Monday, September 25, 2006

"What's your motivation?"

Corkscrew says:
I've just been thinking more about your post here, and there's something I genuinely don't get. If I understand correctly, it's important to you that there be someone somewhere who is doing research that is both scientific and theological. Is that accurate?

If so, what's your motivation here? Why is it important to you for that overlap to exist? Why do you think it doesn't bother some other Christians so much
I think that if Christianity is to work as a worldview, then it must be consistent with any other observations that I make. In this context, I have quite a strong commitment to the Romans 1 idea of what Christians call "general revelation" - the idea that there is publicly accessible evidence of the presence of God.

If science were to come to the conclusion that "evidence of God" is fictional or unreal, that would have an impact on my theology (though not presumably Ken Miller's, for example, since I think he and others argue that there is no visible evidence of the presence of God). It wouldn't necessarily shipwreck my faith - though other Christians have been plagued with doubts by the supposed evidence that God isn't needed as a creator. But it would have a big impact.

Secondly my concept of the nature of truth is not post-modern. I believe that if Christianity is true, then this means that everything that isn't Christianity is false. So if science is being carried out from a presupposition of philosophical naturalism or uniformity of natural causes within a closed system, I believe that ultimately it will be shown to be ill-founded where it relies on those claims, and people who have that as the foundation of their beliefs will have to re-evaluate them. Conversely, of course, if philosophical naturalism can be shown to be a sufficient foundation for beliefs, this would again have an impact on my theology. I know this claim to exclusive truth is politically incorrect, but I would add that I am tolerant - I may disagree with you, but I would defend to the death your right to believe something different from me (as Voltaire said) and I don't think you can say fairer than that!

Why does it not bother other Christians so much? My opinion on this is that they haven't understood what the Bible says. I don't think this is a "show-stopper" - because Christianity isn't fundamentally about having everything right - it is about an individual's response to the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Please note that, whilst I believe that truth ought to be consistent with this worldview, the worldview isn't driving the science. But I don't believe that philosophical naturalism is the only way that good science can be done, and because of my presuppositions, I have my doubts about the validity of conclusions drawn when the foundation of science is philosophical naturalism.