Pardon me for butting in here, but as I've read through this topic the following really stuck out at me as something needing to be addressed. It seems to me (the lurking newbie) to be a recurring theme that lacks clarification.
Clarification is always helpful.
BrianB said:You're again confusing categories. Scripture and Science do not belong in the same category. Theology (as shorthand for 'the interpretation of Scripture') and Science do, but Scripture belongs in the same category as General Revelation. And, since both are revelations from God, it makes no sense to say that one is over the other
This statement is either an attempt to deflect the argument, or it misunderstands the argument.
It's explaining how the 'problem' is the result of incorrect framing of the issue.
We've been given Scripture from God.
We live on an earth that God created.
If we attempt to evaluate the world we live on, make assumptions, draw conclusions, and then go to the Scripture God gave us, it appears to many here that we are taking our "scientific" conclusions OVER Scripture.
Please explain what you mean by this.
Why? Because it can be stated that the more appropriate approach to understanding creation is to START with the Scripture God gave us and use that understanding to interpret what we observe in creation.
And where is your evidence for this assertion?
To reply to this with something like "we can evaluate both at the same time" or "they are different categories" does not really address the argument because what we come to understand in both categories shapes our understanding of God.
There has been no _argument_ put forward to address on this as far as I can see.
As an analogy, imagine that we were given an extraordinary invention and a verifiably true biography of the inventor. The reason we are given the invention is to reveal the superior ability of the inventor. The purpose of the biography is to reveal a more detailed view of the inventor.
What you seem to be suggesting is that the information we could gather by scrutinizing the invention is on an equal footing with information we would be given in the biography because it is in a different category, even if some or much of the conclusions made about the invention was based on data collected by those who refused the authenticity of the biography.
Ok, we can start with your analogy. Let's say we are given an advanced high-tech automobile engine invented by our friend Jimmy. We are also given a biography of Jimmy's life. If you wanted to know the details about the engine such as the fuel consumption at a certain RPM, the available power, the average temperature of the engine, and the audible volume, would it be better to start with his biography or with empirical testing of the engine?
Not that this is relevant to my point about Science (an interpretation of data) and Scripture (not an interpretation of data...it is the data we interpret) but it's an interesting way of starting to answer the question: "Must we always begin with interpreting Scripture, or can we also sometimes start with interpreting General Revelation?"
If your analogy is a good one, and it seems to be, then it shows that there are times when it is better to start with interpreting General Revelation (the engine) than with Scripture (the biography) because of the nature of the particular question we are trying to answer (what's the audible volume at 3000 RPM?).
Can you acknowledge the problem here? The argument is worthy of more than deflection.
So far I don't see a problem other than the issue has been framed wrong (Science vs Scripture). Again, see my diagram. If you want to talk about comparing Theology and Science, that's an appropriate comparison because each is an interpretation of data external to us. Science vs Scripture is not a valid comparison because we don't have _direct_ access to Scripture, but instead to interpretations of it.