Re: [asa] "Evolutionary Creation" book comments

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Tue Sep 29 2009 - 21:27:22 EDT

I hesitate to do so, but may I draw another parallel, even though it's quite a stretch?

My wife enjoys theater of the absurd. So I go along and attend all these plays by Samuel Beckett, Ed Albee, Harold Pinter, and the like. I confess that, ever so reluctantly, I'm learning to appreciate this genre of theater. (not that I'll admit it to her!) These plays do live up to their moniker--taken literally, the script is bizarre and absurd. It simply doesn't reflect reality as we know it. These plays can only be understood and appreciated when interpreted through emotion and intuition. The acting, coupled with the script, portrays emotions with which the audience can relate. At least, if those of us who are scientifically inclined leave our scientific minds at the door and listen by feeling rather than by thinking. It's far beyond me to describe it but I can see where, at some level, it really works. But when after the play, I start asking, "did he really do x, y, or z?" then the understanding disappears. The questions about reality destroy the signficance.

In some sense, the script of the Bible is similar. (sorry, I can't even bring myself to actually write the same adjective in the same sentence as the Bible--you get the point). It doesn't match the reality (i.e. history and science) as we know it. There are, however, enough points of contact with reality (just as in the plays) to make you think, well, maybe it does reflect reality. Dick, for example, keeps reminding us that there are many common points with other ANE literature, whatever the accuracy may be of their portrayal or history. Yet, when read at a totally different level, the text resonates with emotion and powerful theology. If we can somehow check our scientific and historical brains at the door and listen to the Word of God at that emotional, theological level, through the lens of the cross and the risen Christ as George appropriately keeps reminding us, and keep from asking these history and science questions at all, then perhaps we can understand what is being said. But now, we (or at least I) always come back to, well, what really did happen? What came first? When did that event happen? And then the magic disappears and the meaning fades and it all seems, well, absurd again.

Am I saying that as scientists we have to check our brains at the door of the church? Yes and no. Definitely no if one means we have an irrational faith with no basis. Yes, if you mean we should not interpret God's revelation with the mind of a scientist or a historian. Again, this does not in any way deny points of contact with reality. The incarnation and resurrection are a couple of those crucial points of contact. Neither of those are understandable from our scientific perspective and yet only through their perspective do we gain understanding.


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Received on Tue Sep 29 21:28:18 2009

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