science-Scripture interaction

David Campbell (
Wed, 11 Feb 1998 12:21:56 -0400

>>I acknowledge your position as one perspective one can hold. I think it is
>>an attempt to accommodate scripture to science, and I have taken a
>>different road.
>Given the crucial role of history in Christianity, I think it is scriptural
>to expect extrabiblical and biblical evidence to agree. Extrabiblical
>evidence may resolve ambiguity in the biblical evidence, though the
>biblical evidence is more important.

This point needs clarified, but I was out of time. Any understanding of
the Bible must connect with our own experience. Most importantly, we
cannot understand God's working as depicted in it if we do not know
something of His work within us. For the physical aspects of the
narrative, our own knowledge of the physical world is vital to our
understanding of the text. For example, in most if not all Biblical
descriptions of crossing the Jordan, the river dries up and allows people
to pass. It's only by our acquaintance with rivers that we know that this
is very unusual and assume that, when the Bible does not describe the
crossing (or when someone crosses the river today), they have to ford it or
go to a bridge. Likewise, in the Song of Deborah, the mention of the stars
in their courses fighting against Sisera is not referring to the objects we
see in the night sky in a literal context. We know this because of modern
scientific studies of stars-the Bible doesn't say what they are. I do not
see why a study of geology, paleontology, cosmology, or other
origin-related science may not similarly inform us about the nature of
descriptions in Genesis 1-10.
Rather than accommodating Scripture to science, I think this is an
attempt to understand Scripture. I see young-earth efforts as
accommodating science to a particular interpretation of Scripture, not
required by the text itself. I do not think general or special revelation
should be accommodated to fit particular views, though it's much easier to
spot this in someone else than in oneself.

David C.