Dinosaurs, evolution and the doctrine of creation

Jon the freelance theologian was recently asked to do a youth talk on the subject of dinosaurs, and whether the discovery of dinosaur fossils is compatible with a belief in creation. The substance of this talk is reproduced here, along with some specific points addressing the following question:

Question 183, from Gillian

Where does a Christian stand when there is constant mountain evidence for Evolution? With the discovery of DNA, which is so like our animal friends, why are there right wing Christians who still believe in the creation story as fact when science has evidence for a very old earth.

There is a tendency to regard evolution as disproving the Christian doctrine of God as creator of the world, and explaining the existence of dinosaur fossils can be difficult.

Broadly speaking there are two responses to the issue. One is to challenge the evidence for evolution and reaffirm the doctrine of creation by proposing a literal application of the early chapters of Genesis. This is often called Creationism. The other viewpoint is to see evolution as the mechanism by which God creates, with the early chapters of Genesis viewed as a pre-scientific account that is allegorical in nature, rather than literally true. This has been known as ‘theistic evolution’ in the past, although its supporters often now refer to it as ‘Evolutionary Creation’.

These two views are widely divergent, so it is worth noting what unites them before examining them in more detail. (more…)

A new year message

It is freelance theology’s ninth anniversary this month. By way of celebration, here is a transcript of a Sunday talk Jon the freelance theologian gave at Glenwood Church on 6 January 2013.

I’m always struck by how much fuss is made about New Year. We have the fireworks and the programmes on telly and it’s made out to be this big thing.

But then I went back to work on Wednesday after having Christmas and New Year off and it didn’t take long for me to realise not much had changed. Yes, it’s a New Year, but when I got to my desk, all the stuff I didn’t quite get round to doing before Christmas was still there, waiting to be done.

I’m sure whether it’s work, or college, or anything really, everyone here can relate to that feeling. It doesn’t take long for that New Year shine to wear off, does it?

But however you are feeling right now as you look ahead to the coming year, take heart. (more…)