Today's video is courtesy of filmmaker Ryan Pettey, director/editor of Satellite Pictures.
When addressing the science and faith dialogue, one of the first things we must look at is how we interpret scripture. In today's video, Dr. Nancey Murphy, Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary discusses the importance of stories as a tool for the ancient writers to teach theological truths, especially about the nature of creation (who created? what is the role of humanity in the creation?). It can sound frightening to some people to hear others speaking comfortably about the creation stories not being historical, but this is not the same as saying the stories are not true, only that they are not true on a certain level. They are theologically true, and if they are in the Bible, then they are inspired by God.
Murphy ends with an interesting challenge for those most fervently espousing the literalness of scripture. She indicates that, as important as the Old Testament is to Christian theology, Christian theologians start with the New Testament not the Old. Even though the Gospels are not the oldest books of the Bible, they are the ones that give us the most direct picture of who Jesus was, what he was teaching, and what he was doing. She suggests that Christians intent on protecting a literal interpretation of all scripture start with where Christian theology in general begins--the New Testament. They will quickly find themselves coming to the Sermon on the Mount. Start there, she says, then having worked toward a literal interpretation of that scripture, we'll be ready to move on to discuss how best to understand Genesis.
Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.
Nancey Murphy joined the Fuller Theological Seminary faculty in 1989 and serves as professor of Christian philosophy. Murphy serves on the board of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for Science and Religion. Murphy’s first book, Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning, received the American Academy of Religion’s Award for Excellence. Other recent books include Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will and Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?. Murphy serves as an editorial advisor for numerous publishers and journals. She is also a research professor at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, and is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren.