December 9, 2010

Science and the Creator

In the opening chapter of his recent book, The Bible Among the Myths, John Oswalt, of Asbury Theological Seminary, takes the opening chapter to describe the contrast between the Greek philosophers, who intuited a unifying principle behind the universe, and the Hebrews, who believed in the revelation of the one transcendent God.  The problem, he suggests, for the Greeks was that their philosophy had not been proven on the testing ground of life; it never took hold among the populous that was committed to myth and contradiction.  The problem for the Hebrews was that they had not worked out the logical and philosophical implications of their monotheism.  It the gospel of Jesus Christ, which presupposed the Hebrew worldview, that confronted the Greco-Roman world and brought about "the combination of the Greek and Hebrew worldviews in the distinctively Christian way" (25).  Oswalt goes on to draw some conclusions regarding the nature of the relationship between science and the biblical worldview:
One important conclusion that must be drawn from all this is that contrary to the nineteenth- and twentieth-century delusion, science and logic are not self-evident.  They cannot stand on their own. It was not until the biblical idea of one personal, transcendent, purposeful Creator was allowed to undergird them that science and logic were able to be fully developed and to come into their own.  Without that undergirding, they fall to the ground under a barrage of contrary data, just as Euripides' pale, rationalistic men fell under the knives of the vital, earthy women.  We in the last two centuries have shown the truth of this statement. We have tried to make logic and science stand on their own, and they have begun to destroy themselves (26-27).

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