RE: Kline article in PSCF

Keith B Miller (
Sun, 7 Apr 1996 08:11:32 -0500

Glen wrote:

>Why is this the case? Why do we believe that Velikovsky is WRONG?
>Because these 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

I would argue that you are confusing a committment to the truth of
scripture and its consistency with all other truth which I fully share,
with a belief that scripture speaks in a consistent voice. You seem to
want scripture to always communicate truth is the same manner - to have a
uniform and a single hermeneutic for all scripture. Perhaps I am
misreading your position, but it also seems that, for you, truth
expressable in scientific (or historical) terms holds an elevated position.

I would argue that truth can be apprehended and communicated in a great
variety of ways. An artist, poet, dancer, etc can communicate truth just
as surely as a scientist - and can communicate some truths with much
greater clarity. The truth I discover as a scientist is not more sure or
higher than that grasped and communicated by the artist. God is so beyond
my grasp that to understand Him even in part would require all forms of
human expression available. I view the great variety of literary styles
and cultural contexts present in scripture as giving a richer more complete
picture of God than I could obtain from my own culture, literature,
science, etc. To argue that a given scriptural passage is not historical
or scientific in content is not to make it less true, or to give up the
belief that all truth is God's truth and must be consistent. A poet does
not deny scientific truth by speaking in non-scientific terms - or even by
using images that run contrary to scientific descriptions. A scientist and
poet simply are not speaking the same language! But they may both be
faithfully communicating truth. Since the type of communication does not
determine whether something is true or not, I am free to examine each
scriptural passage with an openess to the type of literature that may be
involved. And the type of literature that is being used will affect how I
read it. If I read poetry as a piece of scientific literature I am bound
to miss at least something of what was meant - as well as being open to
drawing false conclusions. The converse is of course also true.

Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506