Articles

Responding to Perceived Theological Implications of Evolutionary Creation by J. B. Stump
Articles , Philosophy / November 3, 2017

Responding to Perceived Theological Implications of Evolutionary Creation J. B. Stump J. B. Stump is Senior Editor at BioLogos and Visiting Scholar at the University of Notre Dame Abstract: In this article I will respond to several common arguments against the position known increasingly as evolutionary creation. I consider an argument that evolution undermines the gospel itself, and other reductio ad absurdum arguments about human uniqueness, divine action, and the problem of evil. These are not technical arguments from academic literature as much as more popularly held views that I encounter regularly in churches and other places speaking to lay audiences about evolution and the Christian faith. Here I attempt to lay out the logic of these arguments (which is often more felt than articulated) and show where they can reasonably be opposed. Key Words: evolutionary creation, theistic evolution, evolution, sin, human uniqueness, divine action, miracles, problem of evil Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

The “Conflict Thesis” of Science and Religion: a Nexus of Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Religion by R. Clinton Ohlers
Articles , Philosophy / November 1, 2017

The “Conflict Thesis” of Science and Religion: a Nexus of Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Religion R. Clinton Ohlers R. Clinton Ohlers (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is a Residential Fellow with the Creation Project at the Henry Center for Theological Understanding, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. This research was made possible by the Henry Resident Fellowship program, funded by the Templeton Religion Trust. Abstract: The idea of inevitable and perpetual conflict between science and religion is known among historians as the “conflict thesis.” It exploded in popularity in the late nineteenth century with the rise of the Victorian scientific naturalists to positions of leadership in prominent scientific institutions. A common misperception exists concerning the two authors most central to the widespread dissemination and lasting popularity of the conflict thesis: John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White. This misperception assumes that because Draper and White pitted science and religion at odds, they were not themselves theologically engaged. On the contrary, Draper and White held very specific theological views and championed them in their written works. Like others at the time, they shaped their theology to conform to their vision of science, a vision articulated by scientific naturalism, with its commitments…

Christian Theology of Creation and the Metaphysical Foundations of Science by Joshua M. Moritz
Articles , Philosophy / October 30, 2017

Christian Theology of Creation and the Metaphysical Foundations of Science Joshua M. Moritz Joshua Moritz is an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of San Francisco, Lecturer of Philosophical Theology and Natural Sciences at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and Academic Editor of the journal Theology and Science. Abstract: Recent scholarship within the history and philosophy of science has shown that in both the past and the present, specifically Judeo-Christian theological assumptions about the value, the intelligibility, the regularity, and the character of the cosmos have provided foundational assumptions for certain key scientists and scientific discoveries. This article investigates the nature of the interaction between science and Christian theology by exploring the role that metaphysical presuppositions and theological concepts have played—and continue to play—within the scientific process. I will examine the role of Christian theological thought within both the general philosophical presuppositions that undergird the whole scientific enterprise and within particular presuppositions that were present during pivotal episodes of scientific discovery. I will show how Christian theology has both implicitly and explicitly influenced (and still influences) the ethical values, aesthetic principles, philosophical commitments, metaphysical presuppositions, and motivations underlying the modern scientific project. Because such non-empirical shaping principles are…

Can Science Answer Life’s Big Questions? The Error of Allowing Naturalism to Dictate our Origins Models by John A. Bloom
Articles , Philosophy / October 28, 2017

Can Science Answer Life’s Big Questions? The Error of Allowing Naturalism to Dictate our Origins Models John A. Bloom John A. Bloom is Chair of the Chemistry, Physics and Engineering Department and is Academic Director of the Science and Religion Program at Biola University. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics, an M.Div., and a Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies. Abstract: The modern tensions between Christianity and science stem mainly from the philosophical assumption of methodological naturalism as a filter for proper “scientific” answers, even for answers to the Big Questions regarding our origins. The pressure to conform to this secular religious view and the way naturalism skews the interpretation of scientific data may unwittingly drive some Christians to propose and defend inconsistent biblical interpretations like theistic evolution. Key Words: origin of life, human origins, theistic evolution, evolutionary creation, science, methodological naturalism, intelligent design, theology, physical resurrection Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Science and Christianity: The Three Big Questions by Josh A. Reeves
Articles , Philosophy / October 25, 2017

Science and Christianity: The Three Big Questions Josh A. Reeves Josh Reeves is Assistant Professor of Science and Religion at Samford University Abstract: I will present in this paper three major questions that shape background assumptions on matters of science and Christianity. The questions are the following: Does the Bible contain modern scientific theories, how much can non-Christians know, and how far does science reach? Depending on how one answers these questions, Christians will likely reach different conclusions about scientific data, regardless of how carefully they research the topic. By examining important background assumptions, my intent is to help make conversations about Christianity and science more fruitful. Key Words: Christianity and science, biblical interpretation, concordism, theistic science, philosophy of science Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Why Studying Philosophy of Science Matters: An Editorial Invitation and Introduction by Ryan A. Brandt
Articles , Philosophy / October 24, 2017

