Sunday, November 21, 2010


One of the reasons I have a hard accepting church doctrines, dogma, confessions and articles of faith is because such post-Jesus writings often come into conflict with what science tells us about the natural world.  Young earth creation [YEC] conflicting with cosmology, geology and biology comes to mind.  Thus it is most interesting to watch the interactions among Team Fundamentalist [Mohler], Team BioLogos [Giberson] and Team Atheist [Coyne].  Dr. R. Albert Mohler is President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been called the leading intellectual in the world of fundamental Christianity.  Dr. Karl Giberson is a Professor at Eastern Nazarene College, Vice President of the BioLogos Foundation and considered a leader among those attempting to integrate faith and science.  Dr Jerry Coyne is a professor of ecology and evolution at the Univesity of Chicago and an outspoken critic of all things religious.  In a series of blogs at the BioLogos website and at the Huffington Post, Giberson has attempted to demonstrate that there can be a middle ground between the Mohler's clearly erroneous belief in YEC and other biblically revealed scientific "truths" and the "science is  the only way to answer meaningful questions" mantra of Coyne.  Mohler's response to Giberson and BioLogos is that they are basically heretics from the standpoint of "traditional" Christian doctrine and dogma.  Apparently if one does not accept Al's interpretation of  Genesis 1 and 2, believe that Adam and Eve were two real people, accept that there was a world-wide flood, etc., then one cannot truly be a Christian.  And from the other side, Coyne says that it does not matter how one interprets the bible, it is all not amenable to scientific investigation and therefore is worthless.  Moreover, Coyne points out all of the egregious behaviors that have and are exhibited by those who claim to be Christians, particularly those of Mohler's ilk.

Poor Uncle Karl, as Jerry has taken to calling Giberson.  In trying to stake out the middle ground, Giberson has noted that he gets shot at from both directions.  Mohler says that Giberson is destroying the church and Coyne says that Giberson still clings to the nonsensical notion of a big-guy-in-the-sky.  He says the only difference between Al and Karl is degree, not kind.  Hence, both should be relegated to the intellectual hinterland where they may find the error in their logic and reason and perhaps ultimately see the truth as Jerry sees it.  I believe that Karl has a thick skin coated with Teflon - Team Fundamentalist charges him with undermining the Gospel of Christ and promoting beliefs that are incompatible with biblical Christianity whilst Team Atheist calls him a fucking moron.

So, what's wrong with this picture?  Most everything.  I believe that it is Mohler who is destroying the church rather than Giberson.  Any person who accepts what science has clearly demonstrated regarding the age of the universe, the age of the earth, and the age of hominids would naturally question any teachings of a leader who denies such evidence.  Mohler is effectively saying one must either choose to accept his way or the way of science.  Coyne says the same thing, and has recently made his mission very clear.  Although his website is entitled Why Evolution is True, he responded to one of Uncle Karl's blogs by saying that Team Atheism is much more important than Team Evolution.  Indeed, Karl and Jerry are both on team evolution, but are decidedly on opposing teams with it comes to faith.  Karl and Al are both on team faith [although Al has trouble accepting that] but are on opposing teams regarding evolution. 

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