October 1995
volume 7 (2)

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Sam Berry
Pages: 98-100


A Response to Polkinghorne

Arthur Peacocke
Pages: 109-115


Creatio Continua and Divine Action

John Polkinghorne
Pages: 101-108


The notion of continuous creation requires for its validity a concept of God’s continuing interaction with the world. The thinking of Arthur Peacocke on these issues is surveyed. The act of creation involves a divine kenosis, in which agency is shared with creation itself. The unpredictability of physical process is interpreted as Indicating an openness of cosmic history, in which God acts through an input of information. This interpretation requires some form of argument from critical realism. Peacocke’s ideas are subjected to a critical discussion and comparison with those of other authors. A discussion of anti-reductionism discriminates between weak and strong versions. Peacocke holds to the former but arguments are presented in favour of the latter.


Contemporary Perspectives on Chance, Providence and Free Will - A critique of some modern authors

Jonathan Doye Ian Goldby Christina Line Stephen Lloyd Paul Shellard David Tricker
Pages: 117-139


We discuss the implications of modern science for the doctrine of providence by examining the writings of the late Donald MacKay, Arthur Peacocke, and John PoIkinghome. We summarise their views on the Origin of human freedom, the nature of divine action and the relationship of God to his creation. We endeavour to weigh the scientific merits and biblical compatibility of these views.


Genesis 1-2 and Recent Studies of Ancient Texts

Richard S. Hess
Pages: 141-149


This essay surveys recent applications of ancient Near Eastern philology and literary study to the interpretation of the first two chapters of the Bible. It considers the significance of the seven days of creation and the reason for two accounts of creation. It examines a variety of expressions including: formless and empty, Image of God, Sabbath, Adam and Eden. The results of recent comparative research provide a rationale for the structure and organisation of Genesis 1-2 as well as new significance to the meaning and antiquity of many of its key expressions. At the same time the study touches upon some of the wealth of ancient Near Eastern literature available for the interpretation of the Bible.


The Eruption of Santorini and the Date and Historicity of Joseph

Colin J. Humphreys Robert S. White
Pages: 151-162


We suggest that a cataclysmic eruption of Santorini in the 17th century BC was responsible for major famines in Egypt and the surrounding area recorded in Old Testament writings in the account of Joseph, and we give arguments for the historicity of this account. Evidence of climatic disturbances in the northern hemisphere from tree-ring widths and of a huge acidity spike in ice cores from Greenland are consistent with widespread climatic modification at this time. We suggest that the famines occurred during the period of the Hyksos pharaohs of the Fifteenth Dynasty in Egypt, probably during the reign of King Khyan, thus providing a date for this pharaoh, and also for the Old Testament patriarch Joseph. If our arguments are accepted, the eruption of Santorini, for which we take the best date to be 1628 BC, provides an absolute chronological marker for both ancient Egyptian and ancient Hebrew chronology.


A Response to Tipler’s Omega-Point Theory

W. R. Stoeger G. F. R. Ellis
Pages: 163-172


Frank J. Tipler’s Omega-Point Theory claims to be a purely scientific theory which adequately accounts for the existence of an evolving personal God who possesses traditional divine attributes and in virtue of whom we enjoy free will, personal immortality, the prospect of resurrection from the dead, and the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives. among other things. Here we present a critique of that theory, concentrating on its principal flaws, which are philosophical, not scientific. They include arbitrarily endowing an abstract geometrical construction (the causal boundary)–which may or may not eventually come into existence–with personal and divine characteristics (through a misuse of language), failing to acknowledge the limitations of physics, and making unwarranted assumptions concerning the character and necessity of life in the universe.




John Polkinghorne
Pages: 173-173


Book reviews

View book reviews

A Guide to Science and Belief

Michael Poole (Michael Walker)
Pages: 175-175

Designer Universe

John Wright (John Bausor)
Pages: 175-176

In the Beginning: the birth of the living universe

John Gribbin (John Bausor)
Pages: 176-178

Mind Fields. Reflections on the Science of Mind and Brain

Malcolm Jeeves (D. A. Booth)
Pages: 178-179

Christian Doctrine in the Light of Michael Polanyi’s Theory of Personal Knowledge

Joan Crewdson (John Polkinghorne)
Pages: 179-179

The Darwin Legend

James Moore (V. Paul Marston)
Pages: 179-181

Kanzi–The Ape at the Brink of the Human Mind

Sue Savage (Victor Pearce)
Pages: 182-183

The Origin of the Universe

John D. Barrow (Robert Boyd
Pages: 183-184

The Last Three Minutes

Paul Davies (Robert Boyd)
Pages: 183-184

Quarks, Chaos and Christianity. Questions to Science and Religion

John C. Polkinghorne (Oliver Barclay)
Pages: 184-185

The Genetic Revolution

Patrick Dixon (Ernest Lucas)
Pages: 185-187

Emotion and Spirit

Neville Symington (Michael W. Elfred)
Pages: 187-188

How to think about the Earth: Philosophical and theological models for ecology

Stephen R. L. Clark (Lawrence Osborn)
Pages: 188-189

The Gene Wars. Science, Politics and the Human Genome

Robert Cook-Deegan (V. Kleinwächter)
Pages: 189-190

The Psychology of Religious Knowing

Fraser Watts and Mark Williams (Michael W. Elfred)
Pages: 190-191

The language of the genes

Steve Jones (Caroline Berry)
Pages: 191-192

The Creative Cosmos: A Unified Science of Matter, Life and Mind

Ervin Laszlo (Steve Bishop)
Pages: 191-192