Thursday, May 2, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - May 2

Several evangelical authors, notably John Walton, have published useful material on the interpretation of Genesis 1-3. While these authors tend to acknowledge the importance of science, they never do so to the degree that it might question their interpretive notion of the authority of the biblical text. No matter what arises, the text, for them, remains authoritative from beginning to end. There is a pretention in these writings of taking science seriously, but it seems the biblical text and science are in two entirely separate compartments and thus can have no significant impact on each other. This is unfortunate. The authors, I’d wager, have to look at this differently. In my view, there needs to be a dialogue between these informers come what may. That is, authority can’t always be decided on ahead of time and it will depend on what issues are at hand. If this dialogue is allowed to take place it may require modifications of scientific and theological views, which stands to benefit both science and theology. But I guess if dialogue threatens biblical authority these authors will simply not engage with it. When you keep science and the biblical text completely apart from each other, you may achieve a ‘protected’ status for the Bible, but you may also lose credibility when it comes to facing the challenges that dialogue can’t help but create.