In this post I’m going to tell you the story of Clara, who is a collage of four different students (all young ladies) who wrote research papers or Bachelor’s theses for me in the last couple of years. For each of them, the process of researching and writing turned in to a love for God’s Word and a desire to dig deeper to discover more about the depth of God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness as Scripture reveals it to us. You should be aware that since it’s a collage of my students, it’s a little idealistic. Still, it represents some of the things I love about teaching and real encouragement I’ve received from four different students.
It’s finally time to turn to Scripture to see what Gen 1:1–2:3 teaches. At first glance the text seems to clearly teach that God created the world in six, twenty-four hour days. But if we look more closely we’ll see there is a very clear symmetry in the text that takes us in another direction. The primary teaching of this text has little to do with when God created and everything to do with why.
If science and Scripture have some superficial conflicts but no deep conflicts when viewed from the ultimate perspective of wisdom, then we need to think carefully about the various claims of science and the Bible that appear to be in conflict. Are these apparent conflicts due to the limitations of the science perspective or due to our interpretation of Scripture? We need to be careful because sometimes our first attempt at finding a deeper unity might not be correct.
Now that we’ve got a good foothold in the Israelite wisdom worldview; that God created the universe to function in an orderly way, and that he created it as a way for us to experience the blessing of being in relationship with him, we can finally begin to triangulate science and Scripture from the vantage point of wisdom. In the end, we’ll discover that while there may sometimes be superficial conflict between science and Scripture, there will always be deep harmony when seen from the perspective of the wisdom worldview.
In the ANE wisdom worldview, god created the world to function in an orderly way. Now that we have that broad concept of wisdom, we can get more specific and look at Israel’s worldview. A great place to start is at the beginning. As we try to understand why “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom,” we’ll discover that the whole purpose of the physical creation was to mediate our relationship with Yahweh. If we take the physical world out of this context, we’ll never be able to rightly and fully understand the universe.
In the previous post I pointed out that solving the Evangelical’s creation conundrum is like navigating between the Scylla and the Charybdis. Now I want to explain why understanding the wisdom worldview will help us better understand the relationship between science and Scripture so that we can steer unscathed through this treacherous route.