Thursday, April 30, 2009

We all have our creation stories (Glen Scrivener)

Yesterday I was pondering a five part evangelistic series from the start of Genesis, more on that later/soon. 

Glen Scrivener cites Brian Cox:
"Every civilization has its own creation story": The ancient Chinese, indian mystics and Christian theologians all place a divine creator at the heart of their creation stories. Science too has an elaborate story that describes the universe’s genesis. It tells us how the fundamental constituents of the cosmos took on their form. The difference with this story is that we can test it. We can find out if its true by tearing matter apart and looking at the pieces. All you need is a machine powerful enough to restage the first moments after creation… 
Glen then responds:
The Christian story looks very different. This is because time and chance are not the main players in this story. The Christian story begins with a purposeful Creator Father who makes all things in and through and for His Son, Jesus, in the power of His eternal Spirit. Already you can see that the Christian’s story of the world will be very different...
Go read more.


  1. An excellent, excellent article/poist, but it has a signigicant and fatal flaw.

    He sets up faith as opposite of facts in last sentence. No wonder Dawkins is confused

  2. Tom, that sentence does not oppose faith and facts. The whole sentence was, "Don't let anyone tell you that science is a matter of fact not faith..." - that is, this is a common myth and perception, that people say fact and faith are distinct and at odds, and ally science with fact; and from this article, you should have seen how wrong-headed that assertion is.

  3. oh...
    what Rosemary said...

  4. I didn't read it as opposed but rather as showing that both are faith positions... I like the CS Lewis distinction between 'Evolution' and the 'Myth of Evolution' which aren't the same thing at all, but often get confused. Lewis doesn't contend with the "science" which is sort of separate from the worldview question.

  5. Bish,
    That is kinda what I'm getting at. If the word "faith" in common parlance means "without facts" then, conceding that we are a "without facts position" in order to say, "so is scientific naturalism" is too great a cost to pay, theologically and philosophically.
    I think that the same point can be made by replacing the word "faith" with "basic beliefs", but that doesn't compound the misconception.
    Did I say that I loved the article?

  6. You did, before you said fatally flawed! I agree it'd probably be better for us to drop use of faith than to show that others have it too...

    Happy interactions.

  7. Just thought it was interesting to hear a 'we simply deal in the objective realm of pure facts' guy saying 'we're telling a story, just like everyone else.'

    And to push that thought one step further: 'Scientists aren't the only ones who can test hypotheses (and therefore establish 'facts') The Christian story also has facts that are testable according to its own frame of reference.'

    And so the punchline is: theology is a science. Indeed, Queen of the sciences.

    Tom, if you've read me as saying 'faith is opposed to facts' then I'll have to do a lot better at communicating these thoughts in the future.

    Now I can imagine the kind of Christian apologist who might not like my post. There are evidentialists who want to buy into the scientists' own delusion that we can deal in "pure fact" without recourse to an interpretive framework. I can see how they would object to the post. They just won't buy my 'everyone's got a story' story. But if we can agree that all facts need interpreting I don't see the problem.