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Ultimate Source of Truth
Transcript of Ultimate Source of Truth
Distinct Spheres Darwinian Evolution vs. the Bible Responses of James McCosh and Charles Hodge to Darwin's Theory of Evolution
One-sided? "The basic religious quarrel provoked by the Origin was not between the theists who rejected it and the atheists who favored it, as has been thought, but rather between the reconcilers and the irreconcilables, those who believed the Origin to be compatible with Christianity and those who thought that it was not. The irreconcilables of both parties—the one rejecting Darwinism because it demeaned religion, the other embracing Darwinism because it demeaned religion—were as contemptuous of the efforts of the reconcilers as they were hostile to each other."
- Gertrude Himmelfarb, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution James McCosh ? McCosh's Source of Truth "God presides in the world as Creator and sustainer of life and that a Christian understanding of all things shows the path of truth"
"Religion could be only the loser if it resisted the record documented by science"
Held to the belief that all truth is God's truth, but also admitted that evidence must be considered and religion must do the adjusting Charles Hodge Hodge's Source of Truth Believed in Biblical inerrancy as well as its compatibility with scientific fact
Willing to adjust interpretation of the Bible in response to scientific discovery
Believed in the harmony of the two:
"Let science take its course, assured that the Scriptures will accommodate themselves to all well-authenticated scientific facts in the time to come, as they have in time past." A Closer Examination (Cont.) Hodge - "“let Christians calmly wait until [the] facts [of science] are indubitably established, so established that they command universal consent among competent men, and then they will find that the Bible accords with those facts."
Will the day ever come when science irreconcilably opposes the Bible?
What happens to Hodge's religion, that is so tied up in the necessity that science plays out a certain way, when scientific discovery plays out differently? A Closer Examination McCosh - Claimed that if he tried to deny evolution he would be asked to give up either science or the Bible
He chose to adjust Biblical interpretation to fit science to "give up" neither
If he had to give one up, which would he choose? Hodge and McCosh in Agreement Ultimately science and religion would line up
Both continued to allow science to take precedence, amending the interpretation of the Bible to align with the interpretation of scientific discovery
Hodge referred to science as having "in many things taught the church how to understand the Scriptures." Problems with These
Addresses of Truth 1) What sort of Biblical inerrancy are we left with when we are constantly watering down the scriptures for the sake of accommodating science? When do we draw the line?
Henry Morris exhorts Christians - "either to believe in God's Word all the way, or not at all." 2) What happens if the day comes when science proves something contradictory to the Bible that no adjustment of scriptural interpretation can satisfy?
Hodge - "It is unwise for theologians to insist on an interpretation of Scripture which brings it into collision with the facts of science."
Perhaps the greater danger is insisting on the factuality of science when in collision with the most accurate interpretation of Scripture My Conclusion The Bible is not the only source of truth, but it is the ultimate one
I agree with geologist Kurt Wise who said it well:
"Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand." As Christians, what is our ultimate source of truth?
Do our actions, words, and thoughts reflect that? Response to Darwin Accepted evolution as long as it was "properly limited and explained"
Agreed with Darwin on natural selection but maintained that it was a second cause that left room for God and divine design as a first
Limited evolution to the lower creatures, not extending it all the way to mankind
Denied Darwin's theory in regards to bridging the gap from non-life to life and from body to spirit Response to Darwin Did not agree with either natural selection or the transmutation of species on the grounds that the scientific "evidence" was lacking
Logical and scientific objections
Strongly disagreed with the ateleological implications of Darwinism