The God of Abraham (RJS)

We worship the same God. We are in the midst of a series of posts on the book of Genesis, considering a number of different commentaries. In the primeval history of Genesis 1-11, as indeed in much of Genesis, God is the primary actor. Genesis isn’t so much a story of human origins or the [Read More…]

Probability, Complexity, and God (RJS)

Robert Asher concludes his book Evolution and Belief with a brief discussion of probability in biology and closing thoughts on the belief in God. The randomness and improbability of evolution is often emphasized in the popular literature, but evolution is not a random process. Concepts of probability and randomness in biology are often seriously misunderstood. [Read More…]

On Reading Genesis 1-11 (RJS)

The book of Genesis stands at the front of the Bible and provides an account of origins, setting the stage for the exodus from Egypt and the foundation of Israel as the people of God. The book can be usefully divided into three sections: The primeval history of 1-11, the ancestor narratives of 12-36, and [Read More…]

Of Nations and Languages (RJS)

The primeval history of Genesis 1-11 ends with two genealogies and an excursion to the tower of Babel (another Sunday School staple). We’ve discussed the Tower of Babel before in posts Babel in Ancient Context where John Walton’s commentaries were considered and then Babel as Ideological Critique based on J. Richard Middleton’s reading of the [Read More…]

The Flood (RJS)

Although we think about the flood as a staple Sunday school tale, it is rather gruesome. We have not a cute progression of animals trekking to safety two by two, but a tale of utter destruction – of the undoing of creation as related in Genesis 1-5.  Who would put a picture like the one [Read More…]

The Genes Agree – The Answer Is No (RJS)

No, evolution isn’t a theory in trouble. There is ample evidence for common descent and evolution by natural selection. The last posts on Robert Asher’s book Evolution and Belief: Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist considered fossil evidence for evolution. Dr. Asher is a specialist in mammalian evolution as evidenced in the fossil record, Curator of [Read More…]

Must We Play the Game? (RJS)

The next chapter of Matthew Nelson Hills new book  Evolution and Holiness: Sociobiology, Altruism, and the Quest for Weslyan Perfection explores a topic at the cutting edge of science – the existence or not of human freedom … the free will question. This is a question I’ve posted on a number of times over the [Read More…]

And Cain Knew His Wife (RJS)

Where did Cain get his wife? Did people really live 900+ years? Who cares who begot who?  Can we get to the action?! Perhaps the most boring genre in the Bible is the genealogy – or at least it can seem so from our twenty first century perspective. They raise questions at times – especially [Read More…]

East of Eden (RJS)

Chapter 4 of Genesis begins on what should be a happy note, the birth of two sons, but things quickly go south. Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.” Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel [Read More…]

The Serpent in the Garden (RJS)

All was going along great. Adam, Eve, Garden, God. And then, appearing from nowhere, the serpent was in the garden. The first verse of Genesis 3 introduces the character. Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, [Read More…]