Thursday, April 16, 2009

Laws of Nature and God's Word for Creation

The "laws of nature" were mentioned in Tony's post regarding the meaning of the word "evolution".  Since I have written on that in a paper entitled "Laws of Nature and God's Word for Creation" (see Sikkema 2007 under "collected papers" in the sidebar; a direct link is here), let me present a few quotes here.  I invite you to read the entire piece and give me your feedback on it.

"It is important to develop a Christian perspective or worldview on how the world 'works' and about how God relates to the creation. Without such grounding, we join in some of the fallacies plaguing today's culture, such as philosophical materialism, naturalism, and the dualisms between science and religion and between the natural and the supernatural. In this article, I will discuss what we --- both scientists and members of the general public --- mean when we speak about natural scientific laws, or laws of nature, as well as what the Bible says about God's ordinances for creation, particularly in terms of his showing covenant faithfulness toward his creation." (p. 27)

"From a Christian point of view, science would not be possible were it not for the fact that its foundation is in God's covenant faithfulness to his creation, for there can be no consistent naturalistic explanation for the regularities of the world which are explored within the natural sciences." (p. 36)

"One of the main things we've inherited in the scientific enterprise is the concept that the laws of nature, and nature itself, are mechanical. This conception, however, is not consistent with a Christian understanding of the world or of how God relates to the world. God doesn't 'simply' set up a mechanism and have that mechanism carry on over time.  That would be a world of deism, a world where God is not personally, intimately, covenantally, faithfully relating but simply has set it up in a certain way and then no longer engages it." (p. 38)

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