Creatures of God: Human Nature & Evolution for Evangelicals & Catholics

I recently began a series of blog posts on evolution and human nature, but I’ve had to put that aside for a while so I could prepare a lecture I will be giving in a few days in Vancouver, BC, as part of a two-day symposium funded by BioLogos.

The syposium is entitled “Creatures of God: Human Nature & Evolution for Evangelicals & Catholics” and is organized by Dr. Paul Allen, Associate Professor, Department of Theological Studies, Concordia University, Ottawa, ON.

Dr. Allen and his team have staged three prior symposia on related themes in three other Canadian contexts: Crandall University in Moncton, NB; Wycliffe College in Toronto, ON; and the Kings University College in Edmonton, AB.

At each of these events, theologians, philosophers, and scientists addressed different audiences of faculty, students, and members of the lay public on the question of human nature in the context of the orthodox claims of theological anthropology and the emergence of the human species according to Darwin’s theory and later revisions of it.

The symposium I’m a part of is addressed specifically to Evangelicals and Catholics, with presentations on the biblical and scientific sides of things.

I’ve been asked to speak on a biblical theology of humanity as imago Dei. I will give my lecture at Regent College (an Evangelical graduate school of theology affiliated with the University of British Columbia) at 7:00 pm on Thursday, October 29, 2015. The title of my lecture is: “Being Human: Engaging the Opening Chapters of Genesis in Light of Hominin Evolution.”

The following evening, Dr. Jeff Schloss (BioLogos Senior Scholar and T. B. Walker Chair of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Westmont College) will be speaking at St. Mark’s College (the Catholic theological college of the University of British Columbia). His lecture is entitled: “Uncommon Nature Through Common Descent? Evolution and the Question of Human Exceptionalism.”

Each evening there will be a number of respondents to the paper that is presented, followed by an open discussion of the topic.

More information about both lectures can be found by downloading this flyer.

A Final Plug for the Global Theology Conference in Toronto this Saturday (October 3, 2015)

The Canadian Evangelical Theological Association (CETA) will hold its fourth annual Fall theology conference on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at Tyndale University College and Seminary in Toronto.

The theme of the conference is “Global Evangelical Theology.” The keynote speaker, Dr. Las Newman (president of the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology in Jamaica), will address the topic: “Theology on the Move: Discerning Global Shifts in Theological Thinking from the Global South.”

The conference runs from 8:00 am (beginning with registration and a continental breakfast) through 4:30 pm (ending with the presentation of the annual theological excellence award and a closing liturgy).

There will be about 50 paper presentations, in six concurrent sessions, on topics historical, theological, biblical, and missional—relating to the conference theme.

Click here for the conference schedule. And click here for online registration (though you can also register at the door). The registration site also has information about overnight accommodation if you want to travel to Toronto the night before.

If you want to check out my previous blog posts on this conference, they are here, and here, and here (in chronological order).

Is Yahweh a God of Violence?

This is a heads-up about an upcoming lecture for anyone in the Rochester area.

This Friday afternoon (September 4, 2015) there will be a public lecture on the campus of Roberts Wesleyan College, entitled: “Yahweh, a God of Violence? Understanding God’s Old Testament Reputation.”

The lecture will be held at 3:00 pm in the Ellen Stowe dining room.

The speaker is Tyler Williams, an excellent Old Testament scholar, who is currently lead pastor at Greenfield Community Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He previously taught at Taylor University College and Seminary and at The Kings University College. he continues to serve as an adjunct professor at King’s.

I got to know Tyler Williams some years ago when he was teaching full-time, before he began his pastoral position at Greenfield. He has amazing expertise in biblical languages, and has done a lot of work on the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament.

I still remember his paper at a biblical studies conference, where he demonstrated that the Greek version of Psalm 151 (found in the Septuagint) was original, and the Hebrew version in the Dead Sea Scrolls was derivative (an expansion of the Greek). He argued this counter-intuitive point so well, by careful exegesis of the psalm, that I have been convinced ever since.

This is his website with resources on biblical studies, including some of his course syllabi.

In his lecture at Roberts, Tyler will address the impression many people (both Christians and non-Christians) have, that the God of the Old Testament is a violent deity.

Please join me in attending this fascinating lecture, if you are able to. It is free and open to the public.

Click here for a flyer of the event.