Pain, Suffering, Darwin, and the postmodern requisite

Since the publication of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ in the 19th Century Christians have wrestled with how to respond to the Evolution question. The predominant and mainstream response has been to baptize evolution and understand it as the tool and means by which God brought about his creation. This view however flies in the face of the Augustinian version of original Sin, as death and suffering no longer emanate from a freewill act of transgression, but rather show up as innate components of creation itself.


Pre-Adamic big teeth

The temptation modernity places upon us is to attempt to construct a model which recognises the scientific consensus and squares it with an orthodox view of God. Rather than succumb to the desire to formulate a totalizing model, a postmodern approach would seek to uncover the genealogy of thought behind the belief system. When viewed in this way the creation account of Genesis cannot be understood to be offering hard ‘T’ Truths, but rather acts as a parable for the human condition. In this way we are not forced to deny the story, but to deny the secondary extrapolated consequences of a totalizing model.

Or to express it another way; ultimately science and theology operate within separate and isolated language games, and thus I need not baptize evolution, I need not attempt to square the nature of God with pre-Adamic pain and suffering. And dare I say it, the problem Darwin raises for orthodox theology makes a postmodern approach a requisite of doing good theology.


2 thoughts on “Pain, Suffering, Darwin, and the postmodern requisite

  1. Pingback: Evolution vs Orthodox Theology – The superficial conflict | Belief and Practice

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