Re: [asa] "Evolutionary Creation" book comments - REPOST with corrections

From: David Clounch <>
Date: Tue Sep 29 2009 - 20:59:09 EDT

Stephen M Barr traces the origins of science. He says science was invented
by Christianity as a response to to paganism. Thus Cgristian naturalism was
invented to rebut pagan supernatural beliefs. This Christian naturalism
*never* was incompatible with theistic final causes. The incompatability
was added in more modern times. But the church sponsored almost all
universities and the emergence of science in western civilization.

If someone wants to say Barr got it wrong then fine. Lets dig into his
claims? State what he says and then rebut him?

My view is the discussion about ancient science isn't really about science,
but instead is about the common understanding of ancient pagan society. In
other words it is ancient alchemy, not ancient science. And has nothing to
do with Christian naturalism.

I haven't seen anybody show us a scholar who wrote about a theory of what
ancient science was other than Denis L., and Denis is rebutting the person
making the claims about ancient beliefs. So there doesn't seem to be a
valid context. Instead I just hear the terms "ancient science" and "ancient
thology" bandied about as if everybody on the street just knows what it was.

OK, a direct question. George, tell me what two books should I read to learn
about ancient science,history, and theology?


On Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:44 AM, Dehler, Bernie <>wrote:

> Jim said:
> "Science had neither defined nor differentiated itself in those days."
> Science didn't have to differentiate itself, because it was integrated into
> their worldview.
> Just like now if you write science fiction with a moral element to it, all
> the modern scientists could accept it. But 100 years from now it would have
> a lot of glaring scientific errors... and the more you speculate on future
> science, the more you will be wrong. For example, give your sci-fi story a
> lot of details in what dark matter is, then 100 years from now it will look
> really wrong (let alone, 4,000 years from now, like the time from Moses to
> us).
> ...Bernie
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On
> Behalf Of Jim Armstrong
> Sent: Monday, September 28, 2009 8:49 PM
> To: ASA
> Subject: Re: [asa] "Evolutionary Creation" book comments - REPOST with
> corrections
> I think you are dead on. John Walton, OT scholar from Wheaton presented
> a lecture for Canyon Institute for Advanced Studies in Phoenix in 2006
> titled, "Reading Genesis 1 with Ancient Eyes: What Does it Mean to
> Create?" In it, he discussed at some length this matter of ancient
> perspective, and I believe he would agree entirely with your surmise
> that the division implicit in those the two words would be
> incomprehensible to those ancient eyes. Science had neither defined nor
> differentiated itself in those days. Nor did they did think in
> material terms per se, instead understanding everything as a part of
> God's presence and activity in the world, what things and entities did,
> rather than what they were or were composed of. Walton mentions that
> "miracle" is a New Testament word, denoting a significant departure from
> what nature has the capacity to do on its own in the material world. In
> contrast, the OT terms are signs and wonders, and distinctly (he says)
> not about shuffling material things around, again because those ancient
> eyes and hearts (hearts being a western metaphor) do not have a
> framework at all like western material-based terminology and
> explanation. He suggested our traditional way of interpreting much of
> Gen. 1, for example, would fall on the ancient ears about as well as an
> explanation of daylight saving time.
> JimA [Friend of ASA]
> Murray Hogg wrote:
> > Hi Denis,
> >
> > I actually wonder if using the terms "science" and "history" in this
> > context isn't - in the end analysis - anachronistic.
> >
> > I'd offer the observation that what "pre-modern" societies do is tell
> > stories - they don't do "science", and they don't record "history".
> > And if one can escape the need to force Genesis into either category,
> > then the result is very liberating. One can even begin to read Genesis
> > theologically as per the entire point of the narrative!
> >
> > Here I think much benefit might be gained from a familiarity with the
> > field of ethnohistory - which discipline gives some interesting
> > insights into the way non-Western and pre-modern societies deal with
> > their past. It's on my list of subjects to get around to "one day."
> >
> > Actually, as I think about it, this might be more or less another way
> > of putting your entreaty of "Separate, don't conflate", viz; if one
> > can discriminate between "history", "science", and "story" -- where
> > "story" is a way of conveying meaning (theological meaning in the case
> > of Genesis) -- then one is, I think, well on the way to resolving the
> > "problem" which arises in light of our modernist inability to see that
> > there is more than one way of conveying spiritual truth.
> >
> > Blessings,
> > Murray
> >
> > Denis O. Lamoureux wrote:
> >> Dear Bernie,
> >> You are a scrapper my friend!
> >>
> >> You write:
> >>> Ancient theological idea:
> >>> Adam was the first human to sin.
> >>>
> >>> This statement is nothing but theology
> >>
> >> NOT true. It's ancient science (creation
> >> and existence of Adam) delivering an inerrant
> >> and Holy Spirit-inspired theology (sin is
> >> very real and humans are sinners).
> >>
> >> Bernie: Separate, Don't Conflate!
> >>
> >> Best,
> >> Denis
> >
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> >
> >
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Received on Tue Sep 29 20:59:46 2009

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