Re: A Christian's Responsibility (was: Miller's Request for N&V
Fri, 24 Sep 1999 02:13:04 EDT

Ray wrote:

<< Paul S. wrote

>When also God has appointed man to "subdue the earth" it a frustration of
>divine intention to refuse to use our knowledge and capabilities of
>investigation. Further, we are called to accept by faith that which has been
>>divinely revealed, not the historical or scientific information as such,
>which in Scripture is always represented as contingent upon human sources.
>It is some form of extra-biblical philosophical idealism which has led
>Christians to expect Scripture to be an inerrant guide to science and
>history. The Bible makes no such claim.

I believe you are correct.

My problem with this analysis is that it does not include the reader.
If the Biblical authors relied on the natural knowledge of the day to convey
immutable truths, then is the reader to interpret those truths in
light of the natural knowledge of their day or of our day? If it is their
day, then we attenuate our interpretation of the text so as to ignore
our current experience of nature (which I believe has differentiated into
science and common sense). If it is our day, then we have the extra
biblical philosophical idealism problem.

I think that any solution of the [ancient presenter: modern reader]
dilemma will be difficult to articulate in light of the immutable truth
that the contemplation of nature can lead us to God.

As I listened to a lecture last night by the theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg,
I thought of Ray's comments. Wolfhart first interpreted Gen 1 in the light
of its historical background and then went on to apply it to our times. It
may be that his writings, especially his 3 vol work in theology and in a
recent book edited, he said, by Peters (Ted Peters?) would be helpful to
those on the list asking the questions that Ray has asked.

Paul S.