RE: Kline article in PSCF (D. Kidner on Adam)

Bill Hamilton (
Thu, 4 Apr 1996 15:03:07 -0500

Glenn Morton quoted Kidner:
>>> Thirdly, however, the interests and methods of Scripture and
>>>science differ so widely that they are best studied, in any detail, apart.
>>>Their accounts of the world are as distinct (and each as legitimate) as an
>>>artist's portrait and an anatomist's diagram, of which no composite picture
>>>will be satisfactory, for their common ground is only in the total reality
>>>to which they both attend. It cannot be said too strongly that Scripture is
>>>the perfect vehicle for God's revelation, which is what concerns us here;
>>>and its bold selectiveness, like that of a great painting, is its power. To
>>>read it with one eye on any other account is to blur its image and miss its
>>>wisdom. To have God's own presentation of human beginning as they most
>>>deeply concern us, we need look no further than these chapters and their
>>>New Testament interpretation.
Glenn wrote

>Why do we believe that Velikovsky is WRONG? Because these [e.g. Velikovsky's]
>standards of truth are
>dualistic. We require a SINGLE standard of truth in all areas of hunan
>endeavor EXCEPT theology. That we
>allow to violate all sorts of other truths. And I believe we allow that
>because we have not been able to come
>up with a scenario which united the two realms of science and theology.
>Lacking this union, and lacking the
>courage to reject Judeo-Christianity because it is inconsistent with the known
>scientific facts, we come up
>with this dualistic approach. We can have our cake and eat it too.
>No one is going to like this but what Kidner is suggesting is no more and no
>less than exactly what the YEC's
>are doing. They also do not feel that theology has to be consistent with
>science. But instead of denying the
>actuality of the Biblical account, the YECs deny the actuality of science.
>The only difference I can see
>between these two positions is what is being denied. Kidner can't find a
>scenario which unites the data of
>science and the Bible so he loosens the Biblical data; the YECs loosen the
>Scientific data.
>With all my strength, I firmly believe that to accept a dualistic system of
>reality when it comes to theology
>vs. science, is to place us in the realm of Velikovsky and the YECs. Since I
>have already spent too much time
>as a YEC, I will not go back into that box willingly.

There is a difference between truth and a representation of truth. Human
means of gathering knowledge yield representations of truth. Due to the
imperfection of human abilities in gathering andinterpreting information,
to say nothing of human limitations in reasoning powers none of the
representations we deal with are perfect. Even what we know of God from the
Scriptures and from the testimony of the Holy Spirit is a representation of
truth -- graciously given to us by God so that we can understand what is
humanly possible and needful for us to understand of Him. It seems to me
that Kidner is saying that different representations of truth are imperfect
and therefore we should not be surprised when they don't fit exactly.

Having said that, I must admit some discomfort with Kidner's choice of words:

>>> Thirdly, however, the interests and methods of Scripture and
>>>science differ so widely that they are best studied, in any detail, apart.

This could be taken to mean that they must _always_ and forever be studied
apart. If indeed that's what he meant (I don't believe it is) then I'd be
just as concerned as Glenn is. We can't expect our various representations
of facets of the world around us to match at first blush. The methods are
different, the methods of calibration are different, the habits of thought
are different. But that doesn't mean we should not strive to relate
Scripture and science (and indeed any other pairs of disciplines when it
makes sense). When we do succeed in relating science and Scripture, if we
have done it honestly, without using shoddy reasoning and jumping to
conclusions, there are huge dividends in the form of increased confidence
in the truth of our faith.

Hey Glenn: can you make your line length a bit shorter? It doesn't bother
me, but someone's bound to be having fits over these long lines.

Bill Hamilton | Chassis & Vehicle Systems
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