Putting Things Into Perspective

From: PSCF 44 (March 1991): 1.

Christian scholarship is sometimes taken to task for downplaying biblical norms when seeking to understand the various disciplines in the light of a theistic world-view. I suspect that this criticism often arises from dissatisfaction over the biblical line taken by the author rather than neglect of scripture. Each of the papers in this issue offers a scriptural base when addressing its subject matter. The reader is invited to evaluate and respond to the author's thinking.

The place of scripture in the modern attempt to understand human origins has been a major issue for those who take both science and the Bible seriously. Roy Clouser argues that our insights on the essential nature of religious belief and the central theme and overall character of the Bible are basic in the understanding of Genesis. Clouser emphasizes the covenantal character of scripture and spells out the implications of this view for discussions of human origins and human nature.

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Theologian Lee Wyatt and physicist Jim Neidhardt have teamed up to provide a closely reasoned discussion of ways in which reformed theology and scientific thought can productively interact. Drawing on the ideas of Michael Polanyi, Karl Barth and Thomas Torrance, the authors show how the two disciplines may provide fresh insights into such areas as the nature of their respective core beliefs, ways of thinking and epistemological structure.

Douglas Vickers takes a reflective look at economic theory in arguing that Christian thought must impose external norms on a discipline which has traditionally considered itself to be a closed causal system. Vickers addresses two issues. First, he considers biblical propositions which should undergird economic thought; then, he suggests how these propositions might be applied to current economic practice.

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The interpretation of the role that astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus played in 16th and 17th century science-church relationships has seen recent revision. Rather than viewing his work and that of Galileo as part of a long-standing conflict between science and the church, the discussion has been framed in terms of the way that
the Bible should be understood when it deals with nature and questions of ultimate authority. Physicist Joe Spradley revisits the Copernican period and provides his analysis of the basic issues.

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Our UK counterpart, Christians in Science, has joined with the Victoria Institute in publishing the journal, Science and Christian Belief. The most recent issue contains articles by John Polkinghorne, David Wilkinson, David Livingstone, and Peter D. Moore. Their lively discussion of science-Christianity issues is a welcome
complement to Perspectives. Subscription information may be obtained from Christians in Science, UCCF, 38 De Montfort Street, Leicester, LE1 7GP, UK.

J. W. Haas, Jr.
Gordon College
Wenham MA 01984