No Final Conflict

Psalm 119:105
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

There has been a tendency among some evangelicals to worry about scientific opinion. For example, there has been a drive to reinterpret Genesis in the light of evolutionary theory, and, although that drive is decades old, it has accelerated among conservative evangelicals in the last ten years or so. The tendency seems to be to panic whenever a new scientific idea appears that seems to be opposed to the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer, although not a young earth creationist, nevertheless had some wise words on the issue. In his book, No Final Conflict, he said:

When we face apparent problems between present scientific theories and the teaching of the Bible, the first rule is not to panic, as though scientific theory is always right. The history of science, including science in our own day, has often seen great dogmatism about theories which later have been discarded. Thus there is no inherent reason why a current scientific theory should immediately be accepted. And there is no inherent reason why a Christian should be put in a panic because the current scientific theory is opposite to what is taught in the Bible.

Schaeffer reminds us that science has never been an overpowering magisterium, and there is no reason for us to consider it so today. He is basically asking whether or not we have the confidence to assert that, in the event of conflict between science and the word of God, it is the word of God that we consider to be of primary importance and against which we will judge other opinions.

Prayer: You spoke the truth in Your word, Lord. We are sorry that some circumstances ever made us doubt Your word. Help us to have the boldness always to declare the truth of Your word. Amen.

Ref: Schaeffer, F.A. (1975), No Final Conflict, in The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer Volume 2, (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books), p. 130.

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