From: Jim Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jun 25 2003 - 11:41:51 EDT
George - this "difficulty" in order of reading seems to be in tension with,
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his
eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood
from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Rom 1:20 (NIV).
Comment? Jim Armstrong
George Murphy wrote:
>>In a message dated 6/24/03 8:14:28 AM Mountain Standard Time,
>><< I think these answer entirely or partially all of Howard's questions except
>> the first one. As for that one, the answer is all over the place in the
>> concordist tradition since Bacon and Galileo in the early 17th century.
>> "Obviously," they would have told Howard, "the book of nature and the book
>> of scripture have the same author. Therefore they must agree, when rightly
>> interpreted." Indeed, although I am not a concordist myself, I think this
>> is probably the *strongest* reason one can give in support of *any* general
>> attitude/approach toward science and theology--namely, ,the assumption that
>> truth is one and has a single ultimate source.
>> ted >>
>>Perhaps this has been answered before on the list, but when was the "two
>>books" analogy first used? As Ted points out, it's obviously in Bacon and Galileo
>>but did it originate in late medieval or early modern Scholasticism? What
>>were the historical/theological circumstances that prompted its introduction?
>>Are there patristic sources?
> Several Christian sources have been noted by others. Related ideas are also
>part of the Jewish tradition. E.g., Rabbi Judah Halevi thought of the universe as
>/sefer/, "text". A discussion of his (& other) ideas is in Barry Kogan, "Judaism and
>Contemporary Scientific Cosmology - Redesigning the Design Argument" in David Novak and
>Norbert Samuelson (eds.), _Creation and the End of Days_ (University Press of America,
> But Halevi also shows one of the pitfalls of the 2 books metaphor, the idea that
>the "book of nature" is to be read _before_ the "book of scripture." He made use of the
>tradition that Abraham engaged in astronomical studies, and that only after this
>received the call described in Genesis 12. But there is absolutely no biblical support
>for this notion. The citations of Tertullian by Bob Schneider and of the Belgic
>Confession by Graham Morbey display the same problem. It is a problem because, inter
>alia, it usually results in having to shoehorn distinctively biblical concepts of God
>(Incarnation and Trinity) into a unitarian deity supposedly learned of from nature.
> The difficulty is not with the 2 books idea itself but with the order in which
>they are read. The book of scripture needs to be read before the book of nature (in
>order to do theology - not science). In addition, the "book of scripture" should be
>understood as witness to God's fundamental revelation, not that revelation itself.
>George L. Murphy
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