The Language of God: A Final Word

The Language of God, Closing Thoughts By B.J. Marshall Collins' final word comprises two points: that there is joy and peace in God's creation, and that the war between science and spirit should end. In this post, I'll discuss these two points. I'll conclude by giving a final word of my own as my journey of blogging through a book closes. Collins' first point fits perfectly well whether one holds to science or … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Truth Seekers

The Language of God, Chapter 11 By B.J. Marshall Aside from summarizing the points he's made in previous chapters, Collins uses this final chapter as his last chance to be a Christian apologist, but he surprisingly leaves the door open for other options. First, I feel compelled to highlight Collins' honesty. He states that, after twenty eight years as a believer, "the Moral Law still stands out for me as the strongest signpost to God" (p.218). I appreciate the candor because it's sometimes … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Biologos: Epic Fail

The Language of God, Chapter 10 By B.J. Marshall In this chapter, Collins tackles the claim that BioLogos damages both science and religion. Collins disagrees in a way that fails so epically that it almost makes the previous sections of this book seem prescient. For the atheist scientist, BioLogos seems to be another "God of the gaps" theory imposing the presence of the divine where none is needed or desired. This argument is not apt. BioLogos doesn't try to wedge God into gaps in our … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Biologos: It’s All Greek to Me

The Language of God, Chapter 10 By B.J. Marshall After formally laying out his premisses and his conclusions, Collins muses why Theistic Evolution (TE) hasn't caught on. He surmises that it simply isn't widely known that one can mix science and religion harmoniously, that the position is in effect invisible in the harmony it creates by blending the two harmoniously, and that "theistic evolution" is just a terrible name. He introduces BioLogos as a humble alternative. There simply aren't very … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Bridging the Gap Between Science and Faith

The Language of God, Chapter 10 By B.J. Marshall Chapter 10 introduces Collins' concept of BioLogos, but first he gives an overview of Theistic Evolution (TE) and why it works to bridge science and faith. Although we've talked about TE previously, this chapter shows Collins laying out six premisses that support TE. He then has a short discourse explaining the conclusions he thinks follow from these premisses. Premiss 1: "The universe came into being out of nothingness, approximately 14 … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Intelligent Design

The Language of God, Chapter 9 By B.J. Marshall The subtitle to this chapter is "When Science Needs Divine Help," which immediately sets up a couple of problems. First, is Collins asserting that Intelligent Design (ID) is science? Second, where does divine help fit in with the application of the scientific method? In response to the first, Collins concludes that ID is not science. He doesn't really address the second problem. That second problem brings to mind a quote by J.B.S. Haldane: My … [Read more...]

The Language of God: YEC is Dumb

The Language of God, Chapter 8 By B.J. Marshall I can summarize this chapter by quoting Collins himself: "Thus, by any reasonable standard, Young Earth Creationism [YEC] has reached a point of intellectual bankruptcy" (p.177). He spends the bulk of this chapter providing reasons why YEC is horribly flawed, and then he concludes with a "plea to reason" that is anything but. Sadly, I don't think Collins does enough (anything, really) to debunk YEC other than saying it's wrong. All he says is … [Read more...]

The Language of God: The Irony of Misunderstood Agnosticism

The Language of God, Chapter 7 By B.J. Marshall The final part of this chapter on the godless takes aim at agnosticism. Collins first gives Huxley's coinage of the term, and then he proceeds to misunderstand agnosticism in a way that's rife with glaring contradictions. Collins gives a lengthy quote of Huxley's from Wikipedia, which you won't find in the Wikipedia article he references! His citation doesn't even mention when he accessed that page. Time to rant here: I have a friend who is a … [Read more...]

Walk Like An Egyptian

No Simo to be seen in Cairo, and God's Son has no place in Madison By Sarah Braasch In loving memory of my baby brother, Jacob Michael Braasch (01/28/86 – 02/02/10) I am sure that most of you are aware of the massive grassroots demonstrations that have been taking place at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison in response to Governor Scott Walker's emergency budget repair bill. I have been demonstrating all week on behalf of workers' rights and public employees and unions, alongside … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Questions for Atheists

The Language of God, Chapter 7 By B.J. Marshall The next part of Chapter 7 shows Collins' poor understanding of atheism. He starts by differentiating between "strong" and "weak" atheism, but then he makes the baseless claim that for the majority of atheists, strong atheism is "generally the assumed position" (p.161). He makes this distinction so that he has a group he can refute. He asks three questions, and I'd like to address them similarly to those posed by Michael Egnor. But first I would … [Read more...]