I’m responding to this article. For those familiar with the study of philosophy, it seems rather simple. However, for those who aren’t used to delving into fundamental cultural assumptions, it may be challenging.
The biblical position is in two steps. One: Mankind is fallen and human intellect cannot be trusted. Two: This world is doomed, but we are still obliged to continue acting in this world according to our best understanding.
Nothing in the Bible inhibits genuine curiosity that results in science. This may well be your calling from God, so plunge right in. But don’t take yourself too seriously; don’t expect to find great answers to human problems. The human problem is moral, not material. It is quite true that you are encouraged to follow your own inner drive to study whatever calls out to your curiosity, but you should never be frustrated about the limitations on what you can know that way. Science isn’t required, nor even does it significantly enhance, the more important question of obeying divine revelation.
You see, your intellectual curiosity is itself a gift from God. But even when scientists acknowledge that, they tend to say, “Thanks God; we’ll take it from here.” The inherent position of virtually all Western intellectual inquiry has been that the intellect is not fallen. It’s not a question of whether the mind can accurately assess what it investigates. The problem is that the mind without divine guidance cannot know what questions are proper.
We would do well to remember that Western science didn’t arise in a vacuum. Without the influence of Muslim discoveries it would have taken far longer for the West to have gotten anywhere. If nothing else, the Arabs preserved knowledge (from Greece and India) that would otherwise have been lost in the West. But the Western approach, including all its antecedents, is deeply tainted with a wholly unjustified confidence in human capability. That Western scholarship had lost contact with its own classical roots should signal a warning that Western scholarship had also lost contact with the ancient Hebrew roots of Christian religion.
Too much of math and science is pointless fact-chasing without any moral restraint. Modern science pointedly rejects moral restraint in a certain sense. What little moral consideration there is can be defined as mere material progress, the basic meaning behind such goals as “the betterment of the human condition.” Therein lies the real problem: If we had all knowledge necessary to manipulate all physical materials, it would not resolve the single greatest human problem of our fallen nature.
The article linked above presents a false set of choices by never accurately presenting the biblical position. The Bible presumes thinking about things on multiple levels. The article presumes a necessity of thinking about things on one level only. This is the fatal flaw in any Western approach to Scripture.
Human decision-making cannot rest on one level without at least a tacit rejection of revelation, because revelation itself presumes a multilevel approach to awareness. It takes us back to the Western rejection of the heart-mind. We can get Western science to recognize that the heart is a sensory organ, but we cannot get it to accept the presence of a separate human faculty for assessing the moral value of things. Western thinking insists that moral reasoning must be folded into the intellect, instead of the proper approach of trusting that higher faculty to inform and direct the intellect.
Let’s remind ourselves that the Bible flatly asserts that the heart is above and separate from the intellect. The Bible also flatly says that this world is doomed and cannot be fixed, and that any pursuit in this world must meet the moral test of whether it points men back to their Creator. All the science in the world, including all future and potential discovery, means nothing if we haven’t faced the issue of human fallen nature.
Furthermore, the Bible presumes you understand that Creation is not fallen, so that mankind is disconnected from our created design of direction communion with Creation. All human inquiry is morally pointless because, without deferring to the heart-mind, the intellect is plainly incapable of fully grasping what any science can discover. In guttural terms: Facts don’t mean shit because they aren’t eternal. They have no bearing on eternal questions. Getting a proper perspective on the use of facts isn’t possible without the leadership of the heart-mind. The heart-mind is the only faculty capable of touching eternity.