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Saturday, 10 May 2008

Significant Milestones and Extending the Dialogue

This past week I celebrated two significant milestones. The first was the 13th birthday of my daughter. This was marked with, among other celebratory events, around a hundred phone calls to our home. (If you have a 13-year old daughter you understand. Trust me). The occasion also made me reflect on my own progress along life’s path. Now that both of our children are into their teens, the illusion that my wife and I are “Young Parents” is rapidly fading. Time is passing and change is happening.

One year of Blogging
This past week was also the 1-year marker for the launch of this blog. As I mentioned in my welcome post last year, I started this blog so that I could share my own thoughts on evolution and its implications for the Christian faith. I also wanted to receive feedback from other Evangelicals on these thoughts in the form of comments, criticisms, and corrections. This, I believed, would make my own spiritual and intellectual journey more satisfying. Well, thanks to many of you, I can say that the last year has been both a gratifying and growing experience. I want to thank all of you that have contributed in the form of comments, emails, and discussions, as well as posts on your own blogs and/or websites.

Evolution of the Dialogue
But now it is time for a change. Briefly, I will be extending the dialogue on my blog. Since a discussion primarily instigated by a single voice can hardly be described as dialogue, I will now be inviting other Evangelicals with similar convictions to post here.
As of today, the subtitle of this blog has changed from “Sharing one Evangelical’s perspective on evolution and its implications for the Christian Faith” to “Sharing an Evangelical perspective on evolution and its implications for the Christian Faith”. Note specifically that it is “An Evangelical perspective”, and not “The Evangelical perspective” or even “Various Evangelical Perspectives”. I am under no illusion that our Evolutionary Creationist (EC) view on origins is even a significant minority perspective within Evangelicalism. But I passionately believe it is a perspective that can legitimately claim the title Evangelical.

Guest-Post Series
One method for extending the dialogue on this blog will be through the introduction of regular guest-post series. I envision two types of series: 1) A number of consecutive posts on a specific topic and 2) An ongoing series of posts on a specific theme which is interwoven between other posts on this blog (eg. Similar to my Polkinghorne Quotes series). Each of these series will feature either: a) a specific guest contributor, or b) a variety of invited contributors. I have a few series in the works (mostly at the idea stage). The first of these series will be in the format of 1.b. It is entitled Evangelicals, Evolution, and Academics and will feature seven guest contributors. It will start on May 18 and run for approximately four weeks.

Participating in the Evolution of this Blog
In the next few days I will post my thoughts on how I see this dialogue proceeding, and the criteria for posting here. This “Invitation to Post” article will be placed prominently at the top of the right column under the “Welcome” link. I will be defining my own vision on how this blog will evolve, but I will also be looking for input from my readers. Although there is detectable teleology behind this blog's evolution, its future state is not predestined.

Once again, thanks for your support over the last year.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure what the scope of 'the movement' is but your blog has fulfilled a niche that I think is important - the issues that an evangelical type person would face regarding creation and how it happened. You helped deconstruct a lot of the propaganda out there, and you explored many of the issues that immediately arise, like where Adam fits in, and a long list of other items.

So keep up the good work and thanks for the time you have invested.

Dennis Venema said...


I've only discovered your blog recently, but it has already been very helpful to me. I'm enjoying digging through older posts while I wait for new ones. Thanks for taking the time to write thoughtfully on these issues. I enjoy hearing from a non-biologist perspective, and it gives me hope that the EC view can spread beyond Christian biologists.

RBH said...

Writing (as usual) from the perspective of an atheist and scientist, I've found your posts to be interesting, enlightening, and encouraging (from the 'culture war' perspective). I look forward to the expansion of the voices here.

Anonymous said...


I would appreciate your understanding of why macro evolution does not directly contradict Genesis 1:21+24 which states that species were created "after their kind."

Steve Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Martin said...

Hi Walt,
Welcome. Well, I guess someone could write a book on that question :-). Here are some possible answers.
1) Like John Walton (Wheaton) claims, "create" here might mean "assign function" rather than "bring into being". Check out his Genesis commentary for details.
2) Why does "create" need to be in a single instant? Why can't it be a process over a long period of time? (similar to my "Created in God's Image or Evolved from Apes" discussion - see the top posts link to find this article).
Also note that I think your main concern here is the concept of common descent rather that change from one species to another (macroevolution). Even YECs are now accepting that evolution can account for new species - they just disagree on the amount of time available for this species-to-species change.

Anonymous said...


No, my concern is interspecie change which I believe contradists Genesis "after their kind." Also I am no YEC. I think that approach is very harmful to evangelical attempts to create genuine dialogue in the scientific community because it is simply on its face ridiculous. I am a firm believer in a hot big bang model and 13+ billion year old universe. But I see macroevolution as incompatible with creationism as described in Genesis and no amount of rationalizing will reconcile them.