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  • Randy Duncan

Scripture vs Science


The record of nature and the words of the Bible should be without error or contradiction. A couple of things that complicate this are our preconceived worldviews or prejudices, coupled with our interpretation of either, or both, of them. When conflict exists, we must examine both scripture and science more carefully. There are examples of science coming to truth and changing its views in light of greater knowledge, and there are also examples of religion re-evaluating theological and doctrinal interpretations in an effort to reconcile their theological beliefs with scientific discoveries.

A famous example of this is the controversy involving Copernicus, Galileo, and the historically held, and scripturally defended, model of the solar system. More modern examples include various interpretations of the first chapter of Genesis, such as Theistic Evolution, Gap Theory, etc., being espoused in an effort to conform to the necessary long periods of time or mechanisms required of Darwinian evolution.

Religious belief and reason are not totally separate. History has shown that each plays a role in the interpretation of, or the motivation for, the other. It is very difficult to evaluate a worldview model of either without importing a preconceived perspective of the other. Religious belief and reason do have something in common. They both help to formulate the belief in the other, according to the primary belief of the adherent. For example, one’s religious belief will many times drive their reason and interpretation of scientific discoveries. Likewise, one’s belief and confidence in science will help steer their theological beliefs. Even today, devout Christians and staunch atheistic scientists have access to the same scientific data, but in many cases, they will interpret the data in different ways

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In summary, we should use our certain and sure knowledge of scripture to help provide insight and clarity to those biblical passages for which the interpretation is still uncertain. Pertaining to science and biblical hermeneutics, when we see that a known truth of nature seems to not line up with a particular biblical interpretation, then we should use what we know to be true from the natural world to help provide insight into the true meaning of the biblical text. In doing so, we can be comfortable with the consistency of truth from each book of God by using what we know to be true from the other.

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