Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Scripture Science

Focus on the Family’s Truth Project is an effective worldview program which presents the scriptural foundation for God’s guidelines for man in a dozen major categories of human experience, including science. There are two lessons on science in The Truth Project’s lineup. Some of the other lesson topics offering plentiful instruction supported by biblical principles are veritology (the concept of truth), philosophy/ethics, anthropology, theology, history, and sociology.

Scriptural allusions to science topics do not consist of a neat collection of “proof texts” for God’s existence. This is not to say there are not plentiful instances of design and fine tuning wonders evident in our cosmos. Even famous atheist Richard Dawkins recognizes possible indicators of design. In 1986, he said, “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Indicators of supernatural design are difficult to deny.

I have mused about why scripture does not more explicitly support the existence of God and His direct actions from a scientific perspective. There are impressive narratives in the Book of Job which exult in powerful natural processes. Other passages are instructive, such as Solomon’s advice to consider the ant, or devotional, such as Christ’s reminders about growth and splendor of lilies or the Father’s care for sparrows. Scottish theologian Thomas Torrance and astrophysicist Hugh Ross have proposed that scripture encourages use of elements of scientific method such as accurate sequencing of events, proper use of frame of reference, and an organized system of observation and concluding processes. One wonders, however, how inspired authors of scripture would have incorporated today’s advanced science knowledge into their writings.

Concepts of philosophy, theology, and anthropology were well developed when the Bible was written, but science knowledge was in its infancy. Modern approaches to discovery in the world of nature had not been developed, nor would formal “scientific methods” emerge for many centuries after production of the sacred canon. Our modern methods of scientific discovery illuminate scripture references to the natural world. This blog has often made the case that modern science does not contradict scripture. Instead, it expands and clarifies the meaning of scripture and bolsters belief in the agency of the Creator.