The BioLogos-Southern Baptist Theologian Dialogue:
Is Darwinism Theologically Neutral?

May 13, 2012

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.

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Christiane

I look forward to observing this Southern Baptist dialogue immensely. In the past, there has been much controversy, not expressed civilly at all times among many Christian people who hold variant views, but now I hope to see a healthy dialogue among faith-filled people who respect one another in Christ.

A pastoral letter in my own Church comments on evolution and creation, this:

“…methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God.
The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.”

“Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth”.

Patrick Johnson

So thankful that this dialogue is taking place. There seems to be hope yet for my denomination (SBC) as they take a stand in this essential issue. No, Virginia, Darwinism is NOT theologically neutral. It is a worldview and philosophy that is based predisposed to being hostile to God and the Bible. Historically, science sought to find how God made the place, Darwinism sought to find how it could have come to be without God. Theistic Evolutionists deny the perspicuity and inerrancy of the scriptures. So what one believes about God is as good as what another believes, since we have no objective truth. They must answer one question. Since the wages of sin is death and death entered the world through sin, how many billions of years did things “evolve” in which there was no death?

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