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April 2024
volume 36 (1)

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Table of Contents

Table of contents
Pages: 3-4

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The ‘Scientific’ Interpretation of the Bible and the Victorian Conflict between Science and Religion

James C. Ungureanu
Pages: 7-30

Abstract

Historians of science and religion need to pay more attention to how historical-critical scholarship influenced perceptions of the relationship between science and religion in the Victorian era. In this paper, I would like to begin redressing this problem by examining how the rise of biblical criticism in general, and the issues of Christology in particular, had influenced views of the relationship between science and religion at the end of the nineteenth century. Indeed, almost all members and promoters of ‘scientific naturalism,’ including the Victorian coterie of the X-Club, Thomas H. Huxley, John Tyndall, and Herbert Spencer, among others, constructed their views on science-religion relations in response to historical-critical scholarship. Moreover, even the so-called ‘cofounders’ of the ‘conflict thesis,’ John W. Draper and Andrew D. White, were significantly affected by this literature. That is, developments in biblical criticism directly impacted how White, Draper, and others of their ilk understood the relationship between science and religion. By examining more carefully how historical criticism played a significant role in the thought of these writers during the Victorian period, I hope to relocate the origins, development, and meaning of the science-religion debate at the end of the nineteenth century.

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Zoology and Job 40: Review and critique of the arguments for Behemoth as a dinosaur

Philip J. Senter
Pages: 31-62

Abstract

Job 40:15–24 describes a monstrous creature named Behemoth, whom ancient Jewish literature treats as a supernatural monster. In contrast, much literature of the thirteenth century and later applies a zoological approach, interpreting Behemoth as a species of animal, usually the hippopotamus in publications from 1663 onward. Since 1974, numerous advocates of the zoological approach have reinterpreted Behemoth as a dinosaur, usually a sauropod. Arguments for Behemoth as a sauropod include allegations that Job 40 describes an animal that is herbivorous, aquatic, docile, and indomitable; drinks large amounts of water; has strong bones, strong hips, a bulbous midsection, tight sinews, and a cedar-like tail; and is the largest land animal that God made. Here, I investigate the relative popularity and temporal duration of each such argument and determine which such arguments are based on sound interpretations of the Hebrew text. This investigation reveals that no argument for Behemoth as a dinosaur survives scrutiny. Several, notably including the argument that Behemoth’s tail is like a cedar, are based on misinterpretations of the Hebrew text. In contrast, all parts of the Hebrew text are consistent with the interpretation of Behemoth as a primordial, supernatural monster.

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Thomas Aquinas in Dialogue with Modern Causal Explanations

Michael Salvatore Politz
Pages: 63-82

Abstract

Within modern science, the rich explanatory power of causality has been relocated down to a simple, lacking notion of causality implicitly defined as ‘the material origin of a series.’ Through the course of this paper, I examine two prominent examples in modern science where this notion of causality is on full display. The first of these examples is the origin of the universe as espoused by the Big Bang theory. The second is the mind/body problem. In both cases, the modern notion of causality, as the origin of a material series, is utterly deficient in explanatory power. To rescue the notion of causality, I detail the classical view of causality as espoused by the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition and shown clearly in the Christian Faith. Most importantly, I show how reintroducing immaterial causality would absolve the explanatory gap in both cases. With this fuller notion of causality, I show how the origin of the universe and the mind/body problem are only problems considering the modern, deficient sense of causality. If the view of immaterial causality found in the Christian tradition is allowed, ample explanation is given as to the mechanics of both the origin of the universe and the mind/body problem.

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Donald MacCrimmon MacKay (1922 – 1987): Scientist and Accidental Philosopher. A Critical Appreciation

George M. Coghill
Pages: 82-102

Abstract

In this paper I present an overview of the life and work of Donald MacCrimmon Mackay, a distinguished Christian polymath who made significant contributions across a number of domains in science and philosophy in the middle part of the 20th Century, and the centenary of whose birth was in 2022. After a brief biographical sketch, we will review his contribution to theology & science, the main ones of these being: complementarity, an innovative concept relating information and matter, and mind and brain; and logical indeterminism, a proposed solution to the problem of free will and determinism. I hope that this overview will stimulate interest in, and further exploration of, his ideas.

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Donald M. MacKay’s Contributions to The Research Scientists Christian Fellowship and Christians in Science: The Early days

Malcolm Jeeves
Pages: 103-107

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Natural Philosophy: On Retrieving a Lost Disciplinary Imaginary

Alister McGrath (Christopher Oldfield)
Pages: 147-149

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Book reviews

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Human Becoming in an Age of Science, Technology, and Faith

Philip Hefner (Todd Kantchev)
Pages: 128-129


God and Gaia: Science, Religion and Ethics on a Living Planet

Michael S Northcott (Robert White)
Pages: 131-133


Navigating Faith and Science

Joseph Vukov (Christina Biggs)
Pages: 133-134


Naturalism in the Christian Imagination: Providence and Causality in Early Modern England

Peter N. Jordan (James Hannam)
Pages: 134-135


Is God Really Legit? Making sense of faith and science

Neil Laing (Malcolm S. Buchanan)
Pages: 135-137


The Person in Psychology and Christianity: A Faith Based Critique of Five Theories of Social Development

Marjorie Lindner Gunnoe (Peter Hampson)
Pages: 137-138


Four Views on Christian Metaphysics

Timothy M. Mosteller (ed.) (Stephen Walley)
Pages: 138-139


Cosmic Chemistry: Do God and Science Mix?

John C. Lennox (Keith Fox)
Pages: 139-142


God’s Gift of Science: Theological presuppositions underlying exploration of the natural world

Graeme Finlay (Michael Fuller)
Pages: 142-143


Dawn. A Proton’s Tale of All That Came to Be

Cees Dekker, Corien Oranje, and Gijsbert van den Brink (Peter J. M. van der Burgt)
Pages: 143-144


Into the Headwinds: Why Belief Has Always Been Hard—and Still Is

Terryl & Nathaniel Givens (Pu Ji (Preston))
Pages: 144-146


Theology and Technology, Volume 1: Essays in Christian Analysis Theology and Technology, Volume 2: Essays in Christian Exegesis and Historical Theology

Carl Mitcham, Jim Grote, and Levi Checketts (Scott Ryan Maybell)
Pages: 146-147


Restless Devices: Recovering Personhood, Presence and Place in the Digital Age

Felicia Wu Song (Brian Monahan)
Pages: 149-150