets, concluding that the evidence for Darwinism is the real crux of the matter, not whether it is or is not theologically neutral.
As with other internet discussions, BioLogos has included an arena for comments and responses. We, at SBC Today, would like to invite Southern Baptists to join in this scholarly dialogue as it unfolds over the next few weeks.
As you come to New Orleans for the 2012 SBC Convention, you might want to download the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary iPhone app, which was released this Spring. The NOBTS app has many of the features can help you while you’re in town, and others that you may find helpful at any time:
However, the NOBTS app has a feature you may find helpful wherever you are. Bored standing in a line? Whip out the Greek and Hebrew vocabulary flash cards feature! You can brush up on your Biblical language skills while you have some free time!
The NOBTS iPhone app can be downloaded for free from the Apple iTunes store. Search for NOBTS on the store or go to NOBTS on iTunes.
Christians in our churches are under attack. Now, more than ever, we are called upon to defend our faith. Apologetics is needed in our local churches. With this in mind, on Friday, April 13, 2012, The Apologetics in the Local Church Conference, hosted by the Institute for Christian Apologetics and the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, will be held on the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
The Apologetics Conference is being held in conjunction with the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum that starts in the evening following these events.
9 a.m. – Panel Discussion with Bryant Wright, J. P. Moreland, Gary Habermas, and David Hankins (in Leavell Chapel)
11 a.m. – Special Chapel led by SBC President Bryant Wright, who will model Apologetic preaching (in Leavell Chapel)
Noon – Lunch with Bryant Wright for Pastors and other Ministers, with time for questions and answers. This event has limited seating, so get your tickets now (in the River City Café).
The scheduled speakers for the Apologetics Conference are the President of the SBC, and two distinguished professors.
Bryant Wright has been the Senior Pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga. for more than 30 years. Once a small mission church, under Wrights leadership the congregation has grown to over 7,000 members. A respected Bible teacher, pastor, husband, father and community leader, Wright is a straightforward communicator who uniquely connects God’s unchanging truth with a diverse culture through compelling and creative teaching. His messages are centered on Scripture and he seeks to explain how the Bible applies to everyday life. Wright is currently in his second term as the President of the Southern Baptist Convention. One of the best-known Christian apologists in America, William Lane Craig, teaches a popular Bible study class at JFBC.
David Hankins is the executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. He also has 25 years of experience as a local church pastor in Texas, and Louisiana, and has served for more than 15 years in denominational leadership, such as Vice President for Convention Policy of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, Vice President for Cooperative Program, and Executive Director of the Executive Board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. He has also authored two books:
The events coincide with the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum that Friday evening, which features a debate between agnostic Michael Shermer and Gary Habermas of Liberty Seminary on the subject, “Is There Life after Death?” The discussion will also feature Peter Kreeft, J. P. Moreland, Keith Parsons, and Victor Stengel.
Apologetics in the Local Church is $20 for Pastors, Church Leaders and the General Public (includes lunch and admission to the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum April 13-14). The event is free for NOBTS students, faculty and staff. The cost of the lunch for NOBTS students, faculty and staff is $10.
Click Here to register for the event.
How did the Arminian and Calvinistic beliefs help shape the doctrine of salvation in the Southern Baptist Convention today? The Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has published its most recent edition of the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry (JBTM), on the theme of “Calvinist, Arminian, and Baptist Perspectives on Soteriology.”
In the first part of this edition of the journal a panel of scholars examine the work of one of Baptist’s earliest theologians. Last spring, the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry sponsored a panel discussion on Thomas Grantham’s View of Salvation. The keynote speaker was Dr. J. Matthew Pinson, President of Free Will Baptist Bible College, who presented his paper, “Thomas Grantham’s Theology of the Atonement and Justification.” The panel respondents were Rhyne Putman (PhD Candidate, Theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary), Clint Bass (D.Phil, Oxford), and James Leonard (PhD Candidate, Cambridge).
In the second half of this edition, four scholars discuss various aspects of Calvinism and Baptist soteriology. Dr. Kenneth Stewart makes an historical examination of the doctrine of regeneration from the Reformation to the nineteenth century. Heather Kendall builds a case for biblical storylines in relation to salvation. Dr. Glen Shellrude addresses issues surrounding traditional Calvinistic readings of the New Testament. And Dr. Eric Hankins proposes a middle path between Calvinism and Arminianism.
This edition also features ten book reviews and, in “Reflections,” a tribute to Dr. Alan Day.
Click on the link to access the complete new issue, or click on the articles and reviews below to read individual articles or book reviews.
What happens when we die? The answer depends on who you ask. If you ask an atheist, you’ll hear a completely different answer than if you ask a Christian. These two worldviews are often polar opposites. That is especially true with this question.
On April 13 and 14, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is hosting the 8th annual Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum, a dialogue between Dr. Michael Shermer and Dr. Gary Habermas. They will be debating “Is There Life After Death?” This event is open to the public; and kicks off on Friday night with the main debate followed by a book signing, and continues on Saturday with the presentation of a series of papers and responses on the subject.
For more information on the Greer-Heard forum and to register, click here.
Dr. Michael Shermer (PhD, Claremont Graduate University) is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, and Adjunct Professor at Claremont Graduate University.
Dr. Shermer has written several books that discuss where God, evolution, and science intersect:
Dr. Gary Habermas is Distinguished Research professor at Liberty University. In the last 12 years he has given over 1,500 lectures in about 100 universities, seminaries, and colleges. He holds a PhD in History and Philosophy of Religion from Michigan State University as well as an MA in Philosophical Theology from the University of Detroit. He currently acts as ‘Distinguished Research Professor and Chair’ in the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University, where he has taught for the past 26 years. His main areas of research include the philosophical study of miracles, near-death experiences, the historical Jesus, and the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus.
Dr. Habermas has authored or co-edited many books defending the Christian worldview, including:
Other featured panelist include:
Plan to come early and experience the events leading up to the Friday night Greer-Heard Point Counterpoint Forum: