Revelation is Like a Bouquet of Roses

A bouquet of rosesI am copying this title with thanks from the post Revelation is Like a Bouquet of Roses by Jeremy Myers. Indeed he has a good point comparing the various ways in which God reveals himself with a bouquet. Many blooms are better than one, and a variety of blooms is better still.

But the main point I want to take from Jeremy’s post is that, despite the alliteration, it is wrong to contrast science with Scripture.

Scripture and nature, theology and science The real contrasts which need to be made are between Scripture and nature, and between theology and science. Scripture and nature both provide us with data, revealed by God, for us human beings to interpret. Theology is human interpretation of Scripture, and science is human interpretation of nature. Jeremy offers a helpful diagram, copied here, summarising the situation.

So, Jeremy writes,

we can never really say that Science contradicts Scripture. It doesn’t. Nature and Scripture cannot disagree, because both are simply the pools of data from which Science and Theology come. When Science and theology are at odds, it is only because one or the other has misinterpreted and misunderstood the data.

So when someone gets upset that “Science is undermining the Bible!” what they are really saying is that “Science is undermining my understanding of the Bible.” The two are very different. We must be careful to not equate our theology with Scripture. The two are not the same.

I couldn’t have put it better. But there is also another side to it. Much of the theory of evolution, for example, is probably good science. But when atheistic scientists use it as the basis for assertions that there is no place for a Creator God, they need to be reminded not to go beyond what can be justified from observations of nature. Belief in God does not conflict with these observations, but only with some scientific interpretations of them.

0 thoughts on “Revelation is Like a Bouquet of Roses

  1. Peter,
    Thanks for the mention.
    Great point there at the end. Science can only go so far, and just as scientists remind us of our boundaries, we need to remind them of theirs.

  2. The diagram is too simple though. Between Scripture and Theology needs to be a box labeled History, because so much of our spiritual reality is intimately connected to history. And after the Science box needs to be another box also labeled History, because Science tells us a lot about history… suddenly they’re not so non-overlapping!

  3. Dannii, I see your point. History certainly comes into the picture at several levels, and undermines the clear distinctions Jeremy makes here. One might argue that it simply confuses the matter and its influence should be removed as far as possible, so that the distinctions become clear again. But then that might not be the best thing to do – I’m really not sure.

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