John Walton on Genesis through Ancient Eyes

I really appreciate John Walton’s work on the thought forms of the ancient near east and how this impacts our reading of Genesis.  He helpfully gets to the root of what we need to understand when looking at the text of Genesis.  Check it out.

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The Language of Science and Faith

If I could recommend on book on the subject of contemporary understandings of science and how those gel with Christian understandings of the universe it would be The Language of Science and Faith by Karl Giberson and Francis Collins. http://www.amazon.com/The-Language-Science-Faith-Questions/dp/0830838295/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347137258&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Language+of+Science+and+Faith

It is straight forward, easy to understand and does a great job of covering the span of scientific understandings that have  led up to this point in our understanding of how the universe works.   The book addresses a number of concerns evangelicals have when thinking about this topic and the last chapter alone which gives a flowing  narrative of the creation of the universe is worth the price of the book.  I had been trying to cobble something together like this on my own and I am glad to say this work has done the job for me and confirmed many of my own conclusions on the subject.  I hope others can find it helpful also.

Science and the Bible: Theistic Evolution, Part 1 | BioLogos

Science and the Bible: Theistic Evol Part 1 | BiLogos. This is a helpful article delineating some key ideas of theistic evolution as it relates to science and the bible.

Big History and the Story of Creation

Map of the timeline of the universe

http://www.metanexus.net/essay/exploring-big-history

This is an article talking about the timeline of the universe.  I think it fits quite nicely with our understanding of creation.  It is interesting that science is now pushing for a narrative to talk about our universe.  Such an inclination fits well with the Abrahamic faiths,  which have always viewed creation as part of the larger narrative of God’s creative work and subsequently humankind’s vocation as caretakers of God’s creation.  It will be interesting to see what gets added when the Higgs Boson particle is finally revealed.  It’s the last link in the unified theory of the universe.

The Theory of Evolution in Two Minutes

I thought this was a quick and dirty explanation for evolutionary theory that gets at the core elements taken into consideration regarding the overarching theory.  In science, a “theory” is made up of already existing facts and laws, which are combined to articulate a larger explanatory narrative i.e. a theory.  So when people say something is “just a theory” what they don’t realize is that in science, the facts and laws drawn upon to make such a claim are not in question.  The larger explanation utilizing said data is what is up for discussion.  The laws and facts drawn upon have already been shown to stand up to rigorous empirical testing and verification.   If we can clear up the use of this terminology, it can get us further down the road in discussing these kinds of questions.  Hope it helps.

We are all Made of Stars


Source: Hubblesite.org

If you’re familiar with the band Moby, you’ll know that he has a song called “We are all Made of Stars.” The idea is an uplifting one, it being that humanity is united together by the very makeup of our physical composition. How is this the case? When we study cosmology, we learn that all the basic elements for life i.e. carbon, nitrogen, oxygen etc. were forged in the deep nuclear furnaces located in the center of stars. As stars age and decay, they eventually explode, ejecting their contents into the dark abyss of deep space. In the formation of planets and new stars, these elements combine through gravitational forces and the process continues. Yet, for a unique planet such as ours, the expulsion of these elements proves fortuitous, for they become the building blocks of life. Were it not for the existence of stars and their element forging capacities, we would not exist. I think this points to the truly vast and wonderful design embedded in God’s created order. The Bible talks about the fact that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. This must be true, for we are no less than stardust. It doesn’t get much better than that. Hard to believe and yet nevertheless true. We are the unique formations of materials originating in the hot, dense center of colossal balls of light which we can see with the naked eye when we look to the heavens at night. A small reminder of how very special we are in God’s sight. Something to consider when you feel a little down sometimes. We are all made of stars and that’s pretty dang incredible!

Meaning and Myth

This short video from N.T. Wright is a helpful discussion on understanding the use of the term “myth” as it relates to conversations around Gen. 1-3. Many people get hung up on terminology when they are trying to attach historicity concerns to literary elements of a narrative. If Genesis is a narrative about God’s creation, humankind, and sin, then we need to attend to those elements when considering its interpretation, not time-lines and modern notions of history.

“Randomness” in Discussions About Evolution

This short vignette from the BioLogos Foundation is a very helpful discussion about what is meant when we use the term “random” in relation to evolution.   Often times this term can be misused in a pejorative sense in discussions surrounding science and faith.  This video helpfully clarifies what is random and what is not in the evolutionary process.

Flood Geology and Genesis

Many arguments surrounding the issues related to Genesis center on the earth’s geology.  It is thought that a global cataclysmic flood can account for many of the geological formations found on the earth today.  I have found these lines of reasoning to be particularly problematic when we look at the majority of research related to the earth’s formation.  Biologos has put together a multi-part series related to this topic and I thought it could be helpful for those wanting to take a look at the issue.  Follow the link below:

Flood Geology and Genesis

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

For an in-depth look at issues related to geological dating check out:

Geological Dating

A History of the Earth

It can sometimes be daunting trying to find all the various kinds of information related to the geological formation of the Earth.  The most helpful is when all the information can be collected into a single presentation to get a feel for the scope and progression of ideas as they relate to each other.  This special from the History Channel is the best attempt I’ve seen to do just that.  It combines all the various fields of study ie. geology, climateology etc. and synthesizes them together into one consistent narrative.  Its a great way to get a birds eye view of the timeline of the Earth’s formation.  What I enjoyed the most were  the short vignettes which showed the actual evidence being talked about.  The phenomena being discussed were illustrated through real life examples on location across numerous sites in the world.  I would highly recommend it.

How the Earth was Made