Evolution and the Historical Fall—What Does Genesis 3 Tell Us about the Origin of Evil?

Last year I was appointed a BioLogos theology fellow, commissioned to write a series of six blog posts on Christian faith and evolution. My mandate was specifically to bring my own expertise in biblical studies (particularly the Old Testament) to bear on the question of evolution.

My own personal slant has been to explore questions at the intersection of faith and evolutionary science, both respecting the science and remaining steadfast as an orthodox, evangelical Christian (this, of course, challenges the truncated understanding of “evangelical” that the media often promulgates).

My fourth Biologos blog has just been published on the BioLogos website. It addresses the question of a historical Fall (the origin of sin) and how this might be compatible with the evolution of Homo sapiens. You can read it here.

This blog is based on the much longer chapter I wrote for the book Evolution and the Fall (Eerdmans, 2017), edited by James K. A. Smith and William Cavanaugh. You can see an interview with the editors about the book on the publisher’s blog site.

My previous BioLogos blogs addressed:

My final two BioLogos blogs will address:

  • The providence of God in a world of death and randomness (often thought by Christians to be consequences of the Fall).
  • How cosmic evolution might relate to the biblical promise of a new heaven and a new earth.

You can find all my BioLogos blogs in one place (including upcoming posts); just scroll to the bottom of the page.

BioLogos was founded by Francis Collins, the scientist in charge of the human genome project, which cracked the human genetic code; he is also an evangelical Christian. He founded BioLogos to encourage all people to see the hand of God in the evolutionary processes of nature.

The current BioLogos purpose statement reads:

“BioLogos invites the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation.”

Please join me as I explore these fascinating questions at the intersection of evolutionary science and Christian faith.

I welcome responses to my post on the BioLogos website.

You can also post responses to the blog about my post at the Jesus Creed website, hosted by Scot McKnight (the blog is by an excellent science and faith blogger who goes by RJS).

“To Love What God Loves”: Holistic Eschatology Presentation at Cornell University (September 25, 2015)

This Friday (September 25, 2015) I will be giving a talk, based on my eschatology book A New Heaven and a New Earth, at Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY.

The talk is entitled “To Love What God Loves: Understanding the Cosmic Scope of Redemption.” I will address the Bible’s vision of God’s intent to redeem creation and the implications of this holistic eschatology for our lives today.

The talk is co-sponsored by the Asian-American Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at Cornell together with Chesterton House, a innovative Christian study center on the Cornell campus.

The talk will be presented in the large group meeting of the Asian-American IVCF chapter, which begins at 7:15 p.m. in the Robert Purcell Community Center (RPCC), second floor auditorium.

Prior to the talk there will be a Q&A where I will be interviewed by Karl Johnson, the director of Chesterton House, at 5:00 p.m. in the Robert Purcell Community Center, with pizza provided for attendees.

Further details about the talk can be found at here (including a map, with directions).

The Meaning of “Paradise” in the Bible

My fourth and final blog post in the weekly series “Beyond the Book” was just posted by Baker Academic. Each of my four posts during March have focused on some point of interest that I learned about eschatology while working on A New Heaven and a New Earth. The latest post, called The Meaning of “Paradise” in the Bible, explains that this term is not equivalent to “heaven,” contrary to the assumption of many Christians.

Baker is giving away three copies of A New Heaven and a New Earth. You can sign up for a copy here, until midnight tonight (March 30, 2015).

If you want to read the four posts in order, here are the other three:

My first post, Preparation in Heaven for Revelation on Earth – The “Apocalyptic” Pattern, focused on the underlying pattern I came to discern in many “heaven” passages in the New Testament that seem to be associated with the Christian hope.

My second post, The Meaning of “Heaven” in the Bible, explained that “heaven” is not thought of in the Bible as an immaterial, uncreated realm, but rather as the cosmos beyond the earth, which can stand symbolically for the realm inhabited by God and the angelic host (and angels are often identified with stars in the Bible).

My third post, The Stars Will Fall From Heaven, discusses the origin of this image in extra-biblical literature and its meaning, which has to do with judgment on corrupt angelic powers and not the literal destruction of the cosmos.