Sunday, September 10, 2006

Preaching and Science: A Lesson from Russ Moore

Russ Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Vice President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke very honestly about the relationship between pastoral ministry and the study of science in his Systematic Theology II course a few weeks ago. Dr. Moore is a gifted professor, has been a guest speaker for Answers in Genesis (a Christian organization devoted to the study of Science and Christian apologetics), and knows his science. In class he gave the following exhortation to a question from one student on pastoral ministry and science.

Every pastor is called to be a pastor/theologian, not a pastor/scientist. It's perfectly okay to share with your people possible solutions to the natural Sciences/Bible dilemma, but speak with humility when you do so. Help your people know that the answers you and any other gives are provisional. That is they are not solid, fixed, definite answers. They may be resolutions to the problems, but they may have to be tweaked, altered, or completely abandoned if new evidence comes to light, or more study reveals a necessary affect on your "resolution" that you had not previously seen.

Dr. Moore pressed upon us that there are somethings we simply cannot explain, things which we don't have resolutions for, and we should no be disturbed by this. It is okay to give answers to the questions of your parishoners, but never suggest to them that this answer is absolute. For inevitably something will come along to challenge that and it may be even more plausible than your answer.

This is a good word to us all- Preach the Word, not science. Where science needs to be discussed, do so with humility.


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