Darrel Falk posted an excellent column on Science and the Sacred yesterday. In this post he comments on three conversations with highly educated people who hold a young earth view of creation. The reasons are not scientific, all three will admit that the science points in another direction. Hope and purpose is tied together with a theology and view of the bible which seems incompatible with the view of creation portrayed by science. These are intelligent committed Christians.
The path taken by these three is not unusual – in the face of this dissonance there is a conscious choice to rest on faith. I know a number of similar stories.
But I know far more stories of those who, faced with the same choice and apparent chasm between the story of scripture and evidence of science, simply turned away from faith.
These same issues, theology, science, and scripture are at play in the controversy over intelligent design.
We have a problem, one we must face as we search for the way forward.
Some – like the three Falk sketches – feel that the way forward is to try to chip away at the scientific evidence. This clearly isn’t working in the short run, and I don’t think it will work in the long run.
Rather, I think that the way forward will come through the collaborative efforts of theologians, biblical scholars, and scientists. We need a partnership on a personal level – where theologians cannot for theological reasons dismiss the science, and scientists cannot, for scientific reasons, brush off the theological implications. And neither scientists nor theologians can trump scripture – we need Biblical scholars in the conversation as well. And maybe we need historians at the table who can help us understand
how we got to the current place, and psychologists who will shed light on how people think about hard problems. And it wouldn’t hurt to toss in a philosopher or two.
This approach has shaped the conversation I have tried to cultivate here – with Scot’s forbearance, consent, and participation (perhaps even his blessing). I don’t have definitive answers – but I am trying to move forward, for myself more than anything else.
I am pleased to see that Peter Enns has joined the team at BioLogos and will be especially involved in working with the conversation on the Science and the Sacred blog. The coupling of biblical and theological expertise with scientific expertise is much needed. We will continue along the same track here, and perhaps even collaborate on occasion.
What advice do you have? What is the way forward?
Who else do we need to bring to the table?
If you wish to contact me, you may do so at rjs4mail[at]att.net