Category: Can Naturalism & faith be harmonized in origins?

Unassailable: A Simple Faith in the Bible

file-3By Ken Hamrick

“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.” (Ex. 20:11 NASB).

“When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son […] and named him Seth […year 130…]
Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh […year 235…]
Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan […year 325…]
Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel […year 395…]
Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared […year 460…]
Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch […year 622…]
Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah […year 687…]
Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech […year 874…]
Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of […] Noah […year 1056]

Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” […year 1556.] (Gen. 5:3-32 NASB). Continue reading

Admonitions to a Disappointed Young-Earther

This article was also published at SBC Voices.

By Ken Hamrick

Recently, I came across a paper in the Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry, written by Dr. Kenneth Keathley in 2013, entitled, “Confessions of a Disappointed Young-Earther.”[1] The piece is well done and gives an informative summary of the various arguments and supposed problems of the Young-Earth Creationism movement. After reading it, I must say that I’m just as disappointed as Dr. Keathley, but for different reasons. I’m disappointed that the enemy, who is delegitimizing the truth-claims of Christianity by undermining the authority of Scripture, is often met with so little resistance and so much well-meant, reasonable-sounding cooperation. I’m disappointed that not even the best among us are immune from a skeptical evidentialism. And I’m disappointed that one so capable of competent reason would falter in thinking that evidence has bearing on the question of a recent miraculous creation. Continue reading

Justin Taylor’s Doubts About 24-Hour Days of Creation – In Retrospect

by Jim Pemberton

A couple of weeks ago Justin Taylor posted an article entitled “Biblical Reasons to Doubt the Creation Days Were 24-Hour Periods”. Since that time, many have posted articles refuting Justin’s arguments. In this article I will post links to some of the ones I know about and make a couple of observations myself.

First, let me start off by saying that in general I respect Justin. He’s a well-reasoned man of good character and genuinely strives for biblical accuracy. I just think he missed the mark on this one. Nevertheless, his article seems to have given many of us the incentive to hash this issue out. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Revelation, The Concurrence of Faith

by Jim Pemberton

Up to this point, I have made a case for faith based on reason. In this article, I want go back to a section of a previous article that talks about how reason is based on faith. This is the article where I discussed the limitations of the scientific method. The section comprises the first half of the article and is entitled Unprovable Presuppositions.

Of Science and Faith

We all rely on unprovable presuppositions. It’s unavoidable. This is why it is all too easy for one camp to level at the other the charge of circular reasoning. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Revelation, The Certainty of Faith

by Jim Pemberton

So what of the foundation for knowledge between the non-theist and the theist, particularly the Christian? (I acknowledge a difference between other theists and Christians because Christianity has a particularly compelling apologetic for revelation. I won’t discuss that here, however.) So I’ll start this article with a recap of some of the earlier material and use it to jump off into a comparison between Christian and non-theistic epistemology, or to say, “how we each know what we claim to know.”

Of Science and Faith

Faith isn’t blind, it is reasonable

It is a non-theistic charge that “faith is blind”. That is to claim that faith fills in the gaps for what we don’t know. That definition of faith is called “fideistic”. But mature Christians hold to a different definition of faith. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: The Scientific Method, Limitations

by Jim Pemberton

In the previous article I stated the scientific method in probably its simplest terms. I also stated it in probably its best light. In this article I will turn the tide and discuss some of its limitations. I’m sure I won’t be able to state them all here. However, I do want to establish two categories for understanding the epistemological limitations to the scientific method.

Of Science and Faith

Unprovable Presuppositions

The first category is spelled out by the name I gave to this section: Unprovable Presuppositions. Different philosophical systems have different criteria for epistemological demonstration. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Natural Theology

By Jim Pemberton

In the last article we discussed faith based on reason from the teaching of Augustine. It follows as to ask what the relation is between faith and reason. For this we will jump ahead in time from Augustine to Thomas Aquinas.

Of Science and Faith

As it is, I’m not generally a Thomist. That is, I don’t generally follow the teaching of Thomas Aquinas. However, he brought up a concept that is helpful for us to think about in answering our question. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Faith and Reason

By Jim Pemberton

Augustine’s Two Streams of Faith

Scholarly analyses of Augustine tend to differ widely. These can be distilled down to two significant streams of thought.

Of Science and Faith

The first is a famous quote of his, “Crede, ut intelligas.”1 It is an admonition to “believe, so that you may understand.” This may sound similar to the famous philosophical proposition, “I think, therefore I am,” made by philosopher René Descartes. This is in line with Augustine’s thinking that more directly serves to demonstrate him as a predecessor to Descartes when he wrote, “Si… fallor, sum” (“If I am mistaken, I am”)2. But I mention the first statement for a reason that will become clear soon. The point is that in this analysis of his thought Augustine pointed forward to Descartes. This was the direction of his philosophical thought.

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Of Science and Faith: Revelation

By Jim Pemberton

In the first article, I talked about the idea that we need to ask how we know something that we claim to know. In the last article, I talked about how Christians believe that there is more than one kind of substance. So to combine the two, we as Christians need to answer the question how we know that this is true. I also observed that monists, particularly the naturalists today, need to be able to answer the question how they know that there is no other substance than that which we experience.

Of Science and Faith

For both of us, in order to answer the question, we need to have information from other kinds of substance. This poses a problem for naturalists since they don’t believe that there is another substance. This assumption requires two things: Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Substance

By Jim Pemberton

In this series I am discussing a few key philosophical categories. Last time, I discussed epistemology. At the end of that discussion I brought up the idea that God is of a different stuff than the created world.

Of Science and Faith

The philosophical idea of different stuff is often called substance. Substance is that of which things are made. I’m not talking about the periodic table elements… per se. All of the elements that we are familiar with are of the same substance: matter. Inasmuch as matter can be converted to energy, energy is of the same substance as matter. But we have to ask ourselves if this is the only kind of substance that exists.

Continue reading