A New Contributor

| 16 Comments

I am happy to announce that The Panda’s Thumb has a new contributor, one that I think will bring quite a different perspective to the evolution/creationism debate. Up until now, all of our contributors have been scientists, academics or interested amateurs like myself. Now we have our first contributor from the theological side of things.

Henry Neufeld is a writer and Bible teacher with his BA in Biblical Languages from Walla Walla College, College Place, WA, and his MA in Religion, concentrating in Biblical and Cognate languages from Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI. His MA project focused on developing a consistent model for understanding imagery shared between ancient near eastern cultures, particularly in creation myths. He is president of Pacesetters Bible School, a non-profit religious educational organization dedicated to taking Biblical scholarship to the people in the pews. He is co-author of When 3 to 8 Gather and I Want to Pray (both under revision for a second edition) and author of What’s in a Version? He recently founded Energion Publications, a small publishing company whose mission is to publish challenging material on religious topics, and also maintains the web site Energion.com which publishes articles on the same topics. Henry is married with two step-children, and lives in Pensacola, Florida where he is a member of a United Methodist congregation.

Henry has been a friend of mine for something going on 11 years now. He is in fact one of the very first people I encountered when I began participating in online bulletin boards and such, in the Compuserve Religion Forum. I am thrilled that he will be bringing his perspective here as a Christian and a Hebrew scholar. I have long believed that the evolution/creationism debate is far too often framed as Christianity v. atheism, when that simply is not the case. Evolution is accepted by most of the mainline Christian denominations, and some of our most powerful and eloquent spokesmen on behalf of evolution and sound science education are Christians. Ken Miller, Glenn Morton, Howard Van Till, Keith Miller and our own Wesley Elsberry come to mind. I am glad that Henry Neufeld has accepted my offer to patronize our little establishment and lend us his always challenging and well-reasoned views on this important subject. Welcome, Henry.

16 Comments

Welcome, indeed! I’m looking forward to reading your contributions, Henry!

I’m looking forward to not reading his contributions. But if it helps oppose the fundies, I suppose there could be some benefit.

Welcome Henry to one of the most frustrating underappreciated unpaid volunteer jobs on the Internet. Any friend of Ed’s is … well … at least likely to have a sharp wit :)

I’m looking forward to not reading his contributions. But if it helps oppose the fundies, I suppose there could be some benefit.

Nonsense. There are brilliant theologists out there, doing some very interesting work. Why wouldn’t you want to read them?

Admittedly, they are outnumbered by the cranks… but bright people always have been.

I’m looking forward to his contributions!

Welcome!

One of my good friends is also a minister and a scholar - and a scientist. We often discuss the unfortunate gap between religion and science.

Welcome Henry! As an atheist and proactive defender of evolution I spend a lot of time worrying about religious fundamentalists. Unfortunately this means I often forget I have allies in the religious camp who share my beliefs in rationalism and inclusiveness. I look forward to reading your contributions.

Hello Henry! Nice to see you here!

As one somewhat familiar with Henry’s experience and perspective, I can assure PT readers that Henry will provide valuable contributions here.

Welcome, Henry.

Hi Henry, Good to have a sound theological point of view. ie someone that understands how relegious text got to where they have today. Please excuse my sarcastic remarks about some biblical passages and some peoples interpretation of those passages in advance.

Welcome aboard, Harry! I will value hearing opinions from the religious side of this. Though an atheist, I see absolutely no reason to treat all of those of faith as potential Creationists, and a different perspective is always healthy.

There are brilliant theologists out there, doing some very interesting work.

Exactly. I enjoy perusing theses on comparative literature, proving the point that just because it’s fiction doesn’t mean it’s a complete waste of time.

Finally I can say that I know someone from Walla Walla, Washington. Welcome aboard.

Welcome Henry. First round is on you. Tradition, y’know.

Gary

I think what Ben has to say about fiction is very important– It seems to me that the real strength of many religions works lies in the narrative, the ideas, and other literary elements. And none of them suffers a lick when we regard these writings as fiction. Christianity in particular has some big-time mojo there: Overcoming death is a big, powerful theme; as time goes on, our losses add up, and in this life there’s no way to put things right. The shared recognition that the world is not as we would like it to be, the acknowledgment that we can’t help hoping for better no matter how things stand, is important here and now. Of course, this turns theology into the study of a certain kind of literature– but literature is no worse for being fiction.

Even if I am an italian, I never really met a theologist. And I have a question for the new contributor. Could there be a agnostic theologist? I mean, a researcher in the life and deeds of a divine being who is (at least) skeptical about the existence of the divine being itself? I know it sound like a silly question, but it is, so to speak, functional to a thesis of mine on theology and science. Thanks for the answer.

MarkIII

MarkIII is scepticism the same as doubt? If so then I have no doubt that your creature exists, from time to time.

MarkIII Wrote:

Even if I am an italian, I never really met a theologist. And I have a question for the new contributor. Could there be a agnostic theologist? I mean, a researcher in the life and deeds of a divine being who is (at least) skeptical about the existence of the divine being itself? I know it sound like a silly question, but it is, so to speak, functional to a thesis of mine on theology and science.

I see no reason why an agnostic cannot study theology. Usually, however, an agnostic would be more interested in areas such as comparative religions, history of religion and the various literary subdisciplines, such as Biblical studies.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ed Brayton published on November 24, 2004 3:08 PM.

Was Darwin Wrong? was the previous entry in this blog.

Opening Shot is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter