Re: Glenn's departure.

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Fri, 27 Nov 1998 13:30:47 -0500 (EST)

At 09:07 AM 11/27/98 -0600, John P. McKiness wrote:
>At 04:00 AM 11/27/98 PST, you wrote:
>>Thanks for all your replies to my questions.
>>However I think we have missed the point. Epistemological issues still
>>hound all who are serious about truth, Jesus and the Bible. We can
>>develop ever more elaborate systems of exegesis that speak what we want
>>- and so become eisegesis - but there's no analogue of the scientific
>>method to provide some level of "reality comparison" [I was going to say
>>verification, but that's philosophically suspect.]
>>Our interpretations remain just that and there's no way of knowing...
>>Perhaps my discussion is straying away from ASA's mandate - however
>>science is a way of knowing that as Christians we MUST believe is only
>>one way of knowing, NOT the only way. We must examine all aspects of
>>what we face. I am an evolutionist, even a Darwinist, and I don't see
>>any reason to doubt that research programme's validity - but I am
>>becoming increasingly aware of its incompleteness. And the willingness
>>of Darwinism's Apostles to cast an ever wider net of explanation over
>>phenomena. Take Edward Wilson's book "Consilience" which is an attempt
>>at, and apologetic for, a universal system of knowledge based on
>>Darwinism and physicalism. What's missing is any sense of encounter with
>>something truly Other. Something unexpected and alien.
>>The Other challenges any sense of completeness that I might feel about a
>>theory or theoretical system, and it's barely addressed. Any thoughts?
>I agree with you and I believe that there is no solution to the problem we
>have given ourselves, as we are in fact struggling with two incompatible
>systems. In one we set up the rules to "truth" and find that the result
>only approximates "reality." In the other system, we are given only a
>partial glimpse of reality and our sinful nature rebels at the rules God
>imposes and the Truth He reveals. We want absolutes, but we cannot accept
>those we are given and we find those we impose unsatisfying incomplete. We
>are caught on the horns of the dichotomy and there is no way off in this
>life, because the two systems have nothing in common and cannot interact
>with each other.
>I believe that the ASA list is about the only place we can discuss this
>issue, and until it is in the open and addressed, nothing else is worth
>discussing here or anywhere else.

The Book of Nature (the Works of God) and the Bible (the Word of God) cover
the whole of the human experience. Both are given to us but our
understanding of them changes with time. The subject matter of science is
limited. A good reductionist would say that the subject matter of science
entails only matter/energy. Note that the essence of the Bible is the
spiritual aspect of reality--that which man senses but goes undetected by
machines. The difference in kind between the two books is astronomical. Note
that even in science we have degrees of complexity which are presently
unsurmountable to our understanding. Who are we then to demand absolute
understanding when it comes to the spiritual? It is the result of pride
which gives us that pretense. It is also maddening to expect that the
description of the spiritual would be as simple as the mathematical models
we use in science. We simplify in order that our brains can conceive. How
are we to simply that which conceives so that we can understand how it
conceives? It is OK to speculate but do not take yourself too seriously.
Let us love ourselves a little bit more and not torture ourselves with what
lies clearly beyond us.