Saturday, January 5, 2013

Reading God's Two Books

. . . let no man . . . think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God’s word, or in the book of God’s works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both.

These words were written by Francis Bacon in his book Advancement of Learning in 1605. We might put it differently today and say that one can study both theology and philosophy or theology and science. The study of God's word in the Bible and God's works in the world are both legitimate pursuits. We need not fear finding the truth. The Creator of the universe knows the minute details of genetics, physics, mathematics, sociology, philosophy, and anthropology. Nothing that we can learn will surprise Him or call into question His word in the Bible. We humans may need to change our interpretations of the Bible or our theology as we learn more about the universe He has created; and this is how things should be. Reading one helps us with the reading of the other.

Darwin writes, in the sixth edition of his On the Origen of Species book:
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.1

Notice his use of the word "Creator." Darwin was not afraid of searching for scientific answers and searching for Christian answers. Neither do we need to fear science nor fear theology. God is Lord over both.

1 On the Origin of Species, 6th Edition, Charles Darwin, EBook November 23, 2009. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2009/2009-h/2009-h.htmhttp://www.gutenberg.org/files/2009/2009-h/2009-h.htm

No comments:

Post a Comment