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James Garth
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My wife loved the way that the film presented an appealing glimpse of what a 'resurrection body' might be like... I loved that scene where Jake runs for pure joy after entering his Avatar for the first time and feels his legs again... it's as if his new 'resurrection body' were MORE real; MORE alive than his earthly one. Fascinating!
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2010 on Avatar at Mark Conner's Space
Thanks for the feedback, Samuel & Peter, Actually, I do believe that God spoke man into existence, in terms of His divine agency. As John Lennox reminds us; the question is not about God's "agency" but about the "mechanism" that He used. I see no necessary conflict between an evolutionary paradigm and passages in Genesis which tell us that God formed Adam 'from the dust of the earth' and that he desired the seas and the land to 'bring forth' creatures of wondrous variety. Also, the 'coupling' between the Genesis days 1-4, 2-5 and 3-6 (and the fact that the 7th day is not closed out) tells me that we're dealing with a very complex passage here that does not necessarily need to be read linearly or literally (as Augustine, Aquinas, Origen and Wesley all observed). But ultimately, whether it's creatio ex nihilo or creatio continua, it's still creation in my books! :) My personal story is that I came from a background which was quite sympathetic to ID in the biological realm and I even flirted with YEC in my younger years. But it was reading deeply about genetics that changed my mind on this issue. (on this score I can heartily recommend Francis Collins' book 'The Language of God' or anything by John Polkinghorne or Denis Alexander for faith-affirming, God-focussed explorations of these issues) As for the universe, I have always found big bang cosmology (let there be light!) and stellar evolution to be particularly persuasive (and I'm very familiar with the science on these matters). I'd pleasantly disagree with the claim that the science of the last few decades supports a young earth; no reputable reputable scientific body (NASA, Royal Society, AAAS, NAS, CSIRO) would agree with that claim. There's simply too much evidence from geological strata, radiative isotope dating, frequency and distribution of impact events, dating of other bodies in our solar system based on crater distribution, etc. The Earth has been here for a long time; it takes an a priori commitment to a certain prescriptive view of Genesis to hold otherwise. But this need not worry Christians; because it's not science versus the Bible: they are complementary accounts. We need both the Book of Nature and the Book of Scripture to guide our way. Science tells us the 'how'; Scripture the 'why'. Ironically, I havn't found the transition to this worldview threatening in any way; if anything it's enriched my understanding of God's creative processes. Blessings, James
I hope that Christians don't take the bait and confuse the question of evolution with the question of God. Don't buy into that false dichotomy! I'm saddened that the Australian media has picked up on the Fielding/Dawkins debate; in my opinion it's a cringe-inducing sideshow of extreme opinions, leaving no room for more thoughtful, balanced interaction. A very considerable amount of heavyweight Christian thinkers (McGrath, Polkinghorne, Collins, Conway-Morris, Alexander, Haught, Haldane, Swinburne, etc.) - even the Pope from what I'm aware - see no conflict with a God who has utilized the evolutionary process to bring about his ends. As Polkinghorne says, it's just as clever (argurably even cleverer) if the Creator decided to create a universe where creatures create themselves! Better to focus on presenting the evidence for Christianity (historicity of Christ, religious experience, prophecy, etc.) and for intellectual theism in general (causality, fine-tuning and moral law) then get mired down in a debate which hinges on how we interpret a very complex passage in Genesis (which has been debated within Christianity by respectable theologians for centuries, and for which a variety of permissible interpretations exist) I know this issue stirs a lot of passion within various parts of the Christian community, but we need to recognize that there's a lot more to apologetics than the small slice of the pie that Comfort and CMI tend to focus on. It's scientism, not science, and evolutionism, not evolution, that are the real enemies here. Blessings, James
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Mar 17, 2010