11 December 2013

Book Review: A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture

Keith Mathieson wrote this short book, A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture, essentially as an extended explanation of RC Sproul's response when questioned about the age of the universe. Briefly, Sproul's five minute response concluded with "That's a long way to say I don't know how old the earth is."  His preceding explanation dealt with the fallibility of interpretation of both nature and scripture despite the infallibility of God's special and general revelation. Mathieson expands on Sproul's explanation even further.

One of the important points that Mathieson makes is that we often make inaccurate assumptions about differences between Christians. When discussing a difference he had with some friends over eschatology, he wrote, "my friends there could not grasp the fact that my difference with them was a difference of interpretation, not a difference over the authority of God's word."

I appreciated how Mathieson referenced the earlier battle over geocentrism as a way to look at current controversies. Most Christians would agree that Luther and Calvin are within the pale when it comes to general orthodoxy on major issues. Most Christians would also deny that the sun revolves around the earth.  Yet both of these men had very strong words for heliocentrists. In fact, Calvin described heliocentrists as "stark raving mad" and "possessed by the Devil." Mathieson rightly surmises, "the main point Dr Sproul was making by pointing out these past mistakes Christians have made in the interpretation of general and special revelation was to remind us of the possibility of contemporary mistakes."

I also agreed that "many scientists jump to the conclusion that if somebody is wrong it has to be the theologian" and that "many Christians jump to the opposite premature conclusion that if somebody is wrong it has to be the scientist, yet "both scientists and theologians are fallible."  Humility is a necessity. 

This was a good introduction to the issues. Even if you are not Reformed, this is a good discussion for anyone interested.

It is free on Amazon.  Go get it. 

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