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

From: Jan de Koning (
Date: Tue May 07 2002 - 17:10:02 EDT

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    At 09:18 AM 07/05/02 -0500,Tom Pearson wrote:

    >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 of
    > > 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?

    Definitely, but they require study as well, and not just an accepting of
    what everyone else is saying. For example, when our Lord said that we
    will always have the poor with us, He meant not only that we can take. care
    of them, but must take care of them. There for it is very un-christian in
    N.America that we have slums and areas where only millionaires and
    multi-millionaires live. It is a "scientific" problem, though probably
    more for economists and political science people than for people on this
    list. However, scientists on this list could volunteer to teach at African
    universities for next to nothing. That would share technology with third
    world countries.
    Or, how about the technologies in the medical field which become more and
    more in the hands of pharmaceutical companies. It is even possible for
    science profs to be fired because they are funded by these companies, and
    so lose their income if they say what they think. (here at the UoT.) Not
    al technology is christianly responsible.
    Some time ago (maybe years?) we had on this forum discussions about
    Maybe, by saying why you think that there are no insights on this forum on
    population control, you may get quite a discussion going.

    >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 beg to differ. The earth is the Lord's and the fullness
    thereof. Nothing is just "technical". Saying so removes the actions of
    technical people and scientists from the rule of the lord.

    >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.

    Actually, in this sinful world nothing will be "uniquely" christian
    yet. Having reviewed books on genetic research I am more than ever
    convinced that it is time that christian scientists see, that there are
    grave dangers in genetic research. For example some writers show that in a
    book published by Harvard University Press: Who Rules in Science,
    ed.J.R.Brown. Also, as I referred to above that a prof. here in Toronto
    was fired because she did not say what the company paying for the research


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