God after Darwin: A Theology of Evolution

God after Darwin: A Theology of Evolution

God after Darwin: A Theology of Evolution

God after Darwin: A Theology of Evolution

Synopsis

In God After Darwin, Haught argues that the ongoing debate between Darwinian evolutionists and Christian apologists is fundamentally misdirected: both sides persist in focusing upon an explanation of underlying design and order in the universe.

Excerpt

Any thoughts we may have about God after the life and work of Charles Darwin (1809-1882) can hardly remain the same as before. Evolutionary science has changed our understanding of the world dramatically, and so any sense we may have of a God who creates and cares for this world must take into account what Darwin and his followers have told us about it. Although Darwin himself beheld a certain "grandeur" in his new story of life, many of his scientific descendants, instead of taking his widening of the world's horizons as a springboard to a more exhilarating vision of God, have seen in evolution the final defeat of theism. Meanwhile, theology has generally failed to think about God in a manner proportionate to the opulence of evolution. I am convinced, though, that it has the resources to do so, and in the following pages I shall attempt to set forth some facets of a "theology of evolution."

If the idea of God is to arouse our instinct to worship, this idea cannot be smaller than the universe that science has made so conspicuous to us, especially after Darwin. But, as I shall argue, there is no good reason why the evolutionary news about nature should not be taken as an invitation for us to enlarge our sense of the divine. the understanding of God that many of us acquired in Sunday school is hardly expansive enough to incorporate the nuances of evolutionary thought. Moreover, the benign, ordering deity of traditional natural theology, as Darwin himself rightly concluded, scarcely accommodates the contingency and turmoil in the life process. a theology of evolution, on the other hand, will take into account all of the deviancy resident in the post-Darwinian representations of nature; and if this account compels us to relinquish comfortable ideas of divine order, we must accept the loss graciously. a theology of evolution must not sidestep, but instead tra-

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