Dear Folks -
I have asked Dr. Don Maple to speak for us this week. Don is a
member of St. Paul's and a retired Methodist minister. The title of
his talk is -
"Evolution in Scripture and Life"
This is what he has to say about it:
Following on the O.L. theme of "awakening," we will examine
Scripture as the religious community that wrote it matured in their
understanding of the forces that they saw shaping their lives and
named them God. Using Stephen Gould's concept of punctuated
equilibrium we'll think about how that idea suggests that change comes
gradually and at propitious occasions. Life moves along on a flat
plane and then usually in the life of an individual punctuation or a
transitional moment occurs and a step in depth understanding happens.
Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, etc. had such moments.
We will compare the macrocosmic understanding of God in the Hebrew
Bible with a similar microcosmic process toward maturity in our own
lives. Hopefully this will help us see more clearly that the Bible
speaks of our life journey in surprising ways. Using the Christian
Bible concept of teleios (maturity) we will see what Jesus is calling
for on a central theme in His teaching. (Agape love is mature love).
The purpose of this teaching is to help us understand that the
Hebrew Bible God of sometimes vengeance and war-like desires (see
Jericho) is not a different God from Jesus' God of grace and love, but
rather represents a growing maturity in the religious community's
ability to name what they experience. Not only is the Old Testament
God the same God as the New Testament names, but that God is still in
the process of being revealed. I call this thought "developmental
theology," the basis of my doctoral work.
Don is a solid and good person. I hope you are able to attend and
take advantage of this opportunity to hear him.