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Monday, July 14, 2008

Simple, beautiful and not influenced by the spirit of man

A friend sent me a paper recently. I found this extract very sensible and wanted to share it.

"This argument had been advanced by P. H. Gosse in his book, Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot which was published in London in 1857. Dabney does not refer to it and probably had not seen it. Gosse’s book is quite summarily dealt with by Bernard Ramm in his recent book, The Christian View of Science and Scripture (1954). Ramm makes no mention of Dabney. He prefers to give the scientists all the time that they want to develop a cosmos by what practically amounts to a uniformitarian and naturalistic method, despite the fact that he declares himself to be a supernaturalist. Against such a view Dabney argues: “Why should the Theistic philosopher desire to push back the creative act of God to the remotest possible age, and reduce his agency to the least possible minimum, as is continually done in these speculations? What is gained by it? Instead of granting that God created a cosmos, a world, some strive continually to show that he created only the rude germs of a world, ascribing as little as possible to God, and as much as possible to natural law. Cui bono; if you are not hankering for Atheism? Is a completed result any harder for infinite powers than a germinal one? What is natural law; and what is its source? It originated in the creative power, and is maintained, energized, and regulated by the perpetual providence of God. Do you crave to push God away, as far as possible? It does not help you to say, natural law directed the formation of this mass of marble instead of supernatural creation; for God is as near and as infinite in his common, natural, as in his first, supernatural working.”"

3 comments:

Ktisophilos said...

For the record, R.L. Dabney (1820–1898) was a Presbyterian minister, theologian and author, and Professor of Theology at Union Theological Seminary, Virginia, for over thirty years. Dabney also said:

The authority of the Bible, as our rule of faith, is demonstrated by its own separate and independent evidences, literary history, moral, internal, prophetical. It is found by the geologist in possession of the field, and he must assume the aggressive, and positively dislodge it from its position. The defender of the Bible need only stand on the defensive. That is, the geologist must not content himself with saying that his hypothesis, which is opposed to Bible teachings, is plausible, that it cannot be scientifically refuted, that it may adequately satisfy the requirements of all the physical phenomena to be accounted for. All this is naught, as a successful assault on us. We are not bound to retreat until he has constructed an absolutely exclusive demonstration of his hypothesis; until he has shown, by strict scientific proofs, not only that his hypothesis may be the true one, but that it alone can be the only true one; that it is impossible any other can exclude it.

Critias said...

Its great how conservative theologians saw the issues clearly; not so the water muddiers down at St Andrew's House...Interesting to note that P. Jensen was noted in a recent press article as being famous for engineering division in the Anglican church: not, mind you, for promoting the gospel, defending the weak, demonstrating compassion, or teaching the Bible...all of which he may do, but the press notes him for a big fat negative...is thus SAD's true colours revealed?

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