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The Goodness of God’s Creation

My current stroll through the Bible is slow enough that it allows me to notice and think about things. I’m reading about a chapter a day, and that gives me the chance to mull it over in my mind.

IFLike this:

“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” — Genesis 1:31 NRSV

This verse appears at a significant place. It is a summing up statement, coming at the end of the sixth day it is also a statement about the whole world that God had created. The seventh day will be a day of rest.

So, it represents God’s evaluation of the world that has been created: “very good” (ט֖וֹב מְאֹ֑ד).

How often I have lost this perspective of the essential goodness of the world. Part of this is my scientific background, by which I learned about the concept of entropy. Entropy is random disorder. The second law of thermodynamics asserts that natural processes favor the increase of random disorder. With the apostle Paul I have a strong sense that the world is in “bondage to decay.” (Romans 8:21 NRSV). I see the cruelty of life more often than I appreciate its beauty and wonder. I used to have trouble singing: (more…)

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The Place of Human Beings in the Created Order

Wolfhart Pannenberg

Wolfhart Pannenberg

In accord with the over-all future orientation of his theology, Wolfhart Pannenberg sees the dignity of the human race as being based on human destiny. It is less a matter of human status in the created world, than it is a matter of the destiny of the human race, which has been revealed in the Scriptures. I find this a very helpful perspective. He writes:

Only from the standpoint of the religiously and biblically grounded awareness of their destiny of fellowship with God, the author of the universe, can we say assuredly, however, that all creation culminates in humanity.

Systematic Theology, Volume 2, Chapter 8, page 175.

This intellectual move saves the theologian from saying that the status of the human race in the created world is rooted in inherent abilities that set the human creation apart from the rest of the created world — especially the animal world. (more…)

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A Wesleyan Perspective on Human Sexuality

gendersFirst, let me say a word about what I mean by using the word “Wesleyan” in this title.

There is some latitude (in my view) in what it means to have a “Wesleyan” perspective. No one is likely to follow Wesley in everything he said. I’m quite willing to settle for a rather open & relaxed characterization of Wesleyan theology: it is a theology that takes its cues from the teaching and ministry of John Wesley.

In light of this, I ask the following question.

Is there something distinctive about Wesleyan teaching that can give Christians guidance as we think about human sexuality? I think there is. (more…)

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John Walton Comments on the “Ham on Nye” Debate

ham-on-nyeHere are some comments from John Walton on the Creation vs. Evolution debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye.

John Walton is a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Illinois and an editor and writer of Old Testament comparative studies and commentaries. Throughout his research, Walton has focused his attention on comparing the culture and literature of the Bible and the ancient Near East. He has published dozens of books, articles and translations, both as writer and editor, including his widely-read book The Lost World of Genesis One. (more…)

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