Science in Christian Perspective



Putting Things In Perspective

Wilbur L. Bullock

From: PSCF 38 (March 1986): 1

I applied my mind to acquire wisdom and to observe the business which goes on upon earth, when man never closes an eye in sleep day or night; and always I perceived that God has so ordered it that man should not be able to discover what is happening under the sun. However hard a man may try, he will not find out; the wise man may think he knows, but he will be unable to find the truth of it.

Ecclesiastes 8:16,17 (NEB)

In the first paper of this issue Professor Thomas Torrance discusses the inter- relationships of science and theology in the light of the changing views regard ing reason, objectivity, and "the inherent force of ultimate beliefs." Professor Torrance would appear to be in agreement with the author of Ecclesiastes when he appraises twentieth century science: "It is thus to a humbler and more objective view of scientific method that science is now returning, not least as it becomes  increasingly apparent that reductivist, analytical explanations do not succeed in making the world more meaningful for mankind." Furthermore, even though many people today still assume that theories are objectively formulated from fact, Dr. Torrance emphasizes the importance of ultimate beliefs in discerning and interpreting facts. For the Christian these ultimate beliefs should have "an implicit conceptual content imparted to them by the Word of God."

One area of inter-relationship between science and theology that has been with us for a long time is creation and/or evolution. And that controversy has not gone away. In this issue we have two divergent views presented. Fred Van Dyke gives us a theological cri tique of theistic evolution, while George Murphy pro vides a theological argument for evolution. Both George and Fred will be responding to each other in the June issue. Furthermore, their views are not the only ones on this subject. We will be reading additional, alternative views in the future. All will be held by people with a strong commitment to Jesus Christ and to the Bible as the authoritative word of God. We hope to present these views in a scholarly and conciliatory manner even though there will still be points of  disagreement. God has given us minds to search out His  wisdom and there are many areas for which our finite minds have not and probably never will be able to arrive at THE final and complete truth. However, we should still enjoy the excitement of searching out His truths in the natural and spiritual worlds.

Crowded prisons, which are more and more looked on as schools for the training of criminals, have led to
considerable discussion of our penal system. Sociologist Jerry Bergman, on the basis of his reading and his
 personal experiences, examines various theories of the role of prisons in combatting crime and reforming
 criminals. He also summarizes the rather dismal results of the application or these theories.

The author of Ecclesiastes also lamented that "Of  making many books there is no end." I sometime wonder what he would think were he to join us in the  twentieth century! This issue has a considerable number of book reviews, a recognition that we need to play "catch-up" with some of the backlog of reviews that
have accumulated. The Book Review section of our  journal seems to be appreciated by many of our
readers and is an important means of being kept informed about who is writing about what. There's more to come!