Both the “natural” sciences and theology are seeking the true statement. The purpose statement of both are completely integrate-able. In fact, there are many who have made a point of showing the obvious and perhaps necessary connections between good theological thinking and the roots of good scientific thinking. The two paradigms are not contradictory. For centuries, this has been the case.
For the believer, all truth should be seen as God’s truth. God, if anything, is a God of truth.
So, if something is an accurate statement… remember that the very concept of truth is sourced in Him. It doesn’t matter how and who uncovers something that is true… if it is true, then the ultimate source of that is God.
However, as impressed as I have been by the general lack of scientific knowledge, I was just as impressed by the profound lack of biblical understanding that people who claim to believe in the Bible… and how few have even read much of it.
A lot of people have very strong opinions about passages of scripture that they have not read. Let me encourage Christian people everywhere to go back and read Genesis 1-3 if you haven’t done so in a while before reading the rest of this article.
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There are two concepts that are vitally important to any biblical theory on the origins of mankind in specific and life in general. In my opinion, these are two of the most important concepts. They engage with “why” and “who.” It is vital to discover where someone stands on these two before intelligent discussion can follow.
- Teleology – basically, this means “purpose.” Is there design to the universe? Is its form intentional? Is there any kind of “creator” behind it? Is the state of the universe the result of randomness in interaction with certain processes or is it the result of intentional order?
- Providence – basically, this means continued interaction. Is there/has there been anything or anyone involved with the changes in the universe? Does this entity ever make changes in the universe; is it still involved or are the changes within the universe still the result of nothing more than randomness in interaction with certain processes?
Obviously, the Christian (along with about 94% of the rest of the world’s population) have come to the conclusion that there is teleology (purpose) to the universe. Many have also come to believe that there is a continued involvement of this “designer” throughout history.
Couldn’t there just be NO God/Designer/Creator, though?
I often say that I can identify with people who think there is NOTHING except the material world. As a psychologist, I can fathom that all of our concepts of God, gods, spirits, miracles, forces, minds, souls, etc. are essentially delusional. Certainly, humans are capable of that…
However, that also means that there is, as Nietzsche once said “No big dark secret behind it all…” or something like that… Meaning, there is NOTHING else.
My experience of seeming to have a mind, that is not merely my brain, is ILLUSION.
My emotions that I have when in love are NOTHING more than mating instincts.
The feelings of the miraculous I experience are NOTHING more than accidental delusion created by the way the human processor seeks to find patterns.
The camaraderie that I experience is not transcendent of merely my bio-chemical desire for a pack.
In other words, I would also need to accept that all of my experiences are NOTHING more than bio-chemical reactions in my body and MUST NOT be interpreted with any more meaning than that.
And with that uplifting thought, we will get ready for next week – so go back and read those passages again!