Re: St. Basil's 400AD view of the Days of proclamation

Bill Hamilton (
Thu, 02 Sep 1999 09:50:14 -0400

At 04:17 PM 8/30/99 -0400, wrote:
>I remember
>that Wolterstorff's conclusion is that neither science nor the Bible
>provides us with a foundation of indubitable propositions from which to
>establish the Bible's main claims. We have to begin with faith, and end
>with faith. This does not equate to fideism -- mere faith in faith --
>because we still have reason as a tool.

I agree, although I would quibble a bit about the use of "faith". Not that
there's anything wrong with faith -- in fact it's crucial. But it can also
be used as shorthand for a Christian's total relationship with his Lord,
and something crucial -- the relationship -- can get lost in a drive for
economy of words. Between Christians this is not a problem. But when
discussing how we look at nature with nonbelievers, I think shorthand can
be dangerous. It's all too easy for a nonbeliever to pass "faith" off as a
vague word meaning "belief in what ain't so". Why are Christians committed
to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their lives? I would say because they
have encountered Christ personally. It is a relationship with a real
Person that makes the Christian committed. Evidence is important, and can
have a valuable role in the conversion of some people. But when we try to
approach a nonbeliever with evidence that we hope will convince him to
become a Christian, we have to remember that it is really the grace of God
that brings people to Christ. We have an obilgation to show the fruit of
our relationship with Him in our relationships with others and to patiently
explain why we believe, and what He has done for us. And certainly when we
see in nature and history what we perceive to be evidence of His hand, we
should come forth with it. But in the end it's God Himself Who confronts
the individual and brings about his conversion.

Of course how we approach topic depends on our objective. I believe (and I
hope) the objective of the Young Earth Creationist is to provide evidence
that will convince the nonbeliever that God has been at work in nature
since its creation, and logically lead him to trust in Christ. But I fear
all too many of them get so wrapped around the axle about the age of the
earth that they don't get to the crucial issue: Who is Jesus Christ. In a
sense they are larrting the modern, materialistic mindset of the world set
the agenda. We Christians have something better than naturalism and better
than materialism. We will not be able to show that, however, if we hold to
evidential reasoning exclusively.
Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
Staff Research Engineer
Electrical and Controls Integration MC 480-106-390
GM R&D Center
30500 Mound Road
Warren, MI / (home)