Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The war between science and faith is a fiction promoted by the extremists on both sides

BioLogos Theology Statement

At last a serious attempt to consider creation and science together with mutual respect.

On November 9-11, 2010, a group of pastors, church leaders, scholars, scientists, and informed laypersons met in New York City for the second Theology of Celebration BioLogos Workshop.

After much dialogue, the following statement emerged, which represents a summary of the discussion, as no attempt was made to develop a binding consensus statement.

Summary Statement

Science and Faith

We affirm historic Christianity as articulated in the classic ecumenical creeds.  Beyond the original creation, God continues to act in the natural world by sustaining it and by providentially guiding it toward the goal of a restored and consummated creation.  In contrast to Deism, Biologos affirms God’s direct involvement in human history, including singular acts such as the incarnation and resurrection of Christ, as well as ongoing acts such as answers to prayer and acts of salvation and personal transformation.

We also affirm the value of science, which eloquently describes the glory of God’s creation.  We stand with a long tradition of Christians for whom faith and science are mutually hospitable, and we see no necessary conflict between the Bible and the findings of science.  We reject, however, the unspoken philosophical presuppositions of scientism, the belief that science is the sole source of all knowledge.

In recent years voices have emerged who seek to undermine religious faith as intellectually disreputable, in part because of its alleged dissonance with science.  Some go further, characterizing religion as a “mind virus” or a cultural evil.  While many of their ideas are not new, these voices are often identified as the New Atheists, and scientism undergirds their thinking.

In contrast to scientism, we deny that the material world constitutes the whole of reality and that science is our only path to truth.  For all its fruitfulness, science is not an all-inclusive source of knowledge; scientism fails to recognize its limitations in fully understanding reality, including such matters as beauty, history, love, justice, friendship, and indeed science itself.

We agree that the methods of the natural sciences provide the most reliable guide to understanding the material world, and the current evidence from science indicates that the diversity of life is best explained as a result of an evolutionary process.  Thus BioLogos affirms that evolution is a means by which God providentially achieves God’s purposes.

Accounts of Origins

We affirm without reservation both the authority of the Bible and the integrity of science, accepting each of the “Two Books” (the Word and Works of God) as God’s revelations to humankind.  Specifically, we affirm the central truth of the biblical accounts of Adam and Eve in revealing the character of God, the character of human beings, and the inherent goodness of the material creation.

We acknowledge the challenge of providing an account of origins that does full justice both to science and to the biblical record.  Based on our discussions, we affirm that there are several options that can achieve this synthesis, including some which involve a historical couple, Adam and Eve, and that embrace the compelling conclusions that the earth is more than four billion years old and that all species on this planet are historically related through the process of evolution.  We commit ourselves to spreading the word about such harmonious accounts of truth that God has revealed in the Bible and through science.


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