On several Fridays throughout the year, I impose my amateur eye on unsuspecting crowds.
When Teleology Trumps Soteriology
Every time the church steps backward into the secret counsel of God in election rather than pressing forward toward its purpose, she suffers.
More Than a Feeling
A little introduction to Schleiermacher demonstrating the systematic relation of a prior methodological decision (gefühl) to the hypostatic union.
God, the Master of Puppets?
Does the doctrine of meticulous providence make God out to be the author of sin?
31 May 2011
23 May 2011
|Augustine (6th c. fresco)|
19 May 2011
|"Fish with Legs" by Ellen Marcus © 2011|
According to Walton, a responsible reading of Genesis 1:1-2:3 will approach the text as ancient literature, not modern science. In so doing, we will understand that the author's original intent was "far different from what has been traditionally understood" (p. 162)—not least since the days of flood geology. The original intent has to do with the functions of the cosmos (why it was created) as opposed to the material structure of the cosmos (how it was created). Walton calls the ancient view of creation the "cosmic temple inauguration view." This means that the events of Genesis 1 describe how "the cosmos was given its functions as God's temple, where he has taken up his residence and from where he runs the cosmos. This world is his headquarters" (ibid.).
13 May 2011
11 May 2011
Proposition 18: Public Science Education Should Be Neutral Regarding Purpose
- Empirical science is, by definition, based on methodological naturalism (i.e., it necessarily brackets the metaphysical, because such is not verifiable one way or the other with the tools of empirical science).
- Empirical science is focused on descriptions of the world's origins that are falsifiable, and thus their strengths and weaknesses are to be acknowledged (evolution, as well as any other origins theories, included).
- Empirical science is, by definition, agnostic (i.e., neutral) regarding purpose. It is not designed to be able to define purpose (or no purpose), even though (theoretically) it may be able to deduce rationally that purpose is logically the best explanation. This therefore precludes Genesis 1, metaphysical naturalism (atheism), and design theories from empirical science classes.
The answer to the problem of science teachers overstepping their bounds is to call them and their administrators to the mat, by (1) demanding they maintain teleological neutrality to the best of their ability; (2) demanding that publishers of curricula maintain the same and that administrators select curricula based on this demand; (3) demanding that administrators introduce philosophical curricula—in which various metaphysical options can be considered—to the lineup.
Christian too have to come to terms with a few things, namely, (1) Quit trying to impose their own teleological views on public science education; and (2) thus quit pressing the Scriptures into service in public education (especially since it doesn't offer a description of how God created the material world).
This raises one final issue, which serves as a supplement to Walton's views here regarding the nature of science and what is or is not helpful to teach, by definition, in a classroom that purports to teach one of the empirical sciences. It has to do also with the nature of the kingdom of God, and whether or not it's to be construed as two kingdoms or one. If the latter, as theonomists are wont to do, then the first point in the above paragraph will be abhorrent (as is the very idea of public schools, of course). Imposing their particular beliefs on society at large is precisely what many of them advocate. If one holds to the former (a two-kingdoms construct), then these suggestions will come as no surprise; the kingdom of man, understood to be under the rule of the kingdom of God and his Christ, is nevertheless not equivalent to the kingdom of God. The two will remain at odds until the king's return (how much at odds, I believe, is up to the church and its commitment to God's mission, i.e., the Great Commission).
One more thought: if a person holds to both (1) a two-kingdoms model of this age and the Commission and (2) any kind of creationism that thinks the Bible teaches something about material origins isn't an inconsistency immediately brought to fore? I mean, if a two-kingdomite agrees that you got to keep 'em separated (church & state, and thus teleological theories & empirical science), what does that person do if she believes that the Bible mandates certain scientific views about material origins? Wouldn't said views therefore necessarily need to be included in any discussion regarding origins taking place in the public school science class?
Looking for a way out of this hell? Here's the series in a nutshell.
04 May 2011
02 May 2011