Why Studying Philosophy of Science Matters: An Editorial Invitation and Introduction Ryan A. Brandt, Executive Editor of Special Issue Ryan teaches full-time at Grand Canyon University and is a Managing Editor of JBTS This special issue of the Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies features articles exploring contentious but important topics within the philosophy of science. It represents views from across the spectrum of evangelicalism. In keeping with the mission of JBTS—to relay content that is original and yet accessible—this issue will contain not only a diverse range of viewpoints but also unique writing styles that are addressed to different audiences; accordingly, some articles are more philosophically heavy and scholarly and others more approachable and readable. In sum, the issue offers a set of distinct contributions from varied backgrounds and positions, which make this issue a useful overview for students and an impetus for serious scholarly reflection. With an intent to address students and laymen and yet not exclude scholars, this editorial introduction will introduce the reader to three things. First, it will briefly explain the nature of philosophy of science. Second, it will address why philosophy of science is a subject worth studying, particularly for those in the biblical…

Matthew’s Hermeneutical Methodology in Matthew 2:15 by Robert Yost
Articles , New Testament , Old Testament / March 28, 2017

Matthew’s Hermeneutical Methodology in Matthew 2:15 ROBERT YOST Robert Yost (PhD, DMin) is Vice President of Academic Affairs Emeritus, Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary Abstract: In Matthew 2:15, Matthew quotes Hosea 11:1 and states that the events recounted are a direct fulfillment of Hosea’s prophecy. However, the Hosea passage is a clear reference to the exodus, not to an event which occurred over 1400 years later. Was Matthew playing fast and loose with Hosea’s prophecy? Was his statement of fulfillment an abuse of Hosea’s context and meaning? Matthew 2:15 is one of the most problematic passages in the Bible with respect to the New Testament use of the Old Testament. Key Words: prophecy, fulfillment, typology, midrash, pesher, sensus plenior, analogical. Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

The Inherent Value of Work by Andrew J. Spencer

The Inherent Value of Work ANDREW J. SPENCER Andrew Spencer is Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness at Oklahoma Baptist University; he holds a PhD in theological studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Abstract: In recent scholarship and popular discourse, there has been an explosion of interest in the topic of faith and work. The revival of this age-old discussion has helped to revitalize a Christian understanding of the vocation and ministry through daily labor. While the faith and work conversation is healthy and has benefited many people, it suffers from an insufficient value system. This essay argues that work should be seen as having primarily inherent value. Work is not intrinsically valuable: it has no value in and of itself. Nor does it have purely instrumental value. Instead, work is valuable inasmuch as it serves the common good and reflects the moral order of the created order. This three-tiered value system is drawn from Augustine, but has most recently been championed by C. I. Lewis. Ascribing inherent value, rather than intrinsic or instrumental, to work enables individuals to balance several vocations and adjudicate between ethically acceptable and unacceptable vocations. Key Words: Value theory, faith and work, inherent value, C. I….

Reading with the Masoretes: The Exegetical Value of the Masoretic Accents by Marcus A. Leman
Articles , Old Testament / March 21, 2017

Reading with the Masoretes: The Exegetical Value of the Masoretic Accents MARCUS A. LEMAN Marcus Leman is a PhD candidate in Old Testament at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is focusing on biblical languages and the Masoretic accent system Abstract: The Masoretic accent system provides biblical exegetes with a reading companion that can clarify and confirm the sense of the text. This historic reading tradition covers the entire corpus of the Hebrew Bible. Understood according to its hierarchical structure, this system offers interpreters assistance at various levels of exegesis. Beginning students will benefit from the way the accents indicate clause boundaries. Intermediate interpreters have the opportunity to understand how the reading tradition groups clauses syntactically. Advanced scholars possess the ability to see the semantic highlights that the Masoretes built into their patterns of accentuation. Thus, at every level of study, the Masoretic accents prove to be a valuable reading partner. This article exposes the historical rise and hermeneutical principles that brought about the accent system. Building on that foundation, various examples from the book of Judges illustrate the usefulness of the tradition for Hebrew exegetes. Key Words: accents, Masoretic Text, exegesis, Hebrew syntax, Semantics, Book of Judges Share this on:…

Humanity As City-Builders: Observations On Human Work From Hebrews’ Interpretation Of Genesis 1-11 by Casey Croy

Humanity As City-Builders: Observations On Human Work From Hebrews’ Interpretation Of Genesis 1-11 CASEY CROY Casey Croy is a PhD candidate in biblical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; he holds degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland Abstract: Hebrews 11:10 claims that Abraham “was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (ESV). The Genesis narrative, however, seems devoid of any indication that Abraham was looking for a city, leading some modern interpreters to conclude that the author of Hebrews was allegorizing the Genesis narrative. On the contrary, reading Genesis 1–11 (the preceding context of the Abraham narrative) from the perspective of the author of Hebrews reveals details which indicate that he is making a valid inference from the text of Genesis. Specifically, the text of Genesis presents the city of Babel (Gen 11) as the antithesis of God’s original plan for human flourishing. The author of Hebrews’s reading of the Genesis narrative reveals his theological perspective on God’s original purpose for humanity, which has several implications for how Christians should reconsider the divide often assumed between sacred and secular work. Key Words: Hebrews 11,…