I think that posing the question as "Is good theology necessary to do good
science?" skews the issue. It would be better to ask whether any theology at all is
necessary to do good science. Is any reference to God necessary or can science be done
_etsi deus non daretur_? I would answer that indeed no reference to God is needed, and
that the world can be described though (or, as Torrance would prefer, "as if") God were
A basis for that claim within Christian theology itself was suggested in a
fragmentary way by Bonhoeffer in his _Letters and Papers from Prison_ and developed in a
quite profound way - though without dealing with science - by Juengel in his _God as the
Mystery of the World_. I have tried to work out some implications of this for
science-theology dialogue in several articles. The basis for all this is a proper
theology of the crucified - i.e., good theology.
However, _bad_ theology can definitely be a hindrance to science. E.g., A
notion that God continually intervenes in the natural order in arbitrary ways would make
the development of science difficult but not impossible. Johnson's theology isn't that
bad but his assumption that God must "leave his fingerprints all over the evidence"
instead of being the God who hides (Isaiah 45:15) & "empties" (Phil.2:5-11) himself is
bad theology which is likely to distort any science which it influences.
George L. Murphy