The gospel is…the word about Jesus Christ and what he did for us in order to restore us to a right relationship with God. – Graeme Goldsworthy

Friday, August 2, 2013

Science Is Not Authoritative, Nor Is It Our Authority

Science is the authority in our society. It is the “bible” of education and trump card of public discourse. Whenever a person inserts into a discussion, “Well, science says…” whatever is said from that point forward is generally heard and received as conclusive. As Christians, we no longer need to acquiesce to this cultural mindset. Carl. F.H. Henry tells us why: science’s constantly changing opinion of “what is true” undermines its claim to be the world’s unquestioned and ultimate authority.

Thomas Kuhn reflects the growing academic skepticism that contemporary science is progressively refining ‘the truth’ about the real world. Scientists maintain the impression of progress, he notes, by rewriting their textbooks frequently and eliminating errors, and their newer hypotheses are not based nearly as much as scientists presume on rational or empirical supports (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions). Because of limitations of method, science has so little basis for fixed and final truth about reality that it must stand ready to alter every pronouncement it makes and then alter that alteration ad infinitum. But Christian theology has historically identified such affirmations not as scientific truth, but as dated opinion. – Carl F. H. Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority, Volume I: God Who Speaks and Shows (PreliminaryConsiderations) (173)

I love Henry’s last sentence in that quote, because it’s fosters a bold (not arrogant, but heroic witness of) Christian Biblicism. Scientific theory and textbooks are always undergoing revisions, yet such modifications are not known to the pages of Scripture – from the moment its authors penned its words until now; the same cannot be said of science. The Bible stands – and has always stood – as the bedrock of immutable, authoritative, inerrant, and infallible truth.

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