The Biblical Premise of Uniformitarianism


(system) #1

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/archive/the-biblical-premise-of-uniformitarianism-part-2

(Mervin Bitikofer) #2

Thanks for your essay here, Greg. Taking a critical look at the ways we may inconsistently use / (but then later deny) uniformitarian principles is good to reflect on.

At one point (after calling attention to Psalm 104) you wrote:

A plain reading of Scripture shows God relating to his creation using both the normal interactions of gravity, heat, and matter as well as the miraculous or direct changes from his own hand. A plain reading of Scripture also shows God in intimate relationship with his creation. Matthew 6:25 says, “Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, …

If I may nit-pick here for a bit on an otherwise excellent point being made (and with which I fully agree); nevertheless, should we consider banning the phrase “plain reading of Scripture” from our discourse? I don’t think you have misused it here, specifically, but that’s easy for me to say since I am already in the same camp with where you take it. YECs are chastised (and rightly so) for insisting that they have a (make that “the”) “plain reading”, and they cling to it even after being shown (from Scriptures no less!) that they actually have no such thing. I can imagine some asking here, “why do you get to enlist your ‘plain readings’ and we do not?” While I think yours (unlike their’s) is actually scripturally defensible, I am inclined to think we should still shun that phrase so as not to lend any credence to the mistaken notion that there is any such thing.

Perhaps we could think of it instead as a “biblically-informed reading”? or a “sensitive-to-relevant-issues reading”? Okay – that’s getting worse and worse, and I have no pretensions about landing on anything that could catch on. But I just think it good to be sensitive to the power of phrases and the unwarranted currency they are granted.