Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor



William F. Tanner

From: JASA 18 (June 1966): 64.

God has revealed himself to us in two ways: in his world (Ro. 1:19,20) and in his word. These two revelations must agree; if they do not appear to do so, it must be because we are misinterpreting either one or both.

Furthermore, we are specifically commanded to carry on that activity which we now designate as science
 (Gen. 1:28, we are to subdue, or exercise control over, the earth; Psalm 8:6, we have already been handed the responsibility for controlling the physical world; Job 37:14, Job was told to study the physical world;  Psalm 77:12, extends the same instructions to the rest of us). In other words, the scientist (if he is a child of God) performs an act of worship when he carries out a specific bit of research.

One of the important areas which is of interest to the scientist who is also a Christian is the area of
earth history. A great deal is said today to the effect that science and the Bible give different accounts of
the past; of course they do. But many people infer that because these accounts are different, that they
are therefore also contradictory. It is up to the Christian, in view of the specific commands summarized
above, to investigate this matter.

The Ice Age article, referred to by Mr. Krause, was a "state of the art" review of part of earth history, for the benefit of those persons not conversant with the pertinent literature. The picture which was reproduced in that article is not a final product (science is never static), but it contained the best available thinking at the time the article was written. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that modifications of detail will alter the basic framework of this history. Therefore the Ice Age article can be taken as the scientific half, pending additional developments, against which the Biblical interpretation half must be matched. If there are points of mismatch, we must re-examine both halves until we are able to reach a better understanding. Hopefully, the Journal of the A.S.A. will continue to publish articles which permit us to study both halves, in those areas where matching has been, or is still, difficult.