Comments 2

  1. How many problems disappear if we confess not that “The Christian faith is based upon God’s revelation in the Bible” but that faith embraces the revelation of God that is his Word, Jesus Christ?

    The problems of faith/reason and science/religion may often be self-generated red herrings — idols of a naive biblicism that clashes with reason and science because it poses unreasonable (and perhaps unfaithful) questions. Why should it create a crisis of faith if the truth intention of the creation story and the meaning of its central characters is not lodged in precise world-historical events?

    When scripture is approached with the “science” of the historian, the linguist, or the literary and textual analyst the “literal” and “factual” matter recedes and becomes ambiguous, but this too is only threatening if one has based faith on a certain idea of the Bible and the ways in which it registers its truths. If the living Word remains the overarching ground of its truth and meaning then we can tolerate this ambiguity and limitation.

    As Augustine put it, our readings of scripture may be uncertain and flawed, but as long as our error correction is Christ we know a good reading is any that is in line with the good news: God’s love for us.

    Another observation: I may be misunderstanding Klapwijk who I have not read, but if he is suggesting that later social and cognitive development is somehow determined by being coded into embryos via some sort of “instructions” I feel this is far too reductive. There is no such guarantee that every human child will learn language and have a reasonably well-structured psyche. If they are subjected to isolation and trauma, the opposite is true — actual cases suggest a permanent psychosis and inability to ever learn language can be a possible outcome. This points to the mystery of sociability — and love. I think of the emergence of the first humans as those who somehow mysteriously came to consciousness, language, and self-awareness of their need for loving, ordered relations with others. Genesis in its own unique way reveals the essence of this mystery — and its tragic dimensions — as nothing else on record does.

    1. Bruce,
      Thanks for your helpful comments. I agree that many of the apparent conflicts may be due to our particular interpretation of a Scripture passage e.g. Genesis 1. However, sometimes the best interpretations still seem to bring us into conflict, as I will discuss in the final installment.
      As for Klapwijk, he would not say that the higher stages of development are encoded in the embryos. As an anti-reductionist he would say that these phenomena are irreducible but emerge during development. He does not suggest how these properties could emerge; indeed, if they were encoded, then it wouldn’t be emergence. For more information please see my review of Klapwijk’s book (and another book) starting on page 29 in Pro Rege:
      https://www.dordt.edu/publications/pro_rege/crcpi/Pro_Rege_Mar_2010.pdf

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