Beyond 'Design': Evolutionary Biology and a Theology of Preservation

Speaker(s): David Robinson, Loren Wilkinson
Date: Fall 2018
Length: 1h23m
Product ID: RGDL4802BI

Purchase Options:

MP3 Download - FREE

Description

 

This is a Interface Lecture Series talk given during the fall of 2018.

During the industrial revolution, it became popular for theologians to draw an analogy between human mechanisms and God's original "design" of nature. They could not have foreseen the scale on which humans would alter the natural world, such that scientists propose that we now live in a geological epoch named the "Anthropocene." The cumulative effect of human designs is such that the extinction of species has become a more pressing concern than debates about their origin, leading prominent biologist E.O. Wilson to appeal for a new alliance between science and religion to stem the loss of creation's diversity. It is also time to more thoroughly examine whether human "designs" were the right model for divine action to begin with. This lecture revisits the nineteenth-century context of William Paley's famous argument that the precise functionality of nature leads us to infer a divine designer, as well as Charles Darwin's critical response in On the Origin of Species. Such an exercise allows us to diagnose the theological risks in the movement from human to divine design. It also helps us to see how critics of a "design" argument often end up mirroring it negatively - and so remain in its thrall. The criticism of natural theology has to run deeper, however, if we are to meet the ethical challenge of "the Anthropocene." Our interpretations of nature are conditioned by our own artificial schemes, as Darwin's were. We therefore turn to an early twentieth-century theological criticism of natural theology, presenting Karl Barth's and Dietrich Bonhoeffer's accounts of how God preserves the creature as a continuation of creation "out of nothing." Their work has significant implications for how we discern the natural, while also providing a basis for new alliances among those who bear the image of a preserving God.

The lecture was followed by response from Dr. Loren Wilkinson.

Interface offers lectures, articles and other resources that probe and preserve the relationship between theology and science, working toward healing the breach between these disciplines as they have taken shape in our late modern age.

The John Templeton Foundation

Interface has been made possible through the John Templeton Foundation. The Foundation aims to advance human well-being by supporting research on the Big Questions, and by promoting character development, individual freedom, and free markets. The Foundation takes its vision from its founding benefactor, the late Sir John Templeton, who sought to stimulate what he described as 'spiritual progress.'

Thanks to a generous grant provided by the Templeton Foundation, these lectures are available free of charge until October 31st 2019.

See All Audio by David Robinson Loren Wilkinson

David Robinson is the Post-Doctoral Fellow in Theology and Science at Regent College for 2018-19. This role follows the completion of his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology and Ethics at the University of Edinburgh in 2017. David's research focuses on the intersection of evolutionary biology and theology, particularly the question of how natural causation is described vis-u00e0-vis divine providence. His interests also include the philosophy of science and criticisms of natural theology in the 19th and 20th centuries.nDavid is the author of Christ and Revelatory Community in Bonhoeffer's Reception of Hegel (Mohr Siebeck, 2018), which is based on his PhD thesis. The book includes material on Bonhoeffer's and Hegel's use of the Genesis account of creation and fall in their portrayals of emergent human consciousness. Selected chapters and other essays have been published in Modern Theology, Scottish Journal of Theology, Studies in Christian Ethics and Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics. nDavid has previously lectured at the University of Edinburgh and has presented at conferences including the Society for the Study of Theology (UK) and the International Bonhoeffer Congress. While completing his PhD, he worked as Postgraduate Conference Convener for the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics (UK) and as website host for Kathryn Tanner's 2016 Gifford Lectures, 'Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism.' nAlongside his academic work, David has worked in Anglican and Episcopal ministry since his ordination in 2009, serving congregations in both Ottawa and Edinburgh. This role has included teaching Christian ethics as an Associate Tutor with the Scottish Episcopal Institute.nDavid lives in Coquitlam with his wife Jolene, who works as Marketing and Communications Manager for Jewish Family Services, and their three-year-old daughter Naomi.

Loren E. Wilkinson is retired as Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies & Philosophy at Regent College. Previously he served as Associate Professor in the Department of English at Seattle Pacific College and Fellow at the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship. He is editor of Earthkeeping in the Nineties: Stewardship of Creation, and co-wrote Caring for Creation in Your Own Backyard with his wife, Mary Ruth.

