Video: Jan Paulsen on Creation


(system) #1

Fair enough, however, I would like to see Elder Paulsen explain a little more about the unbalance on the other side, that of fideism. Framing the issue as faith vs. science reveals a destructive simplification of the important issue of origins as faith lies in both religion and science.

The fact is that most of the church doesn't need to be reminded about the shortcomings of science. In reality, it's very easy to say these things from the pulpit; much harder in the laboratory, or on the pages of a peer-reviewed journal. Marshaling a critique of science to a populace already inclined toward quack health remedies and anti-intellectualism seems to be an unfortunate and unnecessary overreaction in defense of belief.

There's no question that science is limited in its explanatory abilities, but we should steer clear of the God-of-the-gaps fallacy as well. A robust faith, one akin to eating miracles "for breakfast, everyday" as Elder Paulsen's nicely quips, need not push aside science. Rather than attacking the same scientific method that is practiced in hospitals and labs around the world, I prefer a positive approach aiding Adventists in forming a faith that doesn't require quick dismissals of science, but rather recognizes that faith, like art and love, works just fine if we truly understand its role in human life.

Elder Paulsen ends by noting that God's creative power is manifest in many, many ways today. Given the orthodox theology idea that God never changes, seeing how God creates today in our present world helps me to understand better the written record of God's work in the past.

In all, kudos to a brave church leader and impressive media work. That we have denominational workers committed to conversation makes me proud to be a Seventh-day Adventist Christian.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1925