Thursday, September 13, 2012

Great Courses: Science and Religion, by Prof. Lawrence Principe.

This is a 12 lecture series that I am listening to with a noon-time group at work.  We just finished the series, which, in spite of a good start has had a rough ending.  Here is what I learned at the last video:

1. No Christian theologian had the slightest notion that Genesis chapter 1 referred to literal days before the 19th century.

2. Inerrancy was a concept invented by old earth Darwinists and borderline universalists which was later hijacked by fundamentalists.

3. Fundamentalists Christians (i.e. those who take Genesis 1 literally) are rarities who are uneducated, know almost nothing and Christianity, and speak only for themselves.  They are simply polar opposites of the Fundamentalist Atheists like Dawkins and a number of other fanatics.

4. The only proper reaction is to embrace modernist theology, which is educated, intelligent and wise.  Modernist theology is the only legitimate heir to the orthodox and scholastic traditions of philosophy and theology.

5. Mohammed was a flying pig farmer.

OK, the last one wasn't in the lecture series, but it could have been given the other four items on the list.  And so the mantra continues ... worship Darwin, worship Darwin, worship Darwin ...  but we also need to simultaneously insist that we are passionate about Biblical inerrancy, that the Bible is infallible, and that there will be no judgment of sin because God is too loving to do this.  

But ignoring the fact that the conclusion wasn't supported by the content, I really did enjoy many of the lectures.

5 comments:

Inklings said...

I get it. I read fiction, too. :0)

Delirious said...

I am glad you explained "inerrancy", because I wasn't sure what that was about. I'm in a different position than some, because although we do believe that the Bible could have some translation errors, and could also have some things that were left out by those translating, we do believe the Genesis account of the creation. Although in my personal opinion, I think we only get a small glimpse of the entire creation, and there is more to the story than is in that account. :) I think God gave us just what we are ready to know, and saved the rest to teach us later.

Looney said...

:) The alternative explanation for "inerrancy" is the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which tried to clarify matters:

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/chicago.htm

Delirious said...

The problem I think is knowing when something should be taken literally, and when something was meant to be symbolic. This seems to be a problem with inerrancy.

Looney said...

There are certainly a number of issues there, given that the Bible does label some language to be understood figuratively, but often the same can be both figurative and historical.

I think the Chicago Statement tries to be more precise than it can be, but at the same time they are looking for a criteria that will exclude modernists who don't believe any Biblical miracles in a literal sense.