N.T. Wright: If Creation Is Through Christ, We Should Expect Something Like Evolution

N.T. Wright is a leading biblical scholar, former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, and current Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews. He holds a Doctor of Divinity from Oxford University and has written over fifty books. He was a keynote speaker at the Biologos Christ and Creation conference last month in Houston, TX .

Here is a link to a Biologos post which includes a 4-minute clip of his “Christ and Creation: Exploring the Paradox” talk, and a link to the full speech. A theme of this talk is that if creation is through Christ, we should (based on what the Gospels teach of the progress of the kingdom of God) expect something like evolution:

If creation comes through the kingdom bringing Jesus, we ought to expect it be like a seed growing secretly. That it would involve seed being sown in a prodigal fashion in which a lot went to waste, apparently, but other seed producing a great crop. We ought to expect that it be like a strange, slow process which might suddenly reach some kind of harvest. We ought to expect that it would involve some kind of overcoming of chaos.

…We ought to have anticipated that the Deists’ models of creation, conceived on the analogies of the early industrial successes, in the 17th and 18th centuries, might in fact be misleading. And that they would need correcting in the light of either of a better picture of the one through whom creation was accomplished—the Deists were keen to getting Jesus out of the picture—or in the light of fresh scientific research. No one in the late 18th or early 19th centuries was doing the kind of fresh work on Jesus and the gospels that would lead to this picture. But various scientists (not least the Darwin family a century before Charles Darwin), motivated by quite a different worldview—namely, Epicureanism—nonetheless come up with a picture of Origins that looks remarkably like Jesus’ parables of the Kingdom: some seeds go to waste, others bear remarkable fruit; some projects start tiny and take forever, but ultimately produce a great crop; some false starts are wonderfully rescued, others are forgotten. Chaos is astonishingly overcome.

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About ScottBuchanan

Ph D chemical engineer, interested in intersection of science with my evangelical Christian faith. This intersection includes creation(ism) and miracles. I also write on random topics of interest, such as economics, folding scooters, and composting toilets. Background: B.A. in Near Eastern Studies, a year at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a year working as a plumber and a lab technician. Then a B.S.E. and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. Since then, conducted research in an industrial laboratory. Published a number of papers on heterogeneous catalysis, and an inventor on over 80 U.S. patents in diverse technical areas.
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One Response to N.T. Wright: If Creation Is Through Christ, We Should Expect Something Like Evolution

  1. JimV says:

    The goal of science is to understand reality from observation, not filter it through the teachings of some long-dead philosopher. That is what Darrow did, as I see it. Finches on different islands had beaks adapted to the type of food available on that island. Artificial selection was known to work on domesticated animals – why not natural selection on wild animals?

    Like a lot of things, it seems a simple, obvious idea in retrospect. There are many things like that in engineering, e.g., the Goodman Diagram. I tell myself, “Gee, I could have discovered that – if I were born earlier.”

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