Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kenneth Samples Summarizes 10 Ways Christian Belief Creates a Hospitable Environment for Scientific Inquiry

1. The physical universe is an objective reality, which is ontologically distinct from the Creator (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1).

2. The laws of nature exhibit order, pattern and regularity, since they are established by an orderly God (Psalm 19:1-4).

3. The laws of nature are uniform throughout the physical universe, since God created and providentially sustains them.

4. The physical universe is intelligible because God created us to know himself, ourselves and the rest of creation (Genesis 1-2; Proverbs 8).

5. The world is good, valuable, and worthy of careful study because it was created for purpose by a perfectly good God (Genesis 1).  Humans, as the unique image bearers of God, were created to discern, discover and develop the goodness of creation for the glory of God and human betterment through work. The creation mandate (Genesis 1:26-28) includes scientific activity.

6. Because the world is not divine and therefore not a proper object of worship, it can be an object of rational study and empirical observation.

7. Human beings possess the ability to discover the universe's intelligibility, since we are made in God's image and have been placed on earth to develop its intrinsic possibilities.

8. Because God did not reveal everything about nature, empirical investigation is necessary to discern the patterns God laid down in creation.

9. God encourages, even propels, science through his imperative to humans to take dominion over nature (Genesis 1:28).

10. The intellectual virtues essential to carrying out the scientific enterprise (studiousness, honesty, integrity, humility and courage) are part of God's moral law. [1]

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. Kenneth Samples, Without a Doubt, p. 192-194; this is a summary that Doug Groothuis offers in his book Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith, p. 102-103.


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