Monday, May 20, 2013
"I don't believe in evolution, I always want to be free; Ain't gonna let no anthropologist make a monkey out of me." The late Larry Norman is one of my favorite Christian musicians. But I always wince when I hear those lyrics. It's the sort of rhetoric we hear often. Not long ago one of my students…read more.
Monday, May 13, 2013
In the beginning I was a Nazarene. And although according to statistics people my age are unlikely to continue to be a part of the church, I am still a Nazarene. I believe that it has something to do with the way the community of faith that formed me dealt with my doubts and questions. Not only am I…read more.
Monday, May 6, 2013
I have no doubt that the Lord God could easily provide humanity with a detailed scientific manual, which explains the creation of the universe and answers all the modern questions regarding evolution, fossils, age of the earth, dinosaurs, etc. However, that is not what we have in the case of Genesis…read more.
Monday, April 29, 2013
I confess that my method of reading and interpreting the Bible has evolved over the last forty-three years since I entered the field of Religion from the field of science. This shift was in response to a statement I heard in the setting of a theology class taught by Forrest Benner, professor of Theology…read more.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
When it comes to thinking about God, creation and evolution, I had an advantage over many who grew up evangelical. Growing up on a southern Great Plains farm, I observed evolution happening in all kinds of venues. We grew both milo and cotton until the Russian Grain Embargo and the OPEC-induced Oil…read more.
Monday, April 22, 2013
"So, how could anyone believe the earth is more than 8,000 years old?" "Do you really believe that humans came from monkeys?" Perhaps questions like these come my way because I am a professional chemist and an Evangelical Christian. My family gave me a Christ-centered home and the love of Scripture;…read more.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I am appreciative to those who recognize that there ought to be a place where serious conversation can take place regarding the relationship between evolutionary theory and Christianity's faith affirmations. I'm appreciative because I am not of the opinion that evolutionary theory poses no challenge…read more.
Monday, April 15, 2013
I have the great honor of pastoring in a college town. With dozens of colleges, business schools, universities and technical schools around, there is no shortage of teachers and learners to season every conversation and challenge every assumption. Every week our pews are filled with chemists, physicists,…read more.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Living on a university campus requires a multi-lingual approach to intellectual discourse. The process of engendering a healthy conversation surrounding theology and evolution necessitates just such a capacity. Ludwig Wittgenstein provocatively writes, "A main cause of philosophical disease – a one-sided…read more.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Permission to explore evolution. That is what I wanted deep down, but it is not what I heard from pastors, teachers, or my family. I remember being kept away from the human evolution section of natural history museums and being told that scientists were just out to prove that God didn't have anything…read more.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
In chemistry, litmus tests are used to determine pH, the level of acidity in different substances. Around 1300 A.D., Spanish alchemist Arnaldus de Villa Nova was credited with developing these strips of paper that quickly reveal levels of acidity so chemists know what kind of material with which they…read more.
Monday, April 1, 2013
As a Wesleyan theologian, I'm passionately committed to two things. First and foremost, I'm committed to Scripture and the truth to which it testifies about who God is, who we are, and how we relate to God. In my mind, that book must be absolutely trustworthy because without it, we'd be in the dark.…read more.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
It was in a General Zoology course at Southern Nazarene University where I encountered a Christian perspective on evolution that I had never heard before. I was shocked and yet relieved when the professor declared, "There is no need for your faith to be in conflict with your understanding of science."…read more.
Monday, March 25, 2013
I am not sure. I am not sure if the Genesis account of creation should be taken literally. I am not sure how it was understood by those who first received it. I am not sure if they asked the same questions I ask today. I am not sure if they cared about the same issues as those who sit in my congregation…read more.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Creator creates creation.1 This simple sentence encapsulates what every believer of Scripture discerns to be true about God. God is creator. As creator, God has acted and continues to act with creation to shape and mold and frame the manifold complexity and beauty of the world. Creation is the object…read more.
Monday, March 18, 2013
False dilemma - a logical fallacy which involves presenting two opposing views, options or outcomes in such a way that they seem to be the only possibilities: that is, if one is true, the other must be false, or, more typically, if you do not accept one then the other must be accepted.1 Despite having…read more.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Questions of human origins and humans' role in creation constituted a significant focus in my undergraduate study in theology at Southern Nazarene University in the late 1960s. These questions did not evaporate in my graduate study in psychology at state universities. Rather, they became more focused…read more.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Charitable Discourse The first victim of many engaged conversations about evolution is charitable discourse. Conservative Christian fundamentalism marks out one position and scientific fundamentalism marks out an opposing position. Each makes an exclusive claim on the Truth (as piety or intellectual…read more.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Let me share with you my personal story. I truly do not remember whether I was ever taught or personally believed what would be referred to as a "young earth, six day creationist" belief. I do know that I grew up in a very conservative and legalistic Iowa Nazarene parsonage. I don't think creation versus…read more.
Monday, March 4, 2013
Growing up in the Church of the Nazarene, when I did (born 1970) and where I did (Southern California), meant that I was somehow given a lot of what could be called run-of-the-mill, nondescript conservative evangelicalism—of the Wesleyan-Arminian variety, to be sure, but also of the general North American…read more.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Perhaps my experience is not the norm for a lifelong Nazarene, but evolution has never been terribly problematic for me. I cannot say the same, of course, for reductionistic naturalism. Not surprisingly, I have always viewed materialistic thinking as fundamentally incompatible with my Christian faith,…read more.
Monday, February 25, 2013
"You don't take Scripture seriously." I was a junior in college when I heard those words spoken by my favorite professor in a class on some of my favorite books of the Bible, and I was instantly offended. I didn't take Scripture seriously? How anyone could say such a thing was beyond me. This man clearly…read more.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life.... And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory..." These…read more.
Monday, February 18, 2013
At the age of nine, while attending a youth camp, I first understood the claims of the Gospel and yielded my life to God. That yielding was more than an emotional experience, for it also was the recognition that God had called me into professional ministry. During my teens, this call continued to be…read more.
Monday, February 11, 2013
May I share an honest confession? I was initially hesitant to participate in this project because of my role as president of a Christian university. At Trevecca Nazarene University, we are willing to ask hard questions and converse with a maturing generation. However, I know that many people have already…read more.
Monday, February 11, 2013
The Christian Faith has always had to adapt to the proven findings of science. For example, the biblical writers all reflected the "cosmological" view current in their day. They thought the world was flat. Above it was the blue dome of the sky, and above that lived God, the angels, and departed saints.…read more.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Growing up, I never imagined there was a perceived incompatibility between faith in the Creator God and the biological descriptions of the mechanisms of evolution. Now, I am not so naive about these perspectives. Some people do feel that Creator God's sovereignty is threatened by treating evolutionary…read more.