An Introduction to Textual Criticism: Manuscript Evidence

sinaiticus-1Part 1 of 4. A four part overview of the discipline of textual criticism focusing on the Greek New Testament. Part one is an introduction and a summary of the types and amounts of manuscript evidence available for the New Testament. Part two discusses the types of differences that exist among the Greek manuscripts. While the vast majority has no impact on the text, about 1% may actually effect the translation. How these are addressed is discussed in part three. Finally in part four we discuss how all the elements of textual criticism demonstrate that the New Testament has in fact been miraculously preserved.
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Models of Interaction Between Science and Religion, Part 3

ThinkWeekBannerPart 3 of 3.
In this post we continue to look at models of interaction between science and religion, considering the last three.

Dialogue

The dialogue model acknowledges science and religion have contrary views that can interact without a struggle to the death. Ian Barbour suggests there are two categories of dialogue that are possible: presuppositions of science and methodological similarities that might exist between science and religion.[1] The presuppositions of science and their relationship to theology were discussed at length in a previous series. In terms of methods, while there are many points of commonality, they are grounded in the notion that both activities rely on reason, evidence and argument. They are also both subject to preconceptions. Unfortunately, seeing common ground in terms of methods does not necessarily create a path to integration. When contradictory conclusions are found (e.g. LUCA vs. special creation mentioned above), dialogue cannot offer a solution. Continue reading

Models of Interaction Between Science and Religion, part 2

ThinkWeekBannerPart 2 of 3.
In the previous post looked at terminology and I suggested that the models we will look at in this post are a means of evaluating our attitudes toward science and theology. I argued for a perspective where science and theology are seen as different domains of knowledge. Finding common ground between science and theology is the only way a discussion like this possible.

In this post we begin with some broad worldview categories to consider as we begin to look five different models of interaction. Continue reading

Models of Interaction Between Science and Religion, part 1

ThinkWeekBannerAnother series of posts inspired by the Think Week event at the Colorado School of Mines, April 27th through 30th. A general introduction to these Think Week posts can be found here.

Since I became a Christian after college, there is one question that has plagued me more than any other, “How do you reconcile science and religion?” The very manner in which that question is phrased points to a misunderstanding that many, including my college-aged self, labor under. The tension between science and religion was baked into my early religious experiences. One could even say that I became a Christian in spite of the influences from my immediate family.

Neither space nor the subject at hand allows me to explain my journey toward an integrated Christian worldview. Suffice it to say I now understand that the assumption of conflict I had about science and religion is not how I see the subject today. This second topic in my series of posts devoted to Think Week will look at models of interaction between science and religion. Continue reading

The Foundations of Science Found in Christian Theism, part 3

ThinkWeekBannerWe have been considering five presuppositions of science and how they can be explained by Christian theism. In the previous post we considered first three, here we will address the last two presuppositions, An Understandable World and An Expressible World.

An Understandable World

We now turn to the significant mystery of why the world is understandable. From the perspective of naturalism, how or why this is the case usually boils down to a story describing how the evolutionary process increased brain capacity which led to a greater ability to survive. The purely physical view says the size and complexity of our brain is the reason we can understand the world. Continue reading

The Foundations of Science Found in Christian Theism, part 2

ThinkWeekBannerIn this post we will begin to consider how the presuppositions of science described in the previous post can explained or grounded. Recall that these presuppositions cannot be discovered or defended via any kind of scientific process. Rather they form a foundation that makes science possible.

In order to explore how to explain or ground the presuppositions of science, we necessarily turn to the question of worldviews. For the sake of space, I am going to contrast Christian theism with naturalism. By naturalism I mean the view that everything that exists is physical. Immaterial things such as souls, consciousness or numbers do not exist. This would also exclude the existence of immaterial minds.

Let’s consider three of the presuppositions. Continue reading

The Foundations of Science Found in Christian Theism, part 1

ThinkWeekBannerWhat are the foundations of science? This series of posts will look at five presuppositions of science. These presuppositions cannot be established by science: Rather, they must be in place before science can even begin. There are others, but this series will be confined to those firmly rooted in Christianity. After describing the presuppositions we will look at the explanations or grounding that can be found in the worldviews of Christianity and naturalism. Continue reading

An Introduction to the Intersection of Science and Religion

ThinkWeekBannerWhy Does it Matter

“What does it matter?” When discussing something you find terribly important, perhaps something you have devoted thousands of hours to studying and thinking about, there is no more devastating question to consider. Yet whatever type of nerd you might be (philosophy, apologetics, science, programming, etc.), if you want to share that passion with others you have to make the subject relevant to your audience.

As I begin a series of posts devoted to the intersection of science and religion, I want to explain the reasons why I know, not just believe, but know this topic is of vital importance in our culture today. Continue reading

Myth of Natural Evil, Part 3

south-tornado-aftermath-1Part three of three. Part one. Part two.
In this post I will conclude by considering a Biblical critique to the idea that natural evil may be reversed and the existence of pain.

Biblical Critique of Reversing Natural Evil

The original presentation of the material found in this series did elicit a critique based on two passages in the Bible that deserve a response. The claim is that these passages indicate that creation itself (i.e. the laws of physics, animal species, etc.) was changed by the rebellion of Adam and Eve. My response here will be brief, as I simply want to offer reasons why these passages are open to other interpretations. Continue reading

Myth of Natural Evil, Part 2

Northridge Earthquake (1994)Part two of three. Part one. Part three.
In this post I will continue looking at reasons why natural evil is an unhelpful, even non-existent category, for discussing the problem of evil. In the previous post we looked at the first reason, that some forms of natural evil are best understood in terms of their cause, namely human sin.

Does Nature Malfunction?

Another category Feinberg uses for discussing natural evil “includes all those natural disasters produced by some process within nature but outside of human beings (genetics is a natural process, but within us).”[1] More specifically, Feinberg refers to such evils as examples where natural processes “malfunction.”[2] While he does not comment on his view regarding the nature of creation or the specific effects he would attribute to the Fall, this seems to reflect a strange or low view of creation. Continue reading