Theology, Ministry, Books, Education, and More: Blogs You Should Be Reading

David Russell Mosley

Festival of George Herbert
27 February 2014
On the Edge of Elfland
Beeston, Nottinghamshire

Lately there have been some new (or at least relatively new to me) blogs and websites from my friends and colleagues across the world (primarily the US). So, I thought I would do a quick post to fill you in on these blogs you should be reading and give you a quick introduction. So here they are in no particular order:

Christ & University

This is a new website that is still getting its feet off the ground, so if you don’t find content behind every link on the page, don’t panic. Nevertheless, if you have any interest in education and Christianity, then you need to be reading this website. Posts are written a couple times a week by series of theologians, professors, Christians who have a heart for the academy, and particularly for seeing it done well. Some of its more recent posts include Manuduction, or Leading Students by the Hand, On the Challenges of Dante #1: Taking Goodness Seriously, and The Uni- in the University. It is definitely worth a spot in whatever feed reader you use.

Life on the Go
This is a blog about discipleship. It too is just getting off the ground, so there aren’t too many posts yet, but that just means less to get caught up on. Written by Peter Stevens, Pastor of Adult Connections and Missional Life at Westbrook Christian Church, this blog is a series of posts about to live life as Christians as well as occasional book reviews and reflections, thus far primarily about the subject of discipleship. Some of the most recent posts include: PEOPLE OF PEACE and PRESENT IN THE WORLDPeter is a good friend of mine and has excellent insights on this topic, so make sure you check it out. 

Collationes
 This is one of those blogs that’s simply new to me. Josh Brockaway and haven’t properly met but were introduced over a mutual love for John Cassian. Collationes is one of the Latin titles for Cassian’s Conferences, Twenty-Four conversations held with Egyptian Monks in the Early Church. However, Collationes is not a dry and waterless place, but deals with many contemporary issues as well. Brockaway is an Anabaptist and often writes on a variety of theological topics. Some of his more recent posts include: Is Neo-Anabaptism a White Dude Movement?Confessions of a Recovering Progressive, and Change without a Change.

A Musical Feast 
Written by a relatively new friend, though we’ve not met before, of mine and an old friend of my wife’s, A Musical Feast is a blog about, you guessed it, books. Samantha is studying religious music, I believe, at Duke and is, I’m told, quite the performer herself. She loves books as much as I do and spends much of her free time reading. She’s an excellent reviewer and can really get to the heart of why she either does or does not like a book. Some of her most recent posts include, Magic, animals, and intrigue: a batch of book reviewsPassager, and A Wizard of Earthsea.

COSMOS THE INLOST: CATHOLIC BACKWARDNESS
The final blog I want to feature today is one that in many ways probably doesn’t need it. Written by Artur Rosman, this blog has been featured or had its linked posted by so many others that my commendation here pales in comparison. Nevertheless, for those few who don’t read Artur’s blog, I definitely recommend it. Artur writes with cogency and authority on a variety of topics, including, poetry (particularly that of Czeslaw Milosz on whom Artur is writing his dissertation), Contemporary Roman Catholicism, imagination, theology, culture and more. Some of his more recent posts include, QUICK CATHOLIC CH-CH-CH CHANGES: POPE FRANCIS DOES A PHIL JENKINSWHAT MAKES LITERATURE CATHOLIC?, and THIS FRIDAY’S DOSE OF RABELAISIAN CATHOLICISM.

Well, these are not all the blogs I find interesting, nor, I’m sure are they all the new blogs I’ve come across, but they are the ones I’ve shared. Do you have a blog I should be reading? Do you know of other blogs or websites on the issues of theology, education, poetry, culture, or ministry? Let me know.

Sincerely yours,
David Russell Mosley

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Letters from the Edge of Elfland Has a New Web Address

David Russell Mosley

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Dear Friends and Family,

25 February 2014
On the Edge of Elfland
Beeston, Nottinghamshire

I’ve got several new posts in the pipeline, but before I write any of those, I needed to tell you something. After several years and different hosts, my blog finally has a new web address. What was once christianityandvirtue on blogger and became christianityandvirtue on wordpress has now become elflandletters.wordpress.com. If you’ve followed my blog via wordpress this shouldn’t change anything. I am not so confident about feed readers, and anything I’ve posted on Facebook is now incorrect. So please, tell your friends, update your blog rolls (if you’ve been so kind as to place me on yours), and be on the look out for new posts.

