RE: Please show respect (was GEN 1-11: Beyond the concordist debate)

From: Shuan Rose (
Date: Tue May 07 2002 - 14:11:38 EDT

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    Well, for example, on the genetics issue, certain Christian groups are
    already weghing in asking for a ban on stem-cell research. Clearly , they
    feel that there is a "Christian " position on stem cell research. I think
    ASA has a role to play in educating the public about what Christian
    scientists think about these issues. Now, part of that educative effort may
    be that we say that there is no Christian position on such research.
    However, this is a debatable point and I think that we should have such a
    debate amongst ourselves.
    While there is no Christian position on the technical aspects of such
    matters, I think that there se surely should be a Christian position on the
    approach that we should take in dealing with such issues.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On
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    Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2002 10:18 AM
    Subject: RE: Please show respect (was GEN 1-11: Beyond the concordist

    On Mon, 6 May 2002, Shuan Rose wrote:

    > Hey, Mike, thanks. I will certainly try. even on science related issues,
    > however, there a lot more issues and more pressing issues than CE.Aspects
    > science impact the ordinary American's life more than GEN 1-11. Take
    > environmentalism, for example. Genetics. The energy situation.Technology
    > sharing with Third World countries.Population control.Space
    > exploration.Global warming.
    > It seems Christian scientists should have something to say about those
    > issues that is scientific and Christian.

    While I very much appreciate your encouragement to move us beyond
    discussions of the minutiae of biblical hermeneutics, Shaun, I am
    genuinely puzzled by your last sentence. Is there anything specifically
    Christian that can be addressed to the issues you list above? Does the
    Gospel say anything that speaks directly to the problem of technology
    sharing with Third World countries? Are there any unique Christian
    insights regarding population control? A distinctive Christian position
    on space exploration?

    It seems to me that, whatever it is that informs our judgments on matters
    like the energy situation and global warming, the basis for those
    judgments cannot be immediately derived from the Christian Gospel. In
    that sense, good and useful insights on these problems are as likely to
    come from non-Christians as from Christians. What Christians do have is a
    different *motivation* for seeking greater wisdom about these things. We
    are convinced that the earth is the Lord's, and that it is good. But the
    conversations we have about such technical matters are not directly
    informed by anything that is distinctively Christian.

    I do not doubt that there are occasionally specific scientific issues that
    intersect with specific Christian concerns. And it is always helpful for
    me to hear what scientists who are also Christians have to say about these
    issues. But I have difficulty imagining that such scientists are
    functioning as Christians rather than scientific practitioners when they
    are serving in that kind of role, just as I have difficulty imagining that
    there is any particular "Christian position" on the environment or genetic

    So I would, like you, be happy to hear what Christian scientists have to
    say, on these issues, that is scientific. But I am far less convinced
    that any of us will have something to say, relevant to these topics, that
    is uniquely Christian.

    Tom Pearson

    Thomas D. Pearson
    Department of History & Philosophy
    The University of Texas-Pan American
    Edinburg, Texas

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