Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Religion and Science, not Religion vs. Science

These are the quotes that I used for my presentation, if anyone is interested in reading them!

“In matters that are obscure and far beyond our vision, even in such as we may find
treated in Holy Scripture, different Interpretations are sometimes possible without
prejudice to the faith we have received. In such a case, we should not rush in headlong
and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth
justly undermines this position, we too fall with it. That would be to battle not for the
teaching of Holy Scripture but for our own, wishing its teaching to conform to ours,
whereas we ought to wish ours to conform to that of Sacred Scripture.”--St. Augustine of
"There is knowledge to be had, after all, about the earth, about the sky, about the other
elements of the world, about the movements and revolutions or even the magnitude and
distances of the constellations, about the predictable eclipses of moon and sun, about
the cycles of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, fruits, stones, and
everything else of this kind. And it frequently happens that even non-Christians will have
knowledge of this sort in a way that they can substantiate with scientific arguments or
experiments. Now it is quite disgraceful and disastrous, something to be on one’s guard
against at all costs, that they should ever hear Christians spouting what they claim our
Christian literature has to say on these topics, and talking such nonsense that they can
scarcely contain their laughter when they see them to be toto caelo, as the saying goes,
wide of the mark. And what is so vexing is not that misguided people should be laughed
at, as that our authors should be assumed by outsiders to have held such views and, to
the great detriment of those about whose salvation we are so concerned, should be
written off and consigned to the waste paper basket as so many ignoramuses " --St.
Augustine of Hippo
But simultaneously with time the world was made, if in the world's creation change and
motion were created, as seems evident from the order of the first six or seven days. For
in these days the morning and evening are counted, until, on the sixth day, all things
which God then made were finished, and on the seventh the rest of God was
mysteriously and sublimely signalized. What kind of days these were it is extremely
difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!--St.
Augustine of Hippo
For who that has understanding will suppose that the first, and second, and third day,
and the evening and the morning, existed without a sun, and moon, and stars? And that
the first day was, as it were, also without a sky? And who is so foolish as to suppose
that God, after the manner of a husbandman, planted a paradise in Eden, towards the
east, and placed in it a tree of life, visible and palpable, so that one tasting of the fruit by
the bodily teeth obtained life? And again, that one was a partaker of good and evil by
masticating what was taken from the tree? And if God is said to walk in the paradise in
the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that anyone
doubts that these things figuratively indicate certain mysteries, the history having taken
place in appearance, and not literally.--Origen of Alexandria
In the present:

We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the
timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably
coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that
has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and
achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as 'one theory among others' is to
deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.
We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought
and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our
Creator.--”Clergy Letter” Project, from 2004, reconciling religion and science, and signed
by thousands of clergy from various denominations.
Christians need to understand the first chapter of Genesis for what it is: an 'accurate'
rendering of the physical universe by ancient standards that God used as the vehicle to
deliver timeless theological truth to His people. We shouldn’t try to make Genesis into
something that it’s not by dragging it through 3,500 years of scientific progress. When
reading Genesis, Christians today need to transport themselves back to Mt. Sinai and
leave our modern minds in the 21st century. If you only remember one thing from this
chapter make it this: Genesis is not giving us creation science. It is giving us something
much more profound and practical than that. Genesis is giving us a Biblical Theology of
Creation.-- from Beyond the Firmament: Understanding Science and the Theology of
Creation, by evangelical author Gordon J. Glover

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