Sincerely yours,
David Russell Mosley

What is the Theologian’s Place in the Church: A Plea for Theologians-in-Residence

David Russell Mosley

Augustine in his study by Carpaccio

22 February 2014
On the Edge of Elfland
Beeston, Nottinghamshire

Dear Friends and Family,

I am a little behind the times on this, but a few weeks back now, Christianity Today had a piece called ‘Theologians in Place’. It gave examples of American Reformed churches (not that these are the only churches doing this, but they make up the majority of the examples) who are hiring theologians onto their staff. There is some concern noted in the article. For instance, who counts as a theologian (i.e. Aren’t all Christians theologians)?. Or, as the article quoted Eugene Peterson, ‘my gut feeling is that the pastor should be the theologian in residence.’ Peterson then compares it to a surgeon hiring a surgeon in residence and noting that this makes little sense.

Nevertheless, I think this notion of theologians in residence is seeking to meet some problems facing most Christian denominations today. The primary problems, as I see them, are those of lay theologians and the relationship between the academy and the Church.

In the first place, I think Christian churches are beginning to experience something that, in numbers at least, is a relatively new development: the lay theologian. In ages past, the main, though not only, people who would receive theological training (there being no real distinction between say pastoral, systematic, general, etc.) would have been those training for ordination and/or those seeking a monastic vocation. This also tended to limit theological training to men (which the lay theological movement has, perhaps, helped to overcome, as well as note the place of women within the ministerial as well as theological discourse). Now, however, there are young theologians (and old) who have not and are perhaps not called to train and serve as ordained ministers/priests, but are called to do theology. Yet our secular academies are trending increasingly towards the sciences (not necessarily a bad thing), but this means they are tending away from and even defunding subjects in the humanities, and if English is being defunded, you can guarantee that theology and philosophy will be as well. Even in Christian Universities and Seminaries, there seem to be too few jobs for the people trained in theology. I know one young theologian who has had his PhD for several years now and has still not been able to find a job.

On the other side, many churches are (often understandably) wary of academic theological training and research. Whether its because they think it will lead people to deny things about the life of Christ, or the dating of certain books of the Bible or to change their stance (one way or the other) on issues like homosexuality, abortion, politics, some churches simply seem to put off an anti-intellectual vibe. Or, and this is an issue primarily for Bible based churches (and by that I simply mean denominations/movements that tend not to follow a specific Creed or Confession of Faith), it has occasionally been my experience that some churches know how to handle and utilise Biblical Scholars but often are uncertain what to do with those who study things like Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, Philosophic Theology, etc.

As a young theologian myself (twenty-seven and nearly done with my PhD) this is something I find myself often worrying about. Is there a place for me in the Church and in the church? I know, somewhat, my place in the Church, but what is my place in the local congregation? What should I do if the minister or priest makes a theological faux pas? What if a young student unintentionally spouts off an ancient heresy as truth? How does the research I am doing affect the local community? Or, for that matter, how can I introduce my research to the local community in order to make it useful? These and others like them are the questions that often plague me.

So, what do we do? I certainly don’t have THE right answer. However, I would suggest that churches hiring full-time (or even part-time) theologians is a step in the right direction. A theologian in the church can be given the time (the leisure, used in the Josef Pieper does) to write journal articles and books, in order to remind the academe the relevance of theology and the Church. A theologian in the church can also preach and teach, in both instances alongside the clergy and the parishioners. They can write books or newsletter articles for the churches they serve in order to help people discuss issues like science and Christianity, ethics, philosophy, the history of the Faith.

I don’t want to make it sound like the problem lies entirely with the churches. Those who view theologians as ivory tower academics who look down their noses at them, certainly have been given reason to do so. Theologians need a good dose of humility, which I think working directly with the local church can help them become. Theologians need to remember that if our work is not in some way also for the Church and the church then there is something wrong with it and with us. Above all, however, we need to remember or be told what its like serving a Christian community. Remember, Augustine, Gregory of Nazianzus they were bishops. Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican Friar. Rahner, de Lubac, von Balthasar, Congar were all priests. Many of the best theologians throughout the history of the Church were also servants of monastic orders, dioceses, and/or local churches.

So, if you’re a leader in a church, hear my plea, hire a theologian (even if it isn’t me). If you’re theologian look to the local church. We need each other, we need to support each other so we can continue to go about work of studying and discussing the Creator of the Cosmos and spreading the Good News that the Creator has entered his Creation to make all things new.

