It is only from the perspective of our ‘mental life’ (the ‘imago Dei’ factor) that we can imagine how God’s ‘being’ might be, and how God might act in the world that God has created and that the Triune God sustains. If we should deny God ‘his mental life’, i.e., God’s distinctive ontological existence, we might imagine anything other than the God of the Judeo/Christian Scriptures. (Derek White 2021)
In the foreword of the 2017 book, ‘Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical and Theological Critique, Sociology Professor Steve Fuller writes:
The cumulative effect of the set of papers assembled in this volume is to suggest that the ‘God hypothesis (or what philosophers call divine action) remains very much as a scientific explanation for events in the history of life.
Fuller’s charge against Theistic Evolutionists, especially those employed in the scientific endeavour, is that they tend to leave their religious commitments when they enter ‘The House of Science’ (P.28). Fuller’s comments aside, there is an Elephant in the Room here, e.g. The Materialist’s view is that ‘nature is all that exists’—yet often ‘praising’ the magisterium of Natural Selection. The Theistic Evolutionist, whilst giving praise to God, i.e., to the same magisterium—the ‘creator of an apparently ‘natural world’ in which God is not allowed creative intrusion. Indeed, advocates of Theistic Evolution, most likely,reject the notion of God’s intervention in the biotic world of nature; seemingly, because Natural Selection offers a whole package whilst notions of ‘intelligent design’ offer an unnecessary confusion—allowing for ‘the god of the gaps’—who, it is opined,may well disappear as science offers an all-encompassing picture of nature’s ability to allow for the continued cycle of life. This, idea, whilst allowing for the ‘magisterium of creation’ renders the God of Scripture to the role of a helpless onlooker whose passivity might be excused by the incarnation, death and resurrection of the second person of The Trinity. However, for this world to be anything like ‘God’s Best of Possible Worlds’ there has to be space that allows for God’s plans and intentions—in other words God’s Goal (telos) for Creation.
In his book entitled ‘The Origin of Higher Taxa…’ T.S.Kemp poses a question:
Are major evolutionary transitions adequately accounted for by normal Darwinian natural selection, proceeding for a sufficient length of time or are unusual genetic processes and/or special environmental circumstances required? The default explanation expressed implicitly if not explicitly by the vast majority of evolutionary biologists is that Natural Selection acting on an interbreeding species population is ‘sufficient’ explanation and that the particular genetic changes and environmental conditions are of no special significance beyond the contingencies of each individual case. However, the very act of making this reductionist prior assumption universal leads to the automatic exclusion from consideration of other possible evolutionary processes that might exist…(P.1)
It is reasonable to suppose that, in spite of any objections raised by ‘prevailing materialistic paradigms’, God may be allowed to have aspirations, i.e., ‘plans and purposes’—a goal (telos) for creation’s raison d´etre.
In 2016, thirty years after the publication of his book entitled ‘Evolution: A Theory In Crisis’, Michael Denton produces an equally challenging volume entitled ‘Evolution: A Theory Still In Crisis’. The biochemist’s continued questioning is not to do with natural selection per se but with implications brought about by the notion of its being the ‘sole progenitor’ for biological changes/adaptions. In other words that the whole of the history of biotic life on earth has been contingent on a material process—a process without reason, blueprint or direction. Denton opines that:
…because of an unshakable commitment to the contingent view of life—and perhaps because to embrace ‘a biology of law’ might be seen as the first step towards a re-introduction of teleology into biology—many Darwin skeptics are among evolutionary scientists unable to cross the dangerous waters and leave behind the realm of contingency. …Whatever the ultimate cause of things, whatever teleological implication or otherwise may be inferred, the validity of structuralist claims and my advocacy of lawful biology are supported by the scientific evidence. (Denton, 279 &.281)
In order to establish as to, whether or not this world is ‘God’s best of possible worlds’, it is not necessary to prove that this is the case—but to allow for such a possibility. Given that this world is not to be confused with any utopian state of affairs (e.g. Heaven)—a state of affairs that, one could imagine, is not presently available for inspection—it is necessary to imagine that God shall provide such a state of affairs. Moreover should we allow for the notion that this world—at its beginnings (Genesis 1:31) was not perfect but very good—we shall be able to realize the possibility that this world is that which God (allowed) intended for God’s purposes.
This, world, is not Heaven, neither can it be so.