Section 2: Science and the Bible – Conflicting Interpretations

This is a short extract from Am I My Keeper’s Brother? 

Standing on the Wrong Side

What  happens when the church’s understanding of the Bible collides with scientific findings, such as with the debate over creation and evolution? Often Christian reaction, spoken or unspoken, will follow these lines:

•   “It’s God’s word vs. human wisdom”

•   “Scientific ideas keep changing, but the Bible remains unchanging”

•   “The theory of evolution spawned Nazi ethnic cleansing”

•   “Evolution blurs the distinction between humans and animals”

Let’s examine some of these ideas in the light of three previous instances where the official church view conflicted with scientific ideas, or was later shown to be false.

God’s word vs human wisdom

I am writing this book in the Antipodes – the area of the globe opposite Europe, now loosely thought of by the British as Australia and New Zealand or ‘down under’. Until the voyages of Abel Tasman and James Cook, there was serious debate about whether land existed at the Antipodes. Curiously, many clergy up until the Middle Ages argued that to believe in the Antipodes or in the existence of people there was to contradict and scorn the teaching of the Bible. Belief in the Antipodes was a heresy – the Antipodean Heresy – based on the teachings and writings of the church fathers, especially those of Augustine (354–430AD), bishop of Hippo Regius in Algeria.

Am I My Keeper’s Brother? pp 75. Order your copy of the book here.

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