I mean that if we make "scientific" conclusions based on our own understanding, and if that understanding is not rooted in the truths of Scripture, our conclusions will be fundamentally flawed. We cannot trust our conclusions because the foundation of our understanding will have come from our own imaginations.
What about if we make "biblical" conclusions based on our own understanding, and if that understanding is not rooted in the truths of Scripture? Our conclusions will also be fundamentally flawed and we cannot trust our conclusions because the foundation of our understanding will have come from our own imaginations.
How is that different from what you claim for scientific conclusions?
If I look across the room and see a mirror, then I look away and look back, and it's still showing my reflection, how do I know whether my belief that:
"The mirror reflects my image so that I can see myself."
is or is not "rooted in the truths of Scripture"?
What in the world does that mean anyway? What do you mean that something is "rooted in the truths of Scripture"? Looks like it might be just pious-sounding language to re-assert the position that should be proven, not just asserted.
The evidence for this assertion is that the heart of all men are evil. The evidence for this assertion is that pride was the source of our fall. We cannot trust man to make objective observations, because corruption of the human heart will rule out an objective observation. To trust unbelieving man to honestly discern general revelation is to deny that the fundamental philosophy of unbelieving man will be to deny His Creator.
If what you say in your post is true, then we cannot trust man to make objective observations of Scripture either, because corruption of the human heart will rule out an objective observation.
How does your belief that we are prohibited from understanding God's created order correctly escape the same reasoning that we are prohibited from understanding his special revelation correctly?
That answer is a bit of a cop out, because what we have in Scripture is much more concrete than what we have in our own imaginations. It is easier to interpret a written word than something so extraordinary as our created universe. For example, it is obvious that there is a creator when we take in the wonder of creation, though it is still harder to interpret that data than it is to interpret "In the beginning, God".
What is more difficult for me to have the right understanding of, that the bottle top to my Gatorade bottle is orange, or the nature of the tribulation and millenium?
What is more difficult for me to have the right understanding of, that solid water (ice) is less dense than room-temperature liquid water, or whether or not we should baptize infants?
The problem here with you and others is that, while you will give lip-service to the idea that you are not an infallible interpreter, that's all it is. Lip-service. You automatically assume that you're interpretation of Scripture is going to be more accurate than your observation of the natural world. Sorry, but that's just not abiding by what you say you believe.
It is so obvious when you say:
So, why should we come to depend on scientific speculation (regarding creation) when we have the unchanging Word of God?
You _assume_ in your mind that you have direct access to "the unchanging Word of God" when in fact you do not. You have direct access to your own interpretation, but that interpretation could be wrong.
Not dealing with this
issue is the real cop-out.
Given this type of assumption, I might even well ask the question:
"Should we allow God's revelation through the natural world to trump our speculations over what the Bible says?"
Do you have an answer to this? I hope you're not going to subordinate GOD'S REVELATION to your own man-derived speculations.
That is all I'm going to say on the methodological issues involved in interpreting the empirically observable world and special revelation and their interaction. It's not my primary concern.
Heh, and as far as the automobile engine analogy, if you find an actual answer to the question of "how often does the fuel filter in this particular engine need to be changed" in a _biography_ it's generally a pretty good indication that you've read something into the text that's not actually there.