A Test for Biblical Relevancy
Dr. Maatmao's thoughts (Journal ASA 20, 119 (1968) ) concerning the importance of our understanding of the relation between science and the Bible raised a point of great importance. While discussion often takes place on the issue of evolution, the real issue is
not evolution, but rather how much adjustment a Christian can tolerate in the biblical record. As Maatman says: "If evolutionists and anti-evolutionists cannot agree on the relevancy of the Bible for this question, neither will they he able to agree on its relevancy for other sciencefaith questions." I believe that it is this, perhaps unconscious, realization that has led so many members of the ASA to view the evolution issue as one of primary importance.
Since the basic issue is what one should do when there is an apparent discrepancy between scientific findings and the scriptural record rather than whether evolution took place in the development of man, I would propose that this basic question be decided on a discrepancy much easier to defend scientifically than evolution. This discrepancy is the age of the earth. While scientific data lead to an age in the billions of years, the biblical record leads to an age in the thousands. It should be possible for the ASA to come to a general agreement on how to handle this discrepancy since there appears to be little likelihood that the scientific value for the age of the earth can ever he reduced to the thousand-year level. Once the principles of reconciliation can be worked out on this problem, they should then be applied to the evolution question.
John A. McIntyre Texas A. & M. University College Station, Texas 77843