Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why so Ashamed?

I just read the Sasse article in the latest Concordia Journal, and he makes a good appeal to us to not think less of the Scriptures because they don't use modern terms and langauges - they were written in the languages of the times in which they were written - it falls upon us to understand what they communicate in the standards of those days.

However, there is almost a bit of... shame... involved, almost as though Sasse is ashamed that the Scriptural accounts do not mesh perfectly with ideas on Evolution - and that we shouldn't be so hard on those who jump onto the scientific boat.

Maybe this is just 50 years passing since Sasse wrote this, but I must ask, why are we so ashamed of what we believe about Creation being a miraculous, 6 day event? Why are we so ashamed of the first 11 chapters of Genesis? Because science doesn't agree? Why should we care what science says about a historic confession of a miracle when one of the fundamental assumptions of Science is that things are repeatable? Is a miracle repeatable, or is if fundamentally discreet? Science has no way of recognizing a discreet miracle, because science must find a way that is repeatable and reproducible.

It becomes a matter of assumption. Can God intervene and do that which He alone can do, which cannot be repeated by man? I say yes - and thus I feel no shame when the one tells me I am thinking unscientifically. So. . . I don't hold to Science's assumption - I don't assume that God didn't get involved so I reject the standards you want to hold the discussion to. Now, if you hold to my presuppositions, that God does bring about discreet miracles that are unrepeatable - I see no conflict between that which we see remaining today and that which is reported in Genesis... just errors in the assumptions we make in interpreting things.

If I assume a document is in Spanish, and I demand to translate it along the rules of Spanish grammar, if it turns out the document is in Latin, well, all my proper reason and logic will get me no where. That is what I think Science has done when it starts reaching back thousands and thousands of years. . . because it has misplaced assumptions.

Don't let someone else dictate to you what assumptions you must allow for the discussion to be reasonable - reason flows along the rules dictated by the assumptions made.

6 comments:

Bror Erickson said...

O.K so that is a peculiar edition of the Concordia Journal. I skimmed this article, I find it sort of weird that they printed it. I'm not sure that it represents his final thoughts on the matter, though maybe.
You are right though. We don't need to be ashamed of our position. Science itself ends up admitting more often than not that it was wrong. It is unbecoming of science to be so dogmatic about it's theories. Living in Utah I get to frequent all sorts of cool parks, and go fossil collecting and learn more about rocks than I ever wanted, and it is funny how long people posit for this and that to happen. Then there's a petrified forest in spirit lake 30 years later....

Bror Erickson said...

Alright, I normally don't read much at all in CJ. Don't know why that is, but I just don't. Some different ethos there I often have a hard time getting into. I think they are getting better.
But I tried to read Dale Meyer's article about "Why Go to Church" And couldn't get past the first page. Great conversation he had with his wife....
Then two articles by dead guys. The thought crossed my mind that maybe the profs there forgot how to write? Wait and a poem by another dead guy. The point of the poem I found to be uncertain. "News flash" Melanchthon liked Luther. Great, but did he have to write such a gay sounding poem. One wonders if Luther blushed. But then I was thankful for the articles. I like to read Sasse, and plan to read the article with more attention later. The article I found most interesting was J.A.O Preus II's on the Lutheran view of the canon. Been investigating that quite a bit more lately. I think we should never have let Gerhard rule the day on that one. I'll take Chemnitz and Luther. At a minimum we need to maintain the distinction of homolegoumena and antilegoumena. They are what they are, and no one can change that. It is not the church's position to determine scripture, can't be.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

We recognize Scripture - not determine it.

Bror Erickson said...

Yep.

Jonathan said...

Um, it's millions and millions of years that science reaches back, not thousands and thousands.

But I agree with your position. I don't care that "scientists" might think me quaint and anachronistic. They weren't there and they are operating under assumptions, like Spanish.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

I had put thousands and thousands simply because once we start getting back past 4000 or 5000 years, then I start becoming very dubious of dating methods and the like.