Sincerely yours,
David Russell Mosley

The Return of Arthur: A Conversation with John Milbank and C. S. Lewis

David Russell Mosley

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13 February 2014
On the Edge of Elfland
Beeston, Nottinghamshire

Dear Friends and Family,

Since reading John Milbank’s latest book (which I’ve reviewed here), I’ve had King Arthur on the brain. You see, Milbank argues that kingship––by this he means a kind of monarchic rule that takes into account the one (monarchy), the few [oligarchy/aristocracy, and the many (democracy)––has a role that is simultaneously above and below that of the priest. This is because the priest is looking after our souls but the king looks after us now as we are and is a foreshadowing of how we will be in the life to come. In the course of this conversation Milbank then makes the provocative claim ‘If Christ is to return, then so too is Arthur.’ That is, kingship has a kind of christological and eschatological bent toward it (which is to say it is a picture of Christ’s dual roles as priest and king, and it foreshadows his return). Here is the passage in full to give you some context for my ruminations:

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‘The tension therefore between priest and king is still more complex than theology has always allowed, and more genuine to the entire nature of Christianity than is usually recognised. The Christological conundrum of kingship means that the king is, for here and now, insofar as he is concerned with natural matters, ‘above’ the priestly function. But as regards matters pertaining to the ultimate welfare of our soul, the king is subordinate to the priest. Yet in a third sense the latter’s role is penultimate, not ultimate. As regards human‘spirit’, the whole person and the ultimate resurrection of the whole person, soul and body, the king and the concerns of kingship are symbolically more ultimate, since they are a remote foreshadowing of the eschaton. If Christ is to return, then so too is Arthur, so also Charlemagne, Frederick II and King Sebastian of Portugal (lost in battle against the Moors and one day to return to shore from the sea, where he is rumoured to wander over the waves)’ (Beyond Secular Order, 250).

The return of Arthur is something rather deep-seated in British mythology (I find it very interesting that the Portuguese have a similar notion about one of their kings). The notion of Arthur’s return begins with Geoffrey of Monmouth (a twelfth-century British priest) and his History of the Kings of Britain. Arthur-Pyle_King_Arthur_of_BritainIn the book, Geoffrey claims that Arthur was taken to Avallon after his final battle with his bastard son Mordred and was healed, he writes ‘And even the renowned king Arthur himself was mortally wounded; and being carried thence to the isle of Avallon to be cured of his wounds, he gave up the crown of Britain to his kinsman Constantine, the son of Cador, duke of Cornwall, in the five hundred and forty-second year of our Lord’s incarnation’ (History of the Kings of Britain, Chapter II). Later, in his Life of Merlin, Taliesin suggests to Merlin that they send for Arthur to come help repel the Saxons. However, Merlin says no for he foresees that God has allowed the Saxons to come and for the Britons to lose their nobility. This, however, only suggests that Arthur still lives, not that he will return. William of Malmesbury, a contemporary of Geoffrey goes a step further in his Chronicle of the Kings of England, ‘The sepulchre of Arthur is no where to be seen, when ancient ballads fable is still to come.’

I give you all of this background to say this, we find ourselves today in need of Arthur. I recently gave a sermon at St Nicholas’ Church here in Nottingham, wherein I suggested that today we find ourselves in a struggle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the world. I couched this in terms I stole from C. S. Lewis; it is a struggle between Britain and Logres. Logres (or Llogres, or numerous other spellings) was the name for Arthur’s kingdom (Camelot was more of a capital city). I want to give the quote from Lewis’s That Hideous Strength I used in my sermon:

‘“It all began,” he [Dr Dimble] said, “when we discovered that the Arthurian story is mostly true history. There was a moment in the Sixth Century when something that is always trying to break through into this country nearly succeeded. Logres was our name for it––it will do as well as another. And then … gradually we began to see all English history in a new way. We discovered the haunting.”

‘“What haunting?” asked Camilla.

‘“How something we may call Britain is always haunted by something we may call Logres. Haven’t you noticed that we are two countries? After every Arthur, a Mordred; behind ever Milton, a Cromwell: a nation of poets, a nation of shopkeepers: the home of Sidney––and of Cecil Rhodes. Is it any wonder they call us hypocrites? But what they mistake for hypocrisy is really the struggle between Logres and Britain.”

….

