Yong is part of a small group of Pentecostal scholars who have taken the lead in finding areas of consonance between theology and science particularly from a charismatic-pneumatological perspective. He has published widely and edited several books on this topic, and now finally produced this monograph. His goal and commitment are explicitly stated as the provision of “pentecostal-charismatic perspectives [that] … are important for the wider theological discussion as well as the ongoing dialogue between theology and science.” To this end, Yong gives us historical, theological, philosophical, scientific, and socio-psychological dimensions of Pentecostal engagements with science. Should pentecostals heed his call? Three topics may suffice to illustrate his proposal: divine action and miracles, emergence theory, and plural-spirit cosmology. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘creation’
The doctrine of creation is extremely important in understanding human nature as it should be and as it has become. Once you consider that humans, like all of creation, are contingent, having been created out of no-thing, then their fall into sin and their helplessness to recover from it makes sense.
Creation from nothing says that humans are contingent and fundamentally unstable. Part of the definition for contingency given by the OED is “the condition of being liable to happen or not in the future; uncertainty of occurrence or incidence.” This is the condition that all creatures find themselves in by virtue of their created status. As Athanasius puts it, creatures made out of nothing do not have the capacity to sustain their own existence. All humans have needs that must be met by sources outside of themselves. We must eat, have shelter, and enter relationships that form and shape us because we are social animals. In all of these ways, we depend upon something outside of ourselves to stabilize our lives.
I said in the previous post that I was going to offer a follow up blog entry related to the pastoral implications of the Gnostic temptation. In brief, the Gnostic temptation is…
the attraction of an otherworldly kind of existence when faced with the genuine risk of forming unhealthy bonds with aspects of creation that can lead to addictive and destructive behavior that enslaves.
I now want to discuss some of the pastoral issues surrounding the Gnostic temptation. The purpose is to suggest discipleship practices need to be formulated in such a way as to help individuals avoid this temptation. Believers must
- Learn to love creation rightly
- Learn to love their bodies rightly
- Learn the difference between creation and “the world”
Recently I presented a paper at St. Bonaventure University in western New York. The beautiful scenery, coupled with my own paper topic and the questions that resulted, reminded me of the need to resist the perennial temptation to embrace Gnosticism among Christians.
As a perspective, Gnosticism essentially is a denial of the fundamental goodness of creation. It’s appeal is for a wholly otherworldly place and experience. It is the longing for heavenly realities coupled with the struggle with earthly realities that forms the heart of the Gnostic temptation. What turns the longing for the glory of eternity into Gnosticism is simply the overreach. Can you long for glory too much? If that longing turns into a hatred of the human body (including your own), a rejection of food and drink, a rejection of marriage and the goodness of sexuality, a complete disavowing of culture as corrupt in its essence, it may just be too much.
Let me explain what I mean further. Read the rest of this entry »
My blog last week focused on the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and raised the issue of a thoughtful Christian response to this environmental disaster. Progress to date on the spill? Since last week, a containment cap is collecting the oil and pumping it to a ship. However though it appears the oil is being collected, oil is still spewing, while indeterminable patches of oil are causing increasing damage to wildlife and coastal ecosystems. Plans are underway to replace the containment cap within the next month or so with a larger one that will collect more oil. Yes, progress is being made, but it is agonizingly slow.