Scripture and the Pre-Scientific Worldview

At the 2013 SALT Conference in Birmingham I presented on the implications of Scripture having originated in a pre-scientific era. I argued that the Bible often speaks in accordance with pre-scientific views that are not literally correct, and that it is a mistake for Christians to expect the Bible to make literally correct statements about science two thousand years before the advent of modern science. The finitude and historical placement of the original receptor audience precluded the feasibility of God giving Scripture that speaks in accordance with science knowledge that is counter intuitive and based on explorations and methodologies of which the Hebrews could not have dreamed. In summary, a revelation from God must be given in terms that are comprehensible, and thus in principle we should not expect that the Bible outpaces ancient, pre-scientific concepts about the structure, function, or age of nature. Further, it is clear that the Bible in fact speaks only in accordance with ancient views that, while once held to be incontestably true by many peoples, are now proven incorrect. The most suitable Christian assessment of this situation is to conclude that biblical alignment with pre-scientific views is incidental to the point(s) being made in the text, and that our science views should be shaped by the scientific method, not by a literalistic reading of Scripture.

Work in Progress

For more than five years I had a professionally developed, static site at The day it went live it featured a few Ph.D. papers I had written as well as some book projects I had been involved in to that point in my career. It featured exactly those same things five years later. The site was not easy to update, and so I left it sitting there, a non-interactive time capsule that did little more than fetch me some email contacts from occasional wanderers who stumbled onto the site. WordPress holds out promise of providing something more useful. Assuming I can learn a few new tricks, I plan to post here any observations or speculations that can further discussion of things that I believe matter. And I reserve the right to be completely frivolous on occasion.