6 Comments

  1. Kasey

    One of my new professors said this in a lecture I was listening to: we have the book of creation and the book of revelation (Scripture) and while the exegesis of the two seems to conflict, the books themselves don’t. Very helpful!

  2. “I am satisfied that there are legitimate theories about how Christianity and science are compatible, and I don’t feel a pressing need to have all of the answers.” Great sentence and kinda how I’ve come to think of it haha – interesting to discuss but not something that determines my faith one way or the other. I think it’s also a matter of how literal one takes the Bible to be (I do think a lot of scripture is meant to be metaphorical). Looking forward to the next post!

  3. Another good book on the subject is “When Science Meets Religion” by Ian Barbour. He has developed a classification system of how science and religion can interact: conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration. Different chapters address how different aspects of science and religion fit into each of the four areas. Let’s take creation, in the broadest sense, as an example. The idea of primary and secondary cause first popularized by Thomas Aquinas is an example of independence: God is the primary cause and beyond investigation. Science studies secondary causes. The role of top-down and bottom-up causality should be considered under the heading of dialogue. Scientists studying how the ecosystem affects organisms (top-down) and how organisms affect the ecosystem (bottom-up) have much to discuss with theologians contemplating how an omnipotent God interacts with the creation. This is not and should not be a one-way relationship.

  4. Ellen

    Penn’s Veritas Forum dialoguers this year (the featured speaker being Ian Hutchinson, who just wrote a great book on how “science” became the Western arbiter of “truth”) talked about this a bit. Any reliable method of inquiry should be correctable. When an experiment offers new findings, we correct our scientific understanding of the thing we were inquiring about. Faith, in this way, can be “correctable,” if we are open to the concept. The earth going around the sun and the opposite theory are one good example. The church, upon finding new evidence, “corrected” its interpretations of the passages it used to support the doctrine that the sun went around the earth. As we gain greater understanding of how the universe functions, we’ll have to nuance our reading of the Bible along the way, just as many have to say that evolution and creation can be part of the same process belonging to God. This isn’t putting science before faith, it’s gaining a better understanding of what the Bible actually says.
    One of the questions I’m especially interested in is the evolutionary implication that death existed from the beginning, or at least before Adam and Eve. Evolution can be a very violent process, so why would a loving God choose to use it in his method for creating the world? Interestingly, Adam and Eve seem to understand the concept of death well enough to want to avoid it in Genesis… Interesting things to think about.

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