BioLogos Finally Realizes That Nobody Likes A Mugwump

Karl Giberson is pessimistic about the future influence of groups like BioLogos, who try to ride the fence between two exclusive views of history. One view says that the universe came to be by a chance progressive process by purely natural means. The other claims that God created the world quite on purpose by fiat and direct action. The time scales involved are also different.

Groups like Biologos try to blend the two narratives together, claiming that the universe came about by a chance progressive process by purely natural means, only God did it. They take a narrative born of a philosophy [naturalism] that seeks to explain the world without the need for a Deity and say that God was responsible for the events of that godless narrative.

It’s purest mugwumpery, of course. They sit of the fences with their mugs hanging over one side and their wumps hanging over the other. Unfortunately, they’ve discovered a simple truth along the way. Nobody likes a mugwump.

In an article at Patheos, Giberson laments:

BioLogos has found itself under aggressive attack by Ken Ham and his merry band of biblical literalists from the right, and from the New Atheists and their godless minions on the left… What seems to be appearing on the horizon is a well-articulated culture war over religious belief. Both the atheists and the creationists/ID supporters are in full agreement that there can be no peace… Neither is interested in any synthetic middle ground where one might simultaneously embrace a science shorn of its over-reaching scientism and a faith freed from a simplistic biblical literalism. As the voices grow louder and more insistent, the perch between them will grow ever more precarious, making it all but impossible to avoid sliding by default down a slippery slope toward one or the other.”

Ah, poor Frank! The “perch between them” is nothing but a rickety fence. Both sides recognize the logical inconsistency of embracing two mutually exclusive positions. It’s called the Law of the Excluded Middle. People insist on logical consistency, Frank. They insist that you pick a side.

And not even God likes a mugwump, Frank.

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” – Jesus Christ to the Church at Laodicea, Revelation 3:15-16

Think about it.

Rev Tony Breeden

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Sentinel says:

    I’m not convinced that there need be a logical inconsistency, any more than there is a logical inconsistency in the fact that Jesus was both fully human and fully God, or that we are composed of both body and soul. Indeed, Christians are implored to embrace these seeming “contradictions” and understand the richer, fuller truth inherent in accepting both sides.

    God’s revelation through His creation and His revelation through His word are both given to us, and neither makes much sense without the other. By embracing both, our understanding of God grows and we grow closer to Him.

    1. Sentinel,

      I disagree with you for the excellent reason that you are in error. Jesus warned Nicodemus in John 3:12, “If I tell you of earthly things and you believe not; how then shall you believe if I tell you of spiritual things?”

      When the Bible makes a claim about the physical world, we hold that claim to be true or else the entire Bible [claiming as it does to be truth and the revealed Word of a God who cannot lie] were false.

      In comparing the Genesis account of Creation to the dual nature of man or the hypostatic union, you’ve compared apples to oranges. These things are classified as mysteries, things we know from special revelation [and might not have ascertained by human reason alone] though we may not understand how these things are. It’s analogous to telling a kid that cars run on gas. He may not comprehend how its actually accomplished [internal combustion and whatnot] but he knows his earthly father knows more than he does and that it is true that a car runs on gas even if he doesn’t understand why or how this is so.

      The Genesis account is unfortunately much more specific, making claims about timeframes [6 days], orders of events [birds and whales before land animals] and processes [God created] that contradict the fabricated history of scientists with a naturalistic bias [millions of years, birds and whales after land animals, the world came to be by undirected, chance events without the need for a deity] that does not allow for God’s involvement. When two authorities make truly contradictory truth claims, we are faced with the law of the excluded middle [the subject of this post!]. In these cases we must decide which authority we will hold to and which we will re-interpret or dismiss entirely. Why do you claim to revere God’s revealed Word and then edit its meaning every time godless scientists opine to the contrary? Why do you not say, Let God be true and every man a liar? Why do you not judge the ever-changing error-prone graspings of men who weren’t there and conduct science by a philosophy which excludes God from all consideration [naturalism] by the revealed Word of a perfect, unfailing God who never lies and who was there?

      1. Sentinel says:

        Your humility is truly inspirational.

        It’s great to know that we can rely entirely on your (flawed, human, error-prone) judgement to ascertain when exactly the Bible is being poetic and when it is to be interpreted with absolute blind literalism.

        Unless, of course, the hills will literally sing and the trees literally sprout hands and clap them (Isaiah 55:12), and unless we are literally identical to salt (Matthew 5:13).

      2. Sentinel,

        You’re begging the question. You imply that if we do not interpret Genesis as poetry, that we cannot interpret anything else as poetry either, but this begs that Genesis is poetry not history.

        I could respond with sarcasm in kind, but let me do this another way…

        There was a time when someone dear to me asked, “What about evolution?” and I responded, “well, I suppose God could have used evolution.” My understanding of the issue back then was rather shallow. I relied more on the authority of Christians scholars and since Luminaries such as CS Lewis seemed to have no problem with an ancient universe, I happily occupied myself with other matters. I was, after all, learning to walk in the Christian faith. [Some men, such as Dr Jay Wile, have mistakenly decided that if such Luminaries allowed for such things that such things must be allowable; I agree more with Luther here, who confessed that we honor the Fathers, but we hold to the clear teaching of the Scriptures where they differ from it.]

        Now I’m fully convinced of the error of goo-to-you evolution and that the Genesis account recounts the true history of how God created everything in 6 solar days. How did I come to such a place, so far removed from my shoulder-shrugging mugwumpery of a decade earlier? The Holy Spirit began to guide me into all truth. I let my views be less informed by those with a philosophical bias against the supernatural and began to honestly entertain the apparently outlandish idea that God meant what He said and that the world would make sense if I started with His revealed Word as my starting point. Despite the objectiuons of unbelievers [Christian or pagan], I have found I was wholly justified in giving God the benfit of the doubt.

        Now I realize you might again accuse me of a lack of humility, but the Bible does claim that we can know the truth and it warns that the Bible is of no private interpretation. It is fortunate that I do not have to rely completely upon my own human judgment when I interpret the Bible, but can lean upon the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

    2. Flyer75 says:


      You make the claim that and error that most naturalists make and that is that God’s specific revelation (Scripture) is on the same level as His natural revelation (nature). The problem is, natural revelation is flawed, fallen, and not in the original state that it was created.

      Yes, God’s glory is revealed in nature, but much of God is not revealed. Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit and inerrant.

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