Thursday, 10 April 2008

Biblical versus scientific creationism

Henry Morris makes an interesting distinction between scientific creationism, biblical creationism, and scientific biblical creationism.

His definitions state that scientific creationism is based on scientific data within a broad creation claim, biblical creationism defends a creation based solely on Scripture, and scientific biblical creationism is the development of the creation model based on Scripture and science.

I was a little suspicious of this when I started the article but on completion I think there may be some merit to this way of thinking. The systems are not contradictory but rather complementary as can be seen by the amalgamation of the first 2 systems in the 3rd.

Here is a summary of Morris' principles of the systems.

Scientific Creationism

What can be known about the universe thru scientific endeavour—general revelation.
  1. The physical universe was created.
  2. The biological universal was created.
  3. The biosphere was created in bounded kinds and adaptions are neutral or information losing.
  4. Humans were created and have an added spiritual component.
  5. Catastrophism rather than uniformitarianism explains geology.
  6. Natural laws dictate the scientific method.
  7. Physical and biological structures are deteriorating.
  8. An originally perfect and now deteriorating universe implies divine purpose.
  9. Humans can investigate manifestations of the divine in the material world.

Biblical Creationism

What can be known about the universe thru biblical study—special revelation.
  1. The creator of the universe is the triune God.
  2. The Bible is divinely inspired and true in all domains it touches on.
  3. The world was created in 6 days.
  4. Adam had dominion over the earth; the Fall cursed that dominion.
  5. The Flood and confusion of languages are historical.
  6. Alienation of man from God can only be rectified by God, and that in Christ.
  7. God will restore creation in the future and give life to those who accept him and death to those who reject him.
  8. Jesus will return and remove the Curse.
  9. Men should subdue the earth and proclaim Christ.
I am not certain I would choose these specific items or group them this way, but it shows some of what can be known by general revelation and what is added with special revelation. Further, additional ground can be made by marrying the specific to the general: we have much greater insight when it is clear that not only is geology catastrophic (general revelation), most of it was due to a single event over about 1 year (special revelation).

It is also apparent that general revelation is subservient to special revelation. For example if the world was made in 6 days this is not obtainable from scientific endeavour. Even if science can teach us much, such as fixity of kinds and that creation must have been over a short period (symbiosis and ecology), it cannot teach us a 6 day creation. But this information is obtainable thru revelation from the creator who made the world.

Biblical priority is real. Believing this can alter our perspective, which it the topic of my next post.

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