Related Audio

Details / Buy

Not Ashamed

Speaker: Bruce Hindmarsh

Details / Buy

From Easter to Ascension: Ascending with Christ by taking up the Cross

Speaker: John Behr

Details / Buy

Choose Hope: Living in a time of uncertainty

Speaker: Peter Shaw

Details / Buy

How to speak right about God

Speaker: Drew Lewis

Details / Buy

Following in the Steps of Pastor Paul: Culture Making in the Church

Speaker: Scot McKnight

Details / Buy

The Kingdom of God: Genesis to the Gospels

Speaker: Nicholas Perrin

Details / Buy

Arrows of Desire: A Theology of Love and Longing

Speaker: Malcolm Guite

Details / Buy

Learning from Jesus's Life in the Spirit

Speaker: Cherith Fee Nordling

Details / Buy

Reading the Old Testament as a Christian

Speaker: Tremper Longman III

Details / Buy

Religion and the Rise of Science

Speaker: Peter Harrison

Details / Buy

Investing in Heaven: The Ultimate use of Money

Speaker: Paul Stevens

Details / Buy

CONTEMPORARY POETRY AND THE COMPLEXITIES OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE

Speaker: Chad Wriglesworth

Details / Buy

JUSTICE, ADVOCACY, AND THE REDEMPTIVE POWER OF LAW: ARE WE ASKING LAW TO DO TOO MUCH (OR TOO LITTLE) IN A BROKEN WORLD?

Speaker: Barbara Armacost

Details / Buy

THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM: BECOMING WISE ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE

Speaker: Tremper Longman

Details / Buy

CHRIST CENTERED OR SPIRIT CENTERED? WHY THE QUESTION MATTERS AND WHY THE ANSWER MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

Speaker: Gordon Smith

Details / Buy

RETRIEVING ASCETICISM: HOW CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIANS ARE RECLAIMING AN ANCIENT THEME

Speaker: Wesley Hill

Details / Buy

Putting Technology in its Proper Place

Speaker: Andy Crouch

Details / Buy

Grappling with Galatians

Speaker: N.T. Wright

Details / Buy

Jesus in Space, Time, and History: Natural Theology & The Challenge of Talking about God

Speaker: N.T. Wright

Details / Buy

Come Holy Spirit: The Paraclete in Creation, Church, and Believer

Speaker: Gordon Smith

Details / Buy

Love's Redeeming Work: The Wesleys and Early Evangelical Spirituality

Speaker: Bruce Hindmarsh, Mark Noll

Details / Buy

Pre-Nicene Christianity: The Formation of the Theological Tradition

Speaker: John Behr

Details / Buy

Five Traditions & Practices of Prayer

Speaker: Bruce Hindmarsh, Steve Bell

Details / Buy

The Prophetic Voice - Pastors and Leaders Conference 2019

Speaker: Darrell Johnson, Diane Stinton, Joshua Koh, … (see details for all)

Details / Buy

Costly Grace & Severe Mercy: Theological Resonance in Louise Penny's "Three Pines" Mystery Novels

Speaker: Maxine Hancock

Details / Buy

Thy Kingdom Come: Exploring a Biblical Vision of Justice

Speaker: Mariam Kovalishyn

Details / Buy

Praying the Psalms in Spirit and Song

Speaker: Bruce Hindmarsh, Steve Bell

Details / Buy

The Shifting Territories of Science and Religion

Speaker: Peter Harrison

Details / Buy

Hearing Voices: Human and Divine

Speaker: John Swinton

Details / Buy

Book Launch Lecture: Dietrich Bonheoffer's Christian Humanism

Speaker: Jens Zimmermann

Details / Buy

Christians in a Culture of Surveillance

Speaker: David Lyon

Details / Buy

Eye of the Beholder: Luci Shaw Poetry Reading

Speaker: Luci Shaw

Details / Buy

ReFrame Participants Guide

Speaker: ReFrame ReFrame

Details / Buy

ReFrame Leaders Guide

Speaker: ReFrame ReFrame

Details / Buy

ReFrame DVD Package

Speaker: ReFrame ReFrame

Details / Buy

ReFrame DVD

Speaker: ReFrame ReFrame

Details / Buy

Book Launch: THE STORY OF ALL STORIES

Speaker: Darrell Johnson

Details / Buy

New Testament Foundations

Speaker: Paul Spilsbury

Details / Buy

THE BOOK OF HEBREWS

Speaker: George Guthrie

Details / Buy

The Laing Lectures 2019: Imagining the Kingdom: Parable, Poetry & Gospel

Speaker: Malcolm Guite

Details / Buy

Held by a Mindful Maker

Speaker: Claire Perini

Details / Buy

Faithing the Future

Speaker: Phil Long

Details / Buy

Lunchtime Lecture: Thinking about History and Beauty in a Post-Secular World: Some Potential Intersections between the Digital Humanities and Theology

Speaker: John Bonnett

Details / Buy

Lunchtime Lecture: This is the Way the World Ends: The Apocalypse in Contemporary Film, Fiction & Television

Speaker: Mary McCampbell

Details / Buy

Inchoate Hope, The Spirit's Prayer

Speaker: David Robinson

Details / Buy

Lunchtime Lecture: The Making of a Scientific Theologian

Speaker: Alister McGrath

Details / Buy

Christians & Politics

Speaker: Mark Noll

Details / Buy

The Lord is Ever Near

Speaker: Cindy Aalders

Details / Buy

Puritan Spirituality: Walking with God

Speaker: Tom Schwanda