‘“It was long afterwards,” he said, “after the Director had returned from the Third Heaven, that we were told a little more. This haunting turned out to be not only from the other side of the invisible wall. Ransom was summoned to the bedside of an old man then dying in Cumberland. His name would mean nothing to you if I told it. That man was the Pendragon, the successor of Arthur and Uther and Cassibelaun. Then we learned the truth. There has been a secret Logres in the very heart of Britain all these years: an unbroken succession of Pendragons. That old man was the seventy-eighth from Arthur: our Director received from him the office and the blessings; tomorrow we shall know, or tonight, who is to be the eightieth. Some of the Pendragons are well known to history, though not under that name. Others you have never heard of. But in every age they and the little Logres which gathered around them have been the fingers which gave the tiny shove or the almost imperceptible pull, to prod England out of the drunken sleep or to draw her back from the final outrage into which Britain tempted her.”

….

‘“So that, meanwhile, is England,” said Mother Dimble. “Just this swaying to and fro between Logres and Britain?”

‘“Yes,” said her husband. “Don’t you feel it? The very quality of England. If we’ve got an ass’s head, it is by walking in a fairy wood. We’ve heard something better than we can do, but can’t quite forget it … can’t you see it in everything English––a kind of awkward grace, a humble, humorous incompleteness? How right Sam Weller was when he called Mr. Pickwick an angel in gaiters! Everything here is either better or worse than––”

‘“Dimble!” said Ransom….

‘“You’re right, Sir,” he said with a smile. “I was forgetting what you have warned me always to remember. This haunting is no peculiarity of ours. Every people has its own haunter. There’s no special privilege for England––no nonsense about a chosen nation. We speak about Logres because it is our haunting, the one we know about.”

‘“Aye,” said MacPhee, “and it could be right good history without mentioning you and me or most of those present. I’d be greatly obliged if anyone would tell me what we have don––always apart from feeding pigs and raising some very decent vegetables.”

‘“You have done what is required of you,” said the Director. “You have obeyed and waited. It will often happen like that. As one of the modern authors has told us, the altar must often be built in one place in order that the fire from heaven may descend somewhere else. But don’t jump to conclusions. You may have plenty of work to do before a month is passed. Britain has lost the battle, but she will rise again”’ (That Hideous Strength, 367-8).

Sometimes I think this is something easier to talk about in the context of Britain but with Americans, but that is another issue for another day. What I really want to say is that as we struggle to help Logres win, it will often look like we’ve done very little. kingarthur350After all, what made Logres itself so great is not the battles Arthur fought and won, it was the way life was lived in Logres. It was the feasting and celebrating that made Logres great. It was the virtue of his knights that made them great. It was the peace that ruled in the land. It was the dedication of everything that they did to the Lord.

At heart, I am an idealist. I believe in the incredible (literally, the unbelievable). I believe in Logres, which is to say that I believe in the kingdom of Heaven and I want to work to start the process of bringing it about before the return of Christ.

If Milbank is right and the return of Christ is the return of Arthur, or even if Arthur’s return is to come first, then I say with C. S. Lewis in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, ‘the sooner the better.’

Sincerely yours,
David Russell Mosley

Mini-Book Review: Beyond Secular Order by John Milbank

David Russell Mosley

11 February 2014
On the Edge of Elfland
Beeston, Nottinghamshire

Dear Friends and Family,

Here is a book review I’ve written for John Milbank’s Beyond Secular Order: The Representation of Being and the Representation of the People. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2013.

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The most recent work from theologian, philosopher, social commentator, and poet, John Milbank, is his book Beyond Secular Order. This book, not unlike others written by Milbank, is in two sequences. The first sequence, On Modern Ontology, is primarily a helpful re-hashing of much of what Milbank has done and said before, here in a smaller, and relatively more easily digested size. Essentially, Milbank is seeking to critique modern philosophy first by evidencing its history in theology (which Milbank traces from late medieval neo-scholasticism, primarily through John Duns Scotus and other, for Milbank primarily Franciscan, neo-scholastic theologians.

This is the portion of the book that is most likely to cause readers to take sides. There are those who will say that Milbank is, knowingly or unknowingly, misrepresenting Scotus and later Scotists (as opposed to Thomas Aquinas and some, though not all, later Thomists); there are those who will say that Milbank’s assessment of Scotus, et al., is correct; and there are those who will say that whether Milbank is right or wrong about the genealogy of modern philosophy he is right (or wrong) in his assessment of modern theology today. This is, perhaps, where I would recommend readers focus their attention, not so much on whether Scotus’ notion of univocity of being is as Milbank portrays it, but whether or not univocity so defined (primarily as saying that God and humanity have the same kind of being but in different quantities, this is admittedly putting it far too glibly), as well as the other three pillars of modern philosophy (Representation, Possibilism, Concurrence) are a correct understanding of the place of modern philosophy/ontology. Milbank develops this theme as well as others, such as a theological critique of modern philosophy. One final note on this sequence, footnote 140 is labeled in the text (pg 79), but not on the note itself causing footnote 141 and every footnote following to be mislabeled by one. Update: I have been informed that the issue is one of typesetting, having taken place after the copyediting and has been corrected for the Kindle edition and the forthcoming reprint.

In the second sequence is where John begins to do something new. Here John begins to outline more systematically than he has anywhere else, to my knowledge, his political ontology. The key points of this seem to be that politics/culture/the arts, etc., are a gift to the human animal from God, they are not natural to us in the sense that we have them by our own power, but they are gifts given to humanity from the beginning. With this as the foundation, Milbank goes on to argue not simply for a theology of politics but that politics is inherently theological (as it is a gift). The implications of this are manifold, but two points which Milbank brings out rather poignantly are these: first, politics, et al., is tied to deification. That is, politics, by virtue of being concerned with the human person, body and soul, and being a gift from God to humanity, is thus immediately related to the telos or end for which God has created humanity. This end Milbank equates, rightly in my opinion, with the theological notion/doctrine of deification or theosis. Second, the further implication for this works in political and church leadership. Milbank argues that since political life (that is culture, the arts, society, etc.) in many ways is a foreshadowing of the resurrection, there is a sense in which we can talk about the politic leader as having a role higher than that of the spiritual (king and priest/Pope in Milbank’s language). This is again because while the priest prepares and cares for the souls of the people, the king foreshadows the reign of Christ in the heavenly Jerusalem by caring for the people’s (or perhaps person’s) ‘spirit’ that resurrected unified whole of body and soul united to the Triune God in deification.

There is so much more I could say about Milbank’s new book (for instance my disagreements with him on the issues of Incarnation without Fall, Milbank sides with Aquinas on this issue, I do not; or his mistreatment of poor John Cassian; or the implications of his understanding of culture/creation as a gift and its relationship to deification). However, my words will pale in comparison with reading the book for yourself. This is something I highly recommend for both Milbank’s critics, detractors, friends, and fans. As Milbank continues to write (he has already mentioned a sequel for this book within the book itself) this book will be the starting place for understanding his thought, both as he critiques modern philosophy and as he understands the theological nature of politics/culture. I highly recommend this book.

Sincerely yours,
David Russell Mosley

Mini-Book Review: The Legend of Death by John Milbank

David Russell Mosley

 
10 February 2014
On the Edge of Elfland
Beeston, Nottinghamshire

Dear Friends and Family,

Here’s a relatively brief book review I’ve written for John Milbank’s The Legend of Death: Two Poetic Sequences. Eugene: Cascade Books, 2008.

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Readers familiar with John Milbank’s work, particularly essays he has written but also books like The Word Made Strange and Beyond Secular Order (which I’ll be reviewing in the next few days), will not be surprised that John desires poetry and desires that it be written to express metaphysical and theological truths. What readers may be unaware of, however, is that John is a poet himself.

The Legend of Death is John’s second published book of poetry, that I know of, his first being The Mercurial Wood (which I haven’t read, yet). This book is written, like much of John’s work nowadays, in two sequences. The first sequence, On the Diagonal: Metaphysical Landscapes, is a series of what appear to be primarily occasional poems about the Nottinghamshire and Virginia landscapes. These poems, however, are not mere descriptions (though I’m sure they would be lovely if they were) but also reflections on the metaphysical. John writes poems with titles such as ‘Hymn to Iamblichus on May Morning’, ‘Cosmos’, and ‘On the Lizard’. This collection is both and fun and profound, often within the same poem.

In the second sequence, The Legend of Death, which gives the book its title, Milbank fuses together bits of mythology, theology, and geography taking his readers on trip beginning in the other Britain, Brittany, and working his way into Britain itself in a relatively northward moving pattern. Thus the poems here collected shift from the Celtic and Arthurian to the Nordic/Anglo-Saxon world of Woden. In these poems John gives us what I can almost describe as death as life. A single reading is not enough to plum the depths.

Accompanying each sequence are two essays wherein Milbank lays out the theoretical and theory of poetics behind the poems in each sequence.

