Re: YEC, OEC, PC, TE, etc.

Paul Arveson (
Thu, 18 Apr 96 17:31:26 EDT

In message <> Bill Hamilton writes:

> The language "theology, not cosmology" as though the two are mutually
> exclusive bothers me. In one sense I agree with you: the absolute,
> rock-hard, nonnegotiable subject of Genesis 1 is that God created the
> heavens and the earth and their contents, that He's sovereign over it.
> However, I would hesitate to completely rule out that some incidental
> things are said about cosmology. ....

I don't mean "mutually exclusive". I mean "different".

This is a deep issue and I am aware that there are those in ASA who teach
varying degrees of "difference". Richard Bube, in his recent book "Putting it
all Together" has offered a helpful way to think about the issue, as far as it

I have been influenced by him and many others in ASA on this issue. I
believe the key to understanding the Biblical view involves a kind of
2-dimensional logic of complementarity. There are constraints or "control
beliefs" that go both ways. We also must always remember that all our thinking
is fallen as well as finite, so it is error-prone, as the history of science (or
theology) clearly shows.

I have been trying to develop a general view on this issue for many years.
Sometimes it makes my head ache. We know when we go too far astray -- alarms go
off immediately, as they did for you. But on the other hand you must not forget
Galileo, who was accused of heresy for his views about cosmology. He warned the
theologians at that time to "take heed" of what they say, because years later
the situation might be reversed, and they will be boxed in by a view that is
manifestly false to science, and then the Church would be ridiculed. How right
he was.

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-1914 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)
Code 724, NSWC, Bethesda, MD 20084