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This paper argues that in most of the literature on science and faith written from a Christian perspective theology is used to make sense of the natural world. Understanding the nature and character of the Creator gives Christians a framework for understanding creation. While this claim is rarely disputed, there is a lack of specific explanation as to how theology can make sense of the things we observe in nature, and specifically the relationship between theology and cosmology. By examining the wider literature on science and faith, as well as comparing the origins and development of the natural world with theological thought, this essay argues that the doctrine of sanctification has a valuable contribution to make to the conversation. It asserts in particular that it is possible for theology to make sense of the natural world by offering a specific analysis of the potential structural similarities that exist between soteriology and cosmological evolution.
(This paper was highly commended by the reading panel for the 2017 Fraser Essay Prize competition.)