What is Knowledge?
What is Science?
What is Wisdom?
Otis Our One-eyed Owl
What is the source for accurate knowldege?
Epistemology is the technical term for the study of knowledge and its source. The biblical Greek term for "knowledge" is gnosis, which is used throughout the New Testament in many forms. So, a person who is not yet convinced that God exists is called an agnostic, meaning one "without knowledge", without gnosis. There are numerous realms of knowledge, therefore many fields of study, such as cosmology, biology, geology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, etc. Consider for a moment, even if you do not yet believe in God our Creator, what it would mean if a Creator God really does exist.
If He does exist, then learning and knowing accurately who our Creator is (i.e., what kind of person, what kind of character) would directly impact every other realm of knowledge and study. The study of God's character and his purpose for "his" creation would then logically overshadow and necessarily direct all other areas of knowledge. This "logical study of God" is called "Theology" (from theos & logikos). Consequently, if a Creator God exists, then our first and foremost academic effort should be, theology, that is to "know" our Creator in order to develop the most accurate and full knowledge of anything else we study in His universe. Keep in mind that even agnostics, atheists, and even anti-theists hold to a theological perspective about “God” that under girds their worldview. (John 17:3 and 23; 1 Kings 8:43; Isa 45:6; 2 Chr 6:33; …) Agnostic theology says “God might exist”. Atheistic theology says “God does not exist”. Anti-theistic theology says “I hate the idea of God’s existence”.
When the secular world speaks about a source or method of knowledge for "scientific" study, it is often called the "philosophy of science". Philosophy is simply a Greek transliteration meaning the love (phileo) of wisdom (Sophia). Similaryly, “science” is just a Latin transliteration for the term scientia, which means “knowledge”. So, science is simply a systematic effort to discover and “know” the truth.
Please think logically and simply about the connections. If a Creator God does exist as discussed above, then the first and most important source of knowledge for scientific study must begin not with man’s philosophical assumptions, but with God’s revelation in His Word. And His Word begins by revealing the how, when, and most of all the WHY of His creation of everything. Therefore, individual fields of study are best described as "subsets" of Theology.
Science, in a universe created by a Creator God (an Intelligent Designer), should begin by first understanding the "theology of science". For example, in order for any branch of "psychology" (that is, the study of the psyche; Greek for study of the soul) to be the most accurate possible, it would logically need to be based on a careful "theology of the psyche" from the Creator’s perspective. The same would be true for cosmology, biology, geology, sociology, etc. Each field of study or "subject" of knowledge best fits under the overarching realm of "Theology" (God and His Word about that subject).
Existence of God and the subsequent priority of theology does not prevent man from discovering some of the "what" or "how" about the Creator's world (Romans 1:20). However, it does demonstrate man's limitation when it comes to knowing fully and most accurately the "WHY" regarding the creation. For that, man needs special revelation from the Creator about Himself and His purpose. Also, finite, temporal man is especially limited in the ability to “know” how and when things happened in the past. Only God who was there as an eyewitness of what He did, can tell us accurately.
When scientists try to figure out when and how things happened in the past (like when a person’s decomposed dead body is found in a building), that is called forensic or historical science. The same is true when trying to figure out when and how a dinosaur died by studying its remaining fossil. This kind of investigation is indirect science about the past, not direct science about present events. Direct scientific inquiry about present events is both observable and repeatable. An example of direct science would be using a physics experiment to determine the force that a man can apply using a hammer to hit a nail. All of the variables are presently observable and the event is repeatable. The results of such direct science are very reliable.
In contrast, indirect (historical/forensic) science is about past events that are no longer observable and not repeatable. Without eyewitnesses to verify when and how a person died, scientists must make many assumptions in this type of indirect science inquiry. When a science investigation is very indirect, the scientists must make many more uncertain assumptions about what, when, how, and why something happened. Obviously, more assumptions make the conclusions of those scientists much less certain. Keep in mind that when it comes to the distant past, God was always an eyewitness.
Scripture (God's written, revealed Word, the Bible) is the only inerrant source of knowledge for "WHY" the universe and man were created. Even the "WHEN" and "HOW" for the ORIGIN of space, time, matter, energy, and life (the first DNA coded information) as well as the varied types of creatures (new genetic and epigenetic bio-info) is something man alone apart from God cannot know for certain. "Why" the universe and man were created involves God's purpose and therefore our purpose in life. The Bible says God's purpose was for us to reflect His pure, loving character and a world like the Garden of Eden full of peace, harmony, and order.
* Perhaps this is the reason that man’s amazing, technological advances have not produced World Order, peace, unity, and security, but rather World Disorder, wars, ethnic holocausts, and now the threat of biological, chemical, and nuclear annihilation. Man alone cannot know and understand the Creator's purpose. It is only through special direct revelation from God that we discover His purpose for us is to live in peaceful, loving, harmony, not "survival of the fittest".
Please consider one more, crucial thing. Suppose that in addition to the existence of our Creator, it is also true that one of his most powerful and intelligence creatures (for example an angelic creature) had chosen self-serving rebellion against its Creator God. If this is also true, then logically that rebellious angel's most effective attack against its Creator would be to deceive others (humans) by distorting the Creator's true character.
This leads to a key question about God and macroevolution:
Is God the Designer of the "survival of the fittest", pain, fear, suffering, and death that now saturates the world, or is He the Good Shepherd revealed throughout the Bible and in the incarnate person of Jesus the Messiah? What's your answer for the origin of suffering, not only among humans, but also animals?
Clearly, the "theology of science" is not just some peripheral, trivial subject, but a foundationally ethical issue impacting the root of every moral issue. So, please embrace your personal responsibility to study and become knowledgeable regarding science in the light of God and His Word.
Defending Our Father's Honor &
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