Kevin Stockmann: Discussion Questions

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Kevin Stockmann: Discussion Questions

Post by stockmannk on Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:05 pm

1.Can someone be a sincere Christian and believe in evolution?

When people say the word evolution, they mean all kinds of separate ideas. Macro evolution, the idea that random mutations and natural selection created all kinds of massive transitions in life, from the advent of wings, the creation of a complex brain, to going from two legs to four. It could also refer to micro evolution which we see all the time. And then of courses there are also many different schools of thought on evolution from neo-darwinism to structuralism (which sees there being less randomness and more structure/design). I believe that it is even possible for someone to believe in neo-darwinistic evolution and still be a christian. As long as there is a belief that God guided it and had a hand in it, I think you can believe in evolution. However, I believe the view of evolution as impersonal forces randomly mutating to create haphazard beasts, some better than others, all filled with junk, as incompatible with christianity. It depends on your view of evolution. I believe that a structuralist view of there being less randomness, more elegance and design as compatible with christianity. I believe that others who truly believe in neo-darwinian evolution have either not thought through the consequences of that belief, or simply believe that God sort of guided it.

2. Question 4: Identify what makes the Christian view of God as Creator different from a Jewish or Islamic view.

Two things that strongly differentiate the Christian view of God as Creator from the Jewish view are the Truine creation as well as the creatio ex nihilo. The Jewish understanding of God is far more of a "one-ness". God alone made the universe. In the Christian view, the Triune God always was and is, and all three Persons of the trinity were involved in creation. The Father is the grounds of creation, the son is the principle or the means of creation, as well as its organizing and unifying principle, and the Spirit is the divine power active in creation. The Jewish belief of the time was not clear whether the universe was created from something or nothing, but the New Testament makes it fairly clear that the universe was made from nothing. Especially because the Jews had come into contact with the Greeks who believed everything was created from some formless matter.

The Christian view of God as Creator differentiate from the Islamic view for a few reasons. The first, of course, being the Truine God vs. the Islamic single god as one person. But more importantly, the Christian view of God as Creator sees this act of creation as one of love. He is not oppressive or authoritarian to force his will on others, but has created and sustained a universe that supports humans who can make a choice to love him. And he loves humans and creation, and has not abandoned it to the corruption and sin we have induced on it. So he is bringing a new creation here and the end of all things.

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Re: Kevin Stockmann: Discussion Questions

Post by Carson Bledsoe on Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:38 am

I really appreciate, in question two, how you immediately bring into account the idea of the Triune God as it may be the biggest difference between the creator God of Judaism and Islam. Your mention of the Spirit being the active power in creation as we can so often forget his presence at Creation. The Biblical view of creation provides us with details on a loving God who cares for and crafts his creation by the words he speaks. I like that you also brought into account that God lovingly creates as opposed to the Islamic tradition especially. But you’re right to say that even in the Jewish tradition, a loving creator God has been lost it can sometimes seem.
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