Evolution, Evil, and the Theology of the Cross
AbstractThe theodicy question within the dialogue between the Darwinian model of evolution and Christian theology is the focus of this essay: where do we find divine action in an evolutionary world? The central principle of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology — the selfish gene drives evolution through DNA replication — challenges theistic evolutionists: did God create the selfish gene? Is God responsible for the struggle in the animal world that leads to evil in the human world: violence, war, and genocide? Three alternative answers to the question of evolving evil are examined: (1) atheism and altruism; (2) the free will defense of God combined with divine kenosis; and (3) the Theology of the Cross combined with the promise of eschatological new creation. Rather than blessing the victors in the survival of the fittest, a Theology of the Cross places God present to the suffering of the unfit, the victims of predation and of species having gone extinct. Rather than bless nature blood «red in tooth and claw» (Tennyson), a theology of new creation hopes for a divine transformation of not only the human reality but of nature as well.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work 6 (six) months after publication simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.