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Evolutionary Creation in Biblical and Theological Perspective

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Dan Lioy

This book undertakes a biblical and theological analysis of evolutionary creation and creation themes pertinent to origins science. A key premise is that a fundamental congruity exists between what the Lord has revealed in nature (i.e., the book of God’s work) and in Scripture (i.e., the book of God’s Word). A corollary supposition is that, based on an analysis of the fossil record, genome evidence, morphological data, and so on, biological evolution offers the best persuasive scientific explanation for the origin and actualization of carbon-based life on earth, including Homo sapiens (i.e., modern humans). Furthermore, considering evolutionary creation in an objective, balanced, and informed manner reveals that the view is wholly compatible with classical theological metaphysics, including Augustinian and Reformed confessional orthodoxy.

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Chapter 4: A Biblical and Theological Analysis of Life and Death in the Old Testament 85

Extract

T he preceding chapter explored the prescientific cosmology found in the Old and New Testaments. Doing so helped to clarify im- portant cultural and theological aspects of the Judeo-Christian canon that are crucial to properly understanding God’s Word. For the members of the covenant community living in the third millennium B.C.E. through the first century A.C.E., the reality of death was a key part of the way in which they conceptualized the spatio-physical world in which they lived. Furthermore, in Scripture, death is presented as a complex, multi-layered concept. That being so, making an effort to ex- amine the topics of life and death further helps to shed light on ways in which Christian belief is compatible with creation themes pertinent to origins science. Accordingly, the intent of the present chapter is to bib- lically and theologically analyze a representative collection of Old Tes- tament passages dealing with life and death (namely, Gen 2:4–17; 3:1–24; 5:1–29; Eccl 1:1–18; 3:1–22), while the next chapter focuses on a selective set of New Testament passages. Information from chapter 2 of this study is relevant to the above- mentioned objective. As was previously noted, it would be incorrect to assume that the primal creation was an “idyllic paradise” (Spanner 1987:53) characterized by static perfection and quintessential “bliss” (cf. Batto 1992:27). Rather, what the Lord brought into existence was su- perbly suited for its God-ordained function and purpose, as seen in “creation’s beauty...

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