Preview of: Beyond Eden

Beyond Eden [Amazon pic]

In essence the thesis/book is a philosophical defence/theodicy for the goodness of the God of the Judeo/Christian Scriptures [a determinate entity rather than a ‘ground of being’ ‘substitute’].

It is an evolutionary theodicy, i.e. it argues that there has been no fundamental changes to the laws of physics—contrary to the argument put forward by Adrian Hough in a book entitled ‘The Flaw in the Universe’ (2010) in which Hough argues that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is ‘the flaw’ that produces natural evil—I argue that, in order for the ‘creation’ of carbon-based life to pertain and for the ultimate arrival of sentient life in the form of the Imago Dei to ‘arrive’—then Entropy was/is an essential part of the pathway for the purposes of God—ultimately the incarnation, DEATH, and resurrection of Christ.

In my thesis, I consider the works of a number of believing scientists, philosophers and theologians—including my main supervisor, Christopher Southgate (The Groaning of Creation, 2008). Whilst  not finding fault in Southgate et el’s eschatology—that there will be sufficient reason to uphold the goodness of God in the light of God’s ‘making everything right’ at the eschaton [new heavens, new earth—even a place where pelicans can thrive—according to Southgate not me].Southgate, et el and myself argue that this world is the best of possible worlds—a world in which life can and does evolve  and a world in which the problem of evil [moral and not natural] can be dealt with/defeated.

The actual problem of evil is that of the alienation of both angels and mankind—an  alienation brought about by the consequences of free-will choices of angels and mankind. Unlike other theistic evolutionists, including  Rob White (Who is To Blame?, 2014), whilst giving good reasons [White is a leading geophysicist] for the inevitability of earthquakes, does not, as far as I am concerned offer any argument as to the ‘whys and wherefores’ of such a state of affairs—apart from the ‘problem of mankind’—since the Fall. Of course, White does not maintain (neither do I) that there were no effects of ‘natural evil’ before the Fall or that there was no death before the Fall. Neither does he suggest (neither do I) that there were no changes to the environment as a result of the Fall. Indeed, it would be difficult for anyone taking the Bible seriously to conclude that there have been no major negative effects since mankind’s initial attempt at becoming ‘god-like’. White does though offer consolation vis a vis the eschatological hope—found in Christ.

A major part of my argument is that, i ) God is ‘personal’—has a personality—and is not to be confused with any other notion of ‘god’—from a pantheistic perspective or even a panentheistic  perspective. ii) God is both Sovereign and Good.  iii) The fall of angels ‘occurred’ [so to speak] before the creation of space/time—angels being incorporeal .iv) That this world is the only possible world in which God could bring about a state of affairs in which creatures such as ourselves could have evolved—to the point [one could call it an ‘omega’ point] of the consciousness that mankind alone [most likely] experiences. v) That God’s ultimate purposes include the bringing about of a state of affairs (new heavens/earth) in which God shall dwell with the redeemed of Christ—a place in which only ‘tears of joy’ pertain.

This defence/theodicy is a ‘Free-Will’ defence/theodicy—the free will of conscious corporeal creatures being an essential part of the argument—indeed any notion that has it that the God of the Bible would have brought about a state of affairs in which advanced carbon-based lifeforms had anything other than the potential for free-will choices would be, indeed, ‘non sequitur’.

Derek White

 

 

Published by

djwimago

First and foremost, I became a committed follower of Jesus Christ in 1976, previously having had ‘strong leftish/ atheistic tendencies’.I’ve been married to Jackie since September 1963. We have four [grown] children and ten grandchildren—the  latest, Faith Jemima, born on 1/8/18. Four of the grandkids live, with their parents, in Australia, and three in Scotland. We also have two great-grandsons. I have been (present perfect tense) in Christian leadership in various roles: An elder (eleven years) at Bournemouth Community Church,a deacon at Lansdowne Baptist Church Bournemouth (nine years) ,a founder director of the International Training Network, Bournemouth, training centre/center for the teaching of English as a foreign language, and a teacher/principal/director [1987-2010] at the Christian English Language Centre/Center in Bournemouth and Christchurch, England. Since December 2014 my wife and I have been attending St Mary's Church Ferndown, where we are seeking to use our gifts for the Mission of Christ. Publications: I I am the joint author (along with Rosemary Griffiths) of a book entitled ‘Walls that Divide’, which is 'due'to be revised/re-edited. I am also hoping to re-publish my MRes thesis entitled ‘God, Evolution and The problem of Evil: Towards a Solution’—under a new title.... My ‘academic’ background includes forays into the world of:Sociology, Theology,Philosophy, English-Language pedagogy,linguistics and Philosophical Theology in The Open University, The University of Sheffield, Canterbury Christchurch University, Trinity College, Newburgh USA, and The University of Exeter. I have #begun the task of editing my MRes Thesis (awarded by The University of Exeter in 2015), with the view of either publishing or developing it further...God,Evolution and The Problem of Evil.., Derek J. White: In the year of the Global (Chinese #people’s Republic) Pandemic—May 6th 2020.

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