Re: Reading Recommendation

Geoffrey Horton (
Mon, 13 Jan 1997 20:55:43 -0600

Michael Thompson said:

> One of the striking things I found was all of the parallels that I
> could draw between the positions in NT scholarship and the positions in
> the creation debate.

That's what I was trying to get at. My problem was that I found myself
occupying different positions in the two debates. I am not a YEC; I am
firmly convinced that, at the very least, most of what some modern
scholarship labels "allegory" in the Gospels (the Resurrection and
Ascension, the Virgin Birth, various miracles) are accurate descriptions of
real events. Defining what I mean by "real" is one of many problems this
debate engenders.

I'll therefore skip answering that and mention one section that I found
very useful in Wright's book: Chapter 4, Section 4, subsection (ii) is
entitled "The Requirements of a Good Hypothesis." I think that I have
found here the section I want to quote from:

"There are thus three things that a good hypothesis (in any field) must do.
. . . First, it must include the data. The bits and pieces of evidence
must be incorporated, without being squeezed out of shape any more than is
inevitable, granted that I am looking at them through my own eyes, not from
a god's-eye-view. . . . Second, it must construct a basically simple and
coherent overall picture. . . . These first two aspects of a good
hypothesis--getting in the data, and simplicity--are always, of course, in
tension with each other. It is easy to create simple hypotheses at the
expense of some of the data; it is easy to suggest explanations for all the
data at the cost of producing a highly complex and convoluted hypothesis. .
. . There is . . . a third thing a good hypothesis must do if it is to
stand out from the others. The proposed explanation must prove itself
fruitful in other related areas, must explain or help to explain other

I would suggest, first of all, that this is a very good explication of the
scientific method (though he does not label it as such); and second that
applying these criteria to both Old and New Testaments would shed
considerable light on some of the ongoing debates.

Yours in Christ,