Re: revelation, the Incarnation and epistemology

Bill Hamilton (
Fri, 10 May 1996 13:06:40 -0400

Bill Dozier wrote:

>Now before we go completely off the solipsistic deep end, let me propose a
>solution. Suppose that someone that is not so limited in his knowledge can
>visit our caveman and tell him whether his model corresponds to a true
>reality. This is how I understand the crucial role that God's revelation of
>Himself both in Christ and in Scripture has in the basis for doing
>scientific investigation. If we have no communication from outside of the
>range of our senses, then we can never know that our senses tell us about

Interesting idea, and I thank you for posting the paraphrase of Jeans. I
thought of adding some things to your analogy in critiquing it, but I think
it's better to just cut straight to the chase as I see it. The Person who
has come to visit us in our world, in which we cannot see the complete
reality He sees, is Jesus Christ of course. What did He come to tell us?
He came to tell us the most important message that has ever been
communicated in all of time: that He is God, and that our sins can be
forgiven because He died on the cross for us. How long did He have to tell
us? Roughly three years, recorded in four gospels and 23 letters which
make up maybe a third of the Bible. Compared with the titanic,
mind-boggling nature of His central message, authenticating Old Testament
accounts would seem to be a lower priority. Not that I believe the Old
Testament accounts are just stories. We have trouble reconciling all of
them to what we know of science and earth history, but when all the facts
are known they will be shown to be true in the sense that God intends them
to be true (obviously "all the facts" includes details of the Author's
intentions that we may not know today). To try to translate into your
analogy, if a person from the "outside" could visit your cave dweller, the
visitor might well have far more important issues to discuss with him than
the movements of ships. When we study the word of God we have to let God
set the agenda. Of course that agenda includes telling us about historical
events, and I don't believe God would mislead us about historical events.
But I also don't believe He intends to mislead us by what He has shown us
in nature. So when there is an apparent conflict between the two, we need
to keep studying and withhold judgment.

Bill Hamilton | Chassis & Vehicle Systems
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