Both Feet Firmly on the Ground (Cosmology)
Hey Caleb, thanks. I appreciate your mind, and your writing. I thought about all those kinds of questions for years.
Please be quick to note here, in my response, that I am not declaring anathema, but am trying to make firm categories. I believe you desire, as I do, to be faithful to Jesus and his word. So if I say to anyone, “It’s wrong to argue with scripture” that includes every one of my own wrong views that I haven’t caught yet, and doesn’t mean I am pointing at you. I am not trying to shout that I am in the right, but of course, we both are people of opinion, so we must think we are right enough to debate. That being said –
If the Bible has parts in Greek, then we have to get Greek to get the Bible. If the Bible has math in it, we have to do math to justice to the Bible.
I need to understand the world around me if I am to understand the Bible. However, if a scholar tells me that David was not a king – he is wrong. We could also allow for ignorance. They might be ignorant and not in conscious rebellion. But anyone talking about David knows what the bible says about David.
Now, if the Bible has not revealed something, then scientific scholars are free to inform my guessing about un-authority-bound questions. They can still be wrong, but they are not in rebellion.
So, if they consciously say David was no king, they are not only wrong, they are in rebellion. That one is obvious.
If they say that Israel did not eat manna….same thing.
Now the question is complicated somewhat by the fact that many Christian want, as I did in my former view, to go from the supposed scientific learning around them first, and then decide what might be meant or must not be meant by the Bible. A lot of this issue has to do with the question: How would a faithful fifth century b.c. Jew have understood a passage? Or a faithful first century Christian. Science may explain what a passage doesn’t, but it can’t contradict what a passage does affirm. So the “ancient believer test” is helpful for this one.
Science is allowed to correct ancient misreadings of scripture, but cannot bind ancient intentions of scripture.
Because of this, many Christians must believe that the Bible may be seen as indecisive in matters that appear to conflict with current scientific views. Because they are unwittingly committed outside the Bible first.
Am I willing to have my shiftable opinions about non-clear passages swayed by scientists? Yes, I am, with the knowledge that they and I might still be wrong.
So, bottom line, USE science to try to narrow your undecided views where the Bible gives liberty.
But if a matter has a clearly claimed biblical meaning, we who are committed to biblical revelation by the Spirit can’t discard it just because it is embarrassing in front of scientists who are committed to a view that requires the absence of the Spirit.
For now, my understanding says, there are passages that absolutely prevent old earth.
Our job, yours and mine, is to make sure we know which passages are decisive and which are not. So I thank you for your honest participation in a Christian walk we take together toward full revelation.