In the end, Milbank has proven himself to this reader not simply a poetical person, but a poet. True, Milbank is not, perhaps a perfect poet, but I am not a good critic to tell you why. For my own tastes, I tend to prefer poetry with more structure, more intentional rhythm, meter, and rhyme, but can attest that this is terribly difficult poetry to write well. What Milbank does very well in these poems, however, is to dare theologians and philosophers to poetise, that is to write poetry. Oh this may not have been even remotely a goal of his (though I intend to ask him), but nevertheless, Milbank here reminds us implicitly that Christianity (and Judaism) is the the religion of the Psalms, the religion of Poets (like Gregory of Nazianzus, Ephrem the Syrian, Dante, the Pearl Poet, Milton, Donne and so many others). Milbank reminds us that the best theology and best theologians ought often, though not always, also be poets. Even should you hate the poetry contained within these pages, if you call yourself a theologian or a philosopher, let this book remind you that we are a poetical people, that we are poems ourselves, created by the Poet of the Cosmos (though not in the Whiteheadian sense).

 

Sincerely yours,
David Russell Mosley

Creation Debates: Why Bill Nye and Ken Ham Both Get It Wrong

David Russell Mosley

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5 February 2014
On the Edge of Elfland
Beeston, Nottinghamshire

Dear Friends and Family,

Well, its taken me nearly all day, but I’ve finally finished watching the Ken Ham-Bill Nye debate over creationism (as defined by Ham) as a valid model for a scientific explanation of origins. For any of my non-American readers who don’t know who Bill Nye and Ken Ham are: Bill Nye is television personality who had a popular TV show during my childhood called Bill Nye the Science Guy (he does in fact have a Bachelor’s in Engineering). Ken Ham has a Bachelor’s in biology and is the curator of the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Ham believes the earth was created in six literal days and is around 6000 years old. Nye believes in Darwinian evolution.

There, the stage is set. I could give you a blow-by-blow of the debate and then show you all the problems on both sides, but I don’t think that will be necessary. At the end of the day there is a more fundamental issue that both gentlemen have ignored. When they talk about origins they tend to talk about two different things. Towards the end of the debate, Nye is asked where the atoms that existed in the big bang came from. His answer? It’s a mystery. Ham responds glibly, ‘There’s a book that tells us the answer to that, it’s called the Bible’ (roughly paraphrased). I suppose ultimately, I agree with Ham on that question. Namely, that the opening chapters of Genesis are concerned with giving us a story about why there is something rather than nothing (and what created beings with free will did with that something).

The problem is, Ham has bought into the notion that Science is the Queen of the Sciences. Nye certainly believes that. His constant imploring of voters and tax payers to keep science scientific and his exhortations for young people to become scientists so that America won’t get left in the dust proves that. Only, Ham shouldn’t agree. He shouldn’t, as a Christian, agree that science is the end all be all. While I don’t agree with most common dichotomies between science and theology/philosophy (religion as Nye called it), I do agree that a doctrine of creation, especially one of creation ex nihilo (out of nothing), is not a scientific claim. That is, it is not a question that is subject to science, but this is because I think theology, and her handmaiden philosophy, ought to stand at the top of our disciplines. It is out of these that we seek to know and learn more (as a t-shirt I once read says: Science can teach you how to make a dinosaur; the humanities can tell you why it might be a bad idea). This is the conclusion Victor Frankenstein ultimately comes to all to late in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Neither Nye nor Ham seem capable of understanding this, however, as they talk at rather than to each other.

There a few books I would have both gentlemen read to see why their debate was ultimately pointless: First and foremost, they both ought to read Hart’s The Experience of God, so they can understand what the definition of God is before they discuss the nature of that God’s having created. Second, I would have them read Conor Cunningham’s excellent Darwin’s Pious Idea so that they can see the pitfalls creationists and ultra-darwinists fall into and what a Christian account of evolution looks like. Finally, as both men like to talk about physical and natural laws, I would have them read the section G. K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy entitled The Ethics of Elfland, to be given a little humility about laws and predictability.

The debate will be available online for a few days so feel free to watch it if you have two and a half hours to spare. At the end of the day, I think both men get it wrong, which is why I believe in creation and see no real contradictions between it and evolution, particularly since one concerns true origins (why is there something rather than nothing) and the other deals with development.

Have you watched the debate? Are you a Young Earth Creationist (or Old Earth), or an Atheist and I think I’m just plain wrong? Let me know.

The Debate Itself:

Sincerely yours,
David Russell Mosley

Related Posts:

Is Evolution Anti-Christian? Conor Cunningham, Charles Darwin, and the God who Creates

‘Darwin’s Pious Idea’ by Conor Cunningham: Mini Book Review