RE: [asa] Four views

From: George Cooper <georgecooper@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Thu Dec 18 2008 - 15:38:47 EST

George said: Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit accomodated revelation to that view in order to convey the message that God is the creator of the world &c.

 

Yes, that is a good way to put it. [I like to think new revelations, even subtle, will be granted us for the purpose of edification for help with our generation’s conflicts.]

 

I like the analogy of religion being a sea and science being an island within the sea. Although this island is growing and has extensive and well-grounded (pun warning) facilities, it will never displace the sea. The conflicts between them are found on the stormy beaches and within the estuaries only – the overlaps where both influences are felt.

 

George said: Sorry to confess my ignorance but I don't know what "M-Genesis" means in this context.

 

M-Genesis takes scientific discoveries or predictions related to Genesis, and then adds this to the context of an exegesis of those overlapping passages. For instance, the discovery of an unformed exoplanet found within a materially depleted region in the AB Aurigae protoplanetary disk.

[ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080326123135.htm ]

 

Here we find an existing planet (exoplanet) that an astronomer might describe as “without form and void” , or at least by a person thousands of years ago observing something similar. This should allow such evidence to be thrown onto the exegesis table along with our varied current religious interpretations for re-evaluation. In this example, science is the initiator for the re-evaluation, albeit such evidence worthy of another exegesis is very rare.

 

[M-Genesis extends this observer account approach to Genesis 1 and further suggests that the “6 days” were actually 6 days that were experienced by the observer, likely Moses. The important point to this topic being that it is, likely, science that initiates any re-evaluation.]

 

Nevertheless, I would agree with any view that says science will never trump religion, at least not the sea (using the metaphor) itself, but the shoreline may get redefined, eventually.

 

Coope

 

 

Shalom
George
http://home.neo.rr.com/scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----

From: George Cooper <mailto:georgecooper@sbcglobal.net>

To: asa@calvin.edu

Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 1:13 PM

Subject: RE: [asa] Four views

 

George, this is true only when our understanding of scripture is representative of the Truth behind those passages. This requires interpretation for some, not most, passages. It wasn’t error on the part of scriptures that purportedly claimed a Geocentric universe, but the interpretation of those few and vague verses.

 

But you know this too well, so am I missing your point?

 

Of course, this issue is critical if nascent views (eg. M-Genesis) are to be allowed much consideration. If revelation is now taking place that offers plausibility for a more literal interpretation, yet is concordant with science, it should not be dismissed because of our traditional religious filters do not allow it to pass. Both science and scripture should be scrutinized in any overlap between them, and with tolerance to the idea that science could be injecting new context pertinent to our interpretation of those scriptures that are within this overlap.

 

Coope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: George Murphy [mailto:GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 11:34 AM
To: George Cooper; asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] Four views

 

"God's historical" revelation cannot simply be equated with the Bible. Scripture is, to be precise, the inspired witness to, & reflection on, that revelation. Science should be taken into account when we read the Bible but in that regard it's the servant, not the master. It doesn't determine the central message of scripture.

 

If we're just interested in understanding the world then yea, science should be free of religious constraints - which is what's meant by methodological naturalism.

 

Shalom
George
http://home.neo.rr.com/scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----

From: George Cooper <mailto:georgecooper@sbcglobal.net>

To: asa@calvin.edu

Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 12:17 PM

Subject: RE: [asa] Four views

 

George: An appropriate natural theology does not start from our observations of the world but from God's historical revelation which is centered on Christ & his cross & resurrection. Then we can view the world in the context of the belief that the God who is revealed in the history of Israel & the Israelite Jesus is the creator of the world.

 

Coope: Yet if I were a YECist, would I not agree with this view, ignoring the subtlety of your use of “historical” revelation -- since that which is literal is historical?

 

As much as I agree with maintaining a Christ-centered perspective, there are times when scientific observations must be seen first in the objective sense and independent, as best we can, of our particular faith, which itself is based on interpretation and possible change. [I am not talking of the main tenets to our faith (at least mine), but more to Genesis 1 and 2.]

 

Coope

 

 

 

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of George Murphy
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 9:47 AM
To: asa@calvin.edu; philtill@aol.com
Subject: Re: [asa] Four views

 

An appropriate natural theology does not start from our observations of the world but from God's historical revelation which is centered on Christ & his cross & resurrection. Then we can view the world in the context of the belief that the God who is revealed in the history of Israel & the Israelite Jesus is the creator of the world. That's quite similar to McGrath's approach. (Not surprisingly since he & I both get the basic idea from Torrance.)

