Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Creation and Evolution

 I am starting this series first, even though it came in second, because I need to secure a copy of Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry for the other series.  I will intersperse the two series. Plus, Advent is approaching and I will have seasonal reflections.  A friend of mine asked me to repeat my posts on the Virgin Birth every Christmas, but I am still debating that–I may simply link to them again.  And, I think I have found my notes on Romans 1 and so can finally finish my series on the biblical basis for a revisionist (welcoming and affirming/fully inclusive) stance on gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered persons in the church! The long hiatus on that series has, I know, frustrated traditionalists, revisionists, and those still undecided (or–those who know I am a heretic; those who wonder if I have chickened out in standing up for GLBT folk, and those honestly wrestling with the issue! 🙂 ).  I hope to resume that series this weekend while most of my family is out of town.

At any rate, here is an outline of how I think the Creation and Evolution series will go:

  1. Examining biblical creation texts: Gen. 1, Gen. 2, Ps. 8 and maybe some other creation psalms, God’s climatic speech in Job, the prologue to the Gospel of John, and the introduction to 1 John, the Colossians hymn–and maybe a few other passages.  Part of the idea here is to stop people from constructing an entire theology of creation from Gen. 1-2 alone.  The other is to show the theological interests of the biblical writers–they were NOT wrestling with scientific questions.
  2. A discussion of scientific method, the nature of scientific theory and how that differs from other disciplines or forms of explanation.
  3. A look at evolutionary biology before Darwin, Darwin’s contribution, Darwin’s “forgotten Christian defenders,” the evidence of genetics, etc.
  4. Theistic evolution as a theological position–compared and contrasted with “scientific creationism,” and “intelligent design.” Including a discussion of why all 3 positions are theological/philosophical and NONE of them are scientific.
  5. Stronger focus on why ID is not science and should not be taught in science texts or classrooms–but would be perfectly legitimate for discussion in a class on comparative religions or philosophy.
  6. Is there a political agenda behind the ID movement? Or why does this debate matter?

I may finish by reminding folks of the theological themes in the biblical creation texts because they tend to get lost in these kind of debates–and because I would find it fitting to begin and end with close attention to Scripture–read from a non-fundamentalist viewpoint.  I will probably include in this series several good book recommendations–both for beginners in theology and science and those prepared to swim in deeper waters, so to speak.

November 1, 2007 - Posted by | progressive faith, science & faith, theology


  1. First, welcome back. Second, this should be an interesting series. A preparation perhaps for Evolution Weekend come February.

    Comment by Bob Cornwall | November 1, 2007

  2. A copy of BEM can be downloaded here:


    Comment by Jonathan Marlowe | November 1, 2007

  3. Thanks Bob & Jonathan. J, I also want to unpack my collection of Believers’ Church responses to BEM.

    Bob, “Evolution Weekend?” I live in the state which has just opened up a multi-million dollar “creationism museum” which will show you why T-Rex didn’t get on the Ark! I never heard of an evolution weekend!

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | November 1, 2007

  4. Again, ID = Engineering. It is always fun to hear theologians and scientists pronounce that the field of engineering doesn’t exist so that they can contradict Genesis. Sadly, the non-existence or irrelevance of engineering (ID) is indeed a fundamental concept in American education. Whether in Detroit or Silicon Valley, I give training classes to a room full of foreign born engineers who design American products. It is all so wonderfully connected.

    Comment by Looney | November 2, 2007

  5. Engineering certainly exists, Looney, and ID is a kind of “cosmic engineering.” But whether or not that is how one should understand the origin of the universe is another matter. Further, I am NOT contradicting Genesis–which has nothing to do with either science or engineering.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | November 3, 2007

  6. […] Introduction and Outline […]

    Pingback by Index of Posts on Creation and Evolution « Levellers | July 14, 2008

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