Dr Lamoureux On Accommodation: The Problem of Death and Sin

Dr Denis Lamoureux’s Coursera course on Science and Religion has helped me to understand the principle of accommodation. Here’s a handout and video he has generously agreed to let me review.

1 Page Handout:


19 Minute Presentation:


He seems respectful to all views in a very difficult situation. I’d appreciate your thoughts.

1 Like

I find his last sentence immensely problematic,

The Bible is a book of inerrant Spiritual Truths for you
to develop a personal relationship with the Lord.

even whilst I struggle to do just that. Still. As a yearning rational atheist.

Where is the first ‘inerrant Spiritual Truth’?

1 Like

This is an area where he does well with straddling the line and talking to fundamentalists. He also has a doctorate in theology from Regent in Canada. He’s able to do a lot more with nuance and “original sin.” The Coursera course helps with that. Is there a specific area that you’d like to discuss?

1 Like

What is the first inerrant 'Spiritual Truth’, that leaps out of the Bible and stares one in the face? The first that one comes to from Genesis, or Job (the oldest). And then the first as one single word, then as a single sentence, as a distillation of the essence, the ‘inerrant Spiritual Truth’, of the entire Bible.

Right. I think that that’s the leap of faith, nicht wahr? and that’s the tack he takes to help people accept evolution. I think that the point of the presentation isn’t to make an apologetic for the existence of faith, so much as for the coexistence of faith with science. For as many different types of denominations and divisions there are, I’m with Randal Rauser (who also knows Dr Lamoureux) in his book, “What’s So Confusing About Grace,” about how God is bigger than the dogmas.

Sneaky ! :slight_smile: In other words, whatever we bring to the party.

Looking at the handout… I don’t see how this makes anything clear. It is hard to see this as other than a creationist fabrication and hardly something I would expect from a professor of anthropology.

…in other word, I think this needs a great deal more work if it is to explain anything.

The handout goes with the video and course. He’s a professor of science and religion, not of anthropology. He holds three earned doctorates and really knows his stuff.

1 Like

The handout goes with the video and course. He’s a professor of science and religion, not of anthropology. He holds three earned doctorates and really knows his stuff.

1 Like

Started watching the video, and what I found immediately confusion was how much this professor at a Catholic college was quoting Calvin as if he was authoritative.

Yes the video is more clear.

1 Like

He heard yer the first time.

Yeah, sorry about that. Sometimes the software is so slow that I’m not sure the post went through.

1 Like

@Shannon and @Kelli, I appreciate your interaction. I wonder if I could ask your opinion.

One of the areas I struggle is the concept of accommodation. It’s been a bit easier as a father, as I can see a need for it with my children as they are growing up. For example, when my (now 8 year old) daughter watched the the sun “rise” with me, I referred to it in that term. I didn’t feel the need to explain that the earth tips towards the sun when I enjoyed the pink and yellow of the show out our East. However, now she is older, we have discussed it. Is it possible that some of the imagery (of the sky being supported by pillars, etc, which was part of the ancient Sumerian imagery, as well) could have been just coopted by God’s prophets in discussing spiritual truths?

Dr Lamoureux mentions that teaching science as we know it would be a hindrance to those who read it, as it would fly against all they knew–and be a distraction.

That is not an easy idea to me. However, while it doesn’t seem to fit everything, as Dr Lamoureux notes, I wonder what you would think–if some of this would jive.

Thank you again for your interaction and concern. We can be iron sharpening each other’s iron. Randy

Will butt in and say that the question is not if God accommodates, but rather to what extent. Scripture says that God’s ways are above ours, and God had a few words to say to Job about that, and commonly we say that “God meets us where we are.” It is difficult however to understand and explain how accommodation for one particular time can be “accommodated “ when the time and culture changes, Perhaps we err in trying to read too much into scripture, and become guilty of adding our projected meanings rather than hearing the truth revealed.


This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.