If humans do truly evolve and gain higher understandings of various concepts — e.g. mathematics, physics, biology, etc. — we ought to expect that humans will evolve greater understandings of topics like philosophy and theology. The past is not ignored, but the history of philosophy and theology provides a foundation upon which we develop more sophisticated and reasonable models. We must be in constant, dynamic relationship with our predecessors, but we must also not allow them the final word. Allow me to clarify.

I should not reject Aristotle’s work in the development of formal logic merely because he articulated those ideas more than two thousand years ago. Assuming falsehood merely on the premise that the system offered is old is not an honest academic method. However, neither must I reject developments in propositional and modal logic merely because they are not identical to Aristotle’s logic. We must accept what is true in both of these models and understand the relationship between them.

Likewise, as a Christian theologian or philosopher, I must built upon the core truths articulated by the early church fathers in the ecumenical creeds. However, I must also not reject certain theological frameworks — e.g. theistic evolution or a rejection of divine simplicity merely — on account of them not aligning with what the church fathers believed.  It is vital to proper theology and philosophy that we not casually accept or dismiss certain beliefs on account that they align with or differ from our predecessors’ positions. We must be open to progression and deeper insight, but we must also work with the foundation already laid.