October 1998
volume 10 (2)

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Editorial: On taking Both Science and the Bible Seriously

Denis Alexander
Pages: 114-114


Adam, Anthropology and the Genesis Record

Allan J. Day
Pages: 115-143


Much of the perceived conflict between science and Christian belief is not due to any intrinsic disagreement between these two approaches to truth, but rather to the conflict of emerging science with entrenched interpretations of Scripture. The history of the science/faith interface attests to this fact from the time of Galileo and before. It is important therefore, in interpreting Gen. 1–3, to take into account the findings of contemporary science. This approach should be made, not as an attempt to conform science to the Bible or the Bible to science, but rather as one in which science serves along with history, culture and language as one of many inputs into the interpretative exercise. The important message of Genesis and of the role of Scripture as the Word of God is not compromised by such an approach, but rather enhanced and its relevance in the contemporary scene emphasised. In this paper an attempt is made to assess the findings of modern anthropology in relation to the interpretation of the Genesis account of Adam and the Fall. It is maintained that neither a strictly literal interpretation, nor one which identifies an individual historic Adam with the Biblical Adam, is consistent with the findings of cultural and physical anthropology. On the other hand, it is proposed that an interpretation suggesting a generic (representative humanity) Adam and a gradual emergence of both humanity made in the `image of God’ and of the Fall is consistent with a proper interpretation of Genesis chapters 1–3. It is proposed that the essential message of Genesis 1–3 with its theology of humanity created in the image of God and embracing the development of a sinful human nature needing redemption is not compromised by this reading.


Human Nature: Unitary or Fragmented?

David Booth
Pages: 145-162


Our humanity, as the Holy Spirit speaks of it to all cultures through the writers of Scripture, is that of material beings who live in community and can relate to God. A human person’s life (the soul) is somatic (the body), a set of individual achievements and viewpoints (the mind and heart), which can be evaluated as a whole (the flesh and the spirit). This biblical conception of a unitary human nature conflicts with both clerically fostered ideas that the dead have temporal consciousness and also the rationalistic dualism of `the ghost in the machine’. On the other hand, this concept of a psychobiosocial unity in human life is consistent with scientific research into the neural bases and the cultural origins of the conscious and unconscious mental processes involved in our actions, thoughts and feelings.


Science, Christianity and the Post-Modern Agenda

John Taylor
Pages: 163-178


Modernists equated rationality with science and thus supposed that religious belief was irrational. Post-modernists show a welcome openness to non-scientific belief systems, yet tend to endorse relativism. This article examines the transition from modernist to post-modernist philosophy of science with particular reference to the work of Thomas Kuhn. The manner in which Kuhn’s work undermines the rationality of science and tends towards an objectionable relativism will be examined. However, Kuhn’s work can be re-interpreted within a broadly realist framework, which sees paradigm choice as a rational procedure, and scientific progress as leading towards an objectively true account of the world. This re-reading of Kuhn yields a partially post-modern philosophy of science, which succeeds in retaining post-modernism’s openness towards religion, without lapsing into a denial of the possibility of objective truth.


ESSAY REVIEW The Crucible of Creation: the Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals by Simon Conway Morris

Robert S. White
Pages: 179-185




J. Emyr Macdonald
Pages: 187-189



Michael B. Roberts
Pages: 189-195


Book reviews

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Revelation and the Environment: AD 95–1995

Sarah Hobson & Jane Lubchenko (editors) (Celia Deane-Drummond)
Pages: 197-198

The Web of Life: A new Synthesis of Mind and Matter

Fritjof Capra (Ernest C. Lucas)
Pages: 198-199

Good God: Green theology and the value of creation

Jonathan Clatworthy (Ron Elsdon)
Pages: 199-200

The Scientific Revolution

Steven Shapin (Charles Webster)
Pages: 200-201

Theology of Creation in an Evolutionary World

Karl Schmitz-Moormann, with James F. Salmon S.J.(Christopher Southgate)
Pages: 201-202

God, Faith and the New Millennium

Keith Ward (John Polkinghorne)
Pages: 202-202

Reconciling Theology and Science: A Radical Reformation Perspective

Nancey Murphy (Michael Peat)
Pages: 202-204

The Psychology of Religious Behaviour, Belief and Experience

Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi and Michael Argyle (Rosamund Bourke)
Pages: 204-205

The Humanizing Brain: Where Religion and Neuroscience Meet

James B. Ashbrook and Carol Rausch Albright (Fraser Watts)
Pages: 205-206

Robert Boyle: A Study in Science and Christian Belief

Reijer Hooykaas (Edward B. Davis)
Pages: 206-207

Belief in God in an Age of Science

John Polkinghorne (William K. Kay)
Pages: 207-208