Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor


On Moreland

David J. Krause
839 Country Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

From Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 49 (June 1997): 138-140.   
Response: Moreland

Regarding J.P. Moreland's article in PSCF ("Complementarity, Agency Theory, and the God-of-the-Gaps" March 1997, pp. 2-14), I raise some questions and offer some comments.

1. Moreland's entire case rests on the assumption that libertarian agency is the solution to the age-old dilemma of free will vs. determinism, but isn't that agency precisely what Calvin and Reformed theology generally emphatically rejected? Doesn't this mean that for someone who takes Reformed thinking seriously (I myself do not) Moreland's approach is simply theologically unacceptable?

2. If Moreland is correct, then every act attributed to God's will in Scripture is an entree for a scientifically legitimate discontinuity in the affairs of the universe. Hasn't Henry Morris been saying just this for years? By insisting that what we "know" to be true from Scripture must take precedence over "naturalistic" scientific theories, doesn't Morris's creationism fit Moreland's criteria for theistic science exactly? Or can mutually contradictory theistic scientific theories possess equal validly, as in Morris's and Hugh Ross's versions? How can they possibly be tested or compared if non-naturalistic explanations are themselves accepted as scientifically valid?

3. Moreland seems to assume that a god who is compatible with Christian theism will be the only agent called upon to fill his "gaps in the causal fabric." In today's fragmented multicultural world such a view would be very naive. Legion are the "isms" out there that will be delighted to find out that a philosopher is arguing that the intrusion of unnatural powers into scientific practice is legitimate. Once Moreland makes those gaps available will he also accept the scientific legitimacy of any and all of the non-naturalistic influences and powers that will certainly be proposed to fill them?

Of course, the naturalist assumptions of science are limiting. Those limitations constitute the only reason that science has become the most successful culturally transcendent, and unifying intellectual enterprise in all of human history, open to any and all who are willing to share those liberating assumptions. In the increasingly fractured world in which we live, the last thing we needóscientifically or religiouslyóis yet another contribution to fragmentation. This Moreland offers, and his is a prescription for chaos.