Relatively few of us wake up in the morning saying, "In order to have a really good day, I need a nourishing breakfast and an up-to-date geological and biological history of the earth and human life." We are more likely to ask why we are working so hard and if our lives actually matter in the overall scheme of things.
As this shows, Paul Tillich was right about at least one thing. This is that Christian doctrines are theological answers to existential questions.
On the other hand, it is difficult to be helped in the long run by theological answers to existential questions which do not make scientific sense. If we are attracted to the idea that religion and science deal with different things, or if we are post-moderns of one type, we can do this for a long time. Yet eventually this breaks down, if not in our own lives than in the lives of our offspring. There is no substitute for working toward an integrated understanding of everything we now know.
This is what makes this Sabbath School series so vital. In this five-part video series, Brian Bull and Fritz Guy lead discussions on their book God, Sky & Land: Genesis 1 as the Ancient Hebrews Heard It (Adventist Forum, 2011).
They have recently published a second book: God, Land, and the Great Flood: Hearing the Story with 21st Century Christian Ears (Adventist Forum, 2017). Doctors Bull and Guy have said the issues discussed in their second book are much more challenging than the ones in their first, which are discussed in this video series. First things first!
Both of these books help us to integrate things by improving our understanding of what Scripture does and does not say in comparison to current scientific knowledge. We are not obliged to accept any or all of their proposals, however, we would be wise at least to consider them.
Watch Brian Bull and Fritz Guy on "Genesis 1 and Modern Science" (Part 1):
This discussion occurred at the Roy Branson Legacy Sabbath School (RBLSS) class in Loma Linda, California on March 17, 2018.
Dr. David Larson is Professor of Religion at Loma Linda University.
Image Credit: Video Still
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