Thursday Thoughts – May 2

Several evangelical authors, notably John Walton, have
published useful material on the interpretation of Genesis 1-3. While these
authors tend to acknowledge the importance of science, they never do so to the
degree that it might question their interpretive notion of the authority of the
biblical text. No matter what arises, the text, for them, remains authoritative
from beginning to end. There is a pretention in these writings of taking
science seriously, but it seems the biblical text and science are in two entirely
separate compartments and thus can have no significant impact on each other.
This is unfortunate. The authors, I’d wager, have to look at this differently. In
my view, there needs to be a dialogue between these informers come what may. That
is, authority can’t always be decided on ahead of time and it will depend on
what issues are at hand. If this dialogue is allowed to take place it may
require modifications of scientific and theological views, which stands to
benefit both science and theology. But I guess if dialogue threatens biblical
authority these authors will simply not engage with it. When you keep science
and the biblical text completely apart from each other, you may achieve a ‘protected’
status for the Bible, but you may also lose credibility when it comes to facing
the challenges that dialogue can’t help but create.