Re: Methodological naturalism

Allan Harvey (
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 13:57:28 -0700

At 10:24 AM 3/27/98 -0800, Phillip E. Johnson wrote:
>Finally, to Allan Harvey (a good cross-examiner who would do well as a
>lawyer): The church does not misinterpret my message. My message is
>stated clearly in these paragraphs, as in many more lengthy writings. I
>find that it is being widely and correctly understood -- except in certain
>enclaves where people have a vested interested in misunderstanding.

Resisting temptation, I thank you for the compliment. But I must
disagree with the next sentence. To put it precisely: either much of the
church misinterprets your message, or else your message really is
theologically bankrupt in tying the truth of theism to the falsity of the
theory of evolution.

Maybe *your* church (which, unless you have switched, is the one I was
blessed to attend as a grad student) does not buy into that theology.
But about a year ago my pastor here basically told the congregation
"Christianity is OK after all because Phil Johnson and Mike Behe are
showing that evolution is wrong after all." There are video
presentations around with titles like "50 Reasons Evolution is Wrong"
which have the clear message that if evolution *isn't* wrong,
Christianity *is* wrong.

So, for the sake of these people, and for the sake of furthering this
potentially productive discussion, I will ask once more that you examine
your theology and state whether or not you would be in agreement with the
following statement (I am, of course, especially interested in the 2nd half):

>"While I believe the evidence does not support the theory of evolution,
>and while it has been abused as a tool by those pushing an atheist
>agenda, the Christian faith does not suffer if it turns out that
>evolution is true. God can create however He chooses, and is not
>diminished if His work in creation was through 'natural' processes."

If Prof. Johnson is still unwilling to deal with this statement, how
about others in the ID movement? Paul Nelson, are you willing to make
such a statement? Does the theory of evolution, if true, negate
Christianity, or not? It seems like such a simple question to be dodged
so many times.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | "Don't blame the |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | government for what I |
| 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303 | say, or vice versa." |