 

Shalom
George
http://home.neo.rr.com/scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----

From: philtill@aol.com

To: asa@calvin.edu

Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 10:30 AM

Subject: Re: [asa] Four views

 

Jon,
that's a great response to what I wrote. My view starts out by noting there is an apparent tension in Scripture between:

1. 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)

and

2. Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God and Savior of Israel. (Isaiah 45:15), and "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children" (Matt.11:25), and "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them." (Matt.13:10b-11)

How do these fit together? Is theology "clearly seen" or is it "hidden"? I think the answer is that natural theology has a real voice but that it is ineffectual at leading people to God, not because it is lacking, but because mankind is dead and thus unable to hear it. The passage in Rom. 1 isn't telling us how people come to believe in God. Instead, it is telling us why people who don't come to God are culpable in their unbelief. It never hints that creation (natural theology) is actually effectual in leading anybody to believe. But if scientific rigor could be brought to bear in natural theology, then it would be simply a matter of mathematical proof (such as we see in ID) to force people to hear it. It would be effectual. I believe that is the part of ID that is inherently unscriptural. I heard Alister McGrath give his view on this, and I agreed with him. Natural theology addresses us in the entirety of our personhood, giving us a spiritual comprehension that God exists and this is what makes us culpable as we continue to mentally and volitionally deny him. This spiritual comprehension doesn't address our minds with proofs that would effectually force us into mental assent. That would be incompatible with (2) above, the witness of Scripture that God has set things up so that He hides from those unwilling to repent. So I think ID is unscriptural because it attempts to make logical arguments that demand mental assent independent of our willingness to repent and thus presents itself as being intellectually undeniable.

Phil

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Tandy <tandyland@earthlink.net>
To: asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Thu, 1820Dec 2008 9:52 am
Subject: RE: [asa] Four views

Phil,

 

Your claim is, ID is unbiblical because it says: "Design is only detectable to scientists who can probe the structures of the flagellum, etc." This may be a reasonable point, but I think it is overstating or misstating the ID case, and therefore is overreaching. As far as I know, they don't say that God's design is only detectable by microbiologists and information theorists. Those are just evidentiary paths that the leaders of ID use to justify the design inference from scientific evidence, but it is used to support what they would claim is a more general fact of our ability to detect design in nature, which is evident even to those without scientific sophistication.

 

There may be other ways in which ID could be unbiblical (or at least extra-biblical), such as requiring that God's action must be scientifically detectable, or when it heads down "God of the gaps" rabbit trails. Your argument may even be valid if ID leaders claimed that their sophisticated reasons are the only types of places where design is evident. But I don't know that they generally make this type of claim.

 

Jon Tandy

 

From: <mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu> asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [ <mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu?> mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of <mailto:philtill@aol.com> philtill@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 8:30 AM
To: <mailto:asa@calvin.edu> asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] Four views

 

Randy wrote:

I'm not sure why you say "ID strikes me as entirely unbiblical." That doesn't seem fair to me. It may be non-biblical in the sense that it doesn't address nor reflect biblically based concepts. But it isn't opposed to biblical ideas, is it? Maybe to some degree, to the extent that ID may insist on design being detectable in a particular manner.

Phil's reply:

Hi Randy,
Well, of course I don't think that the ID'ers are trying to be non-biblical, or that they even realize that ID is not very well aligned with Scripture. But I believe it is contrary to the major theme of the NT that "God hides from the wise and reveals himself to babes," and "the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these [children]," and "where are the wise of this world?...God has chosen the foolish things of this world to shame the wise..." This theme seems pretty central. I don't think we can set it aside without losing something of the general tenor of biblical Christianity. But it is the kind of thing that people can and do set aside to their own satisfaction quite easily. It's tough for us biased humans to really align ourselves with truth. If there is no mathematical or scientific process to approach a particular branch of truth, then it is almost hopeless to get everyone to align with it. So=2 0it is with Scriptural epistemology. So if the ID'ers think they've discovered a way to prove God's design, then the excitement of that will probably carry them along for many years and they will be unable to see past it and thus align themselves with the overall epistemology of Scripture.

Phil

 

 

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Received on Thu Dec 18 15:39:19 2008

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