RE: Kline article in PSCF

Keith B Miller (
Thu, 11 Apr 1996 08:00:23 -0500

Glen wrote:

>First, concerning my elevated position of observational
>data, I would dare say that you also hold a similar
>elevated position for "scientific (or historical)" data.
>If you don't then why would you find the YEC explanation so
>unpalatable? Afterall "truth can be apprehended and
>communicated in a great variety of ways". A YEC is simply
>communicating God's truth in his own novel way! (with
>little appeal to the observational data) With your
>viewpoint of how truth is communicated how could you
>possibly say they are wrong?

You misread me. All truth is not observational or able to be communicated
in historical/scientific terms. It is important to understanding the
nature of the truth being communicated and the means of communication being
used. For example: poetical passages need to be evaluated as poetry, just
as chronological historical narrative needs to be evaluated on that basis.
While the YEC position is scientific nonsense and could be rejected on that
basis (because I believe that God speaks truthfully and intellibably
through His creation), that is not the primary reason I reject it. I
reject it fundamentally because it is based on a way of interpreting
scripture that is unable to accept that God would communicate in any other
manner than in a rigorously literal and "scientific" way.

>Second, an artist, a dancer and a poet do not always convey
>objective information. After watching a dance I don't ever
>go into the lab to test and see if the dancer was correct
>about what he conveyed to me. Did the dancer convey
>testable objective truth? I have never seen such a thing
>but then I don't go to too many dances. I don't ask myself
>if the painting in the art gallery is true or not
>(especially if it is an abstract). These types of
>comparisons leave me a little confused as to how I am to

Not all truth is objective scientifically testable information. Art can
express deep profound truth - in ways that are more effective many times
than written communication. How much of the communication between people
is non-verbal? I can sometimes communicate my thoughts, my heart, my
desires more clearly in non-verbal ways. A poem, a parable, a metaphor can
often much more effectively communicate a truth about spiritual realities
than "objective information". Much of Christ's teaching involved the use
of parable. Some of the richest sources of truth about the character of
God are communicated in poetical form in the Psalms. The prophets commonly
utilized theatre to proclaim their message.

In all of my comments here I am not discussing any particular passage in
particular, but simply trying to emphasize that one means of communication
is not superior to another. And that scripture to be true and trustworthy
does not have to be framed in testable objective historical prose. Most
importantly, my primary desire is to know what God is trying to communicate
to me. How does he want me to change my thoughts and actions to be more
conformed to His image? I do alot better at reading scripture when I keep
that objective formost - I believe it is then that I am willing to hear
what God is trying to say.

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