Re: I am not an atheist

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Sun, 09 Nov 1997 11:04:01 -0500 (EST)

At 03:32 PM 11/7/97 -0500, Jan de Koning wrote:
>Nobody is "theologically neatral," not even when doing science. God
>reveals Himself in Nature. How can you read the book of Nature without
>taking that into account? I don't think that you can do it, nor anyone
>else. You cannot split life in two parts: one part in which God works, and
>another in which God is absent. The only difficulty we as Christians have
>is: How can we read the book of the Bible and the book of Nature in a
>consistent manner, doing justice to both.

The subject matter of science is quite distinct from that of theology. I do
not see any overlap. I believe if there is any, it could give rise to bad
science. Of course, the early scientists who actually developed modern
physics, e.g., Newton, Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus, etc., may have used
their Christian faith as an inspiration and motivation for their scientific
work but once the enterprise was started, one's religion does not play a
leading role in doing good science. [Of course, there are ethical behaviors
in doing science which may be dictated by your faith.] I really don't
disagree with what you are saying.

>Personally, I believe that we all often read Scripture as we read a
>textbook. It is not intended that way. In the Bible we find poetry;
>stories intended to get a basic "truth" to us, for example that God is
>faithful: sometimes factual stories, for example the resurrection of our
>Lord; sometimes prophecies to make us live a more Christian lifestyle;
>sometimes prophecies to tell us what is going to happen; etc.
>Unfortunately, we Christians do not always agree in which category a
>certain chapter of the Bible belongs. But I repeat, the whole of the Bible
>is God's Word. And nothing in Nature happens outside God's Providence and
>Will. How everything hangs together only God knows.

I totally agree. That is why I have such difficulty with the question of the
origin of man as advocated by the theory of evolution. If I see a chair and
a table for the first time, how can I know which came first? They both have
four legs and look somewhat similar. Can we answer such questions without
raising the issue of the purpose for such items? I can think of good
reasons for either choice.

>One fact that is causing much difficulty in our thinking is that God is
>outside time, since as Creator He created time.
>Jan de Koning
>Willowdale, Ont.

I usually visualize Creator/creature by analogy to author/characters in
book. I have a hard time also visualizing four-dimensional spacetime,
particle/wave duality, Trinity. Of course, the Trinity can be visualized in
analogy to the particle/wave nature of matter or energy.