In other news, the Kolbe Center just announced a UK speaking tour. Hugh Owen and Tim Murnane will be speaking at several churches throughout the area. Here is their tentative schedule (use their website for definitive details):
Friday, April 16, 6:30-9:30 p.m. EdinburghSaint Andrew'sBelford Road,Ravelston
Saturday, April 17, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. EdinburghChurch Hall,St. Brides HallOur Lady of Good Aid Cathedral31 Coursington Rd. Motherwell ML1 1PP
Sunday, April 18, Time 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Glasgow
(with Benediction and Dinner to follow for all participants!)Church Hall of:Immaculate Heart of Mary,162 Broomfield RoadGlasgowG21 3UE
Tuesday, April 20, 7.00 - 9.30 p.m. BirminghamMaryvale InstituteMaryvale HouseOld Oscott Hill Birmingham.
Contact:: Adrian Dulston firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 21. Salisbury
Thursday, April 22, 7-9 p.m. NottinghamChurch of the Assumption25 Foster AvenueBeeston, Nottingham NG9 1AE
Friday, April 23, 7-9:30 p.m. Spalding, LincolnshireSt Margaret's Church HallMain RoadQuadring Spalding, LincolnshirePE11 4PW
Saturday, April 24 OR Sunday, April 25. London
I just finished reading Schroeder's The Science of God: the Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom. It's a really good book, though I have not done an in-depth reading. Please take this review with a grain of salt, as there may be parts of the book that I haven't read which I should.
While Schroeder probably doesn't consider himself a part of the ID camp (one of his videos, for instance, is titled "beyond Intelligent Design", though he makes the same arguments as the ID'ers), the book's take on evolution is almost entirely from the perspective of front-loaded evolution, and ID concept. In fact, a good substitute for the book is just reading Mike Gene's blog or the Telic Thoughts website, though each of these lack the insights of Jewish mysticism that Schroeder brings in. In fact, he even favorably cites Michael Behe.
The fundamental point of the book is that the advances in physics and biology of the last 30 years have actually put science and the Bible much closer together - and even closer still if one interprets the Bible through the eyes of Jewish mystics throughout the centuries (frequently referencing the Kaballah, Rashi, and Maimonides).
He faults Creationists for taking Genesis literally when it should not be taken that way. In fact, he even argues that Moses said that it should not be taken that way, citing Deut. 31:19, 31:30, and 32:44 (apparently because Moses referenced a "song", though he was not explicit).
The problem I have with Schoeder's book is not that it's evolutionary. I really don't care that much. The problem is that he recognizes that the last 70 years or so have brought lots of information that bring science into corroboration with scripture, and in every case argues for this citing modern scientific facts. However, he fails to make what I think is the necessary leap. He never says that there in fact might be things in the Bible which are against modern science which are nonetheless true.
Think about this for a minute. Let's say that Schroeder wrote his book 70 years ago, with the evidence which was available 70 years ago. Would he have argued the same way, and for the same positions? The meaning of scripture, whatever it is, has not changed in the last 70 years. What has? Science! So, while Schroeder documents many ways in which science is conforming itself to scripture, he leaves out any mention of where he thinks that the Bible is currently correct and science is not.
If he were arguing for the same interpretations of scripture 70 years ago, his book would have to be replete with examples where the interpretation of the Bible was going against current science. Likewise, if the Bible is true, no matter what method of interpretation you use, there would likely be some way in which the Bible's truth is different than modern science, unless he is arguing something distinct about the last 70 years which has finally finished the connection between science and scripture.
But he never really goes there, except, in a minor way, over the nature of humanity, which is probably more of a philosophical issue than a biblical one.
Regarding creationism, he correctly notes that the account of the Earth being created 6,000 years ago is infinitely closer to the current scientific age than the age supposed by the steady-state universe theory that preceded the Big Bang (i.e. infinity). But, given that, why is it such a stretch to think that a change in understanding might not take it the rest of the way? If Einstein rewrote physics after Michelson said that all of physics was basically known, why could not the same thing happen for natural history?
So, while the book was very good, I could not find a place in it where Schroeder took the argument to its necessary conclusion - that there might somewhere be something in scripture which is both true and contrary to modern science. He just never goes there, but it is nonetheless the logical outcome of his view.
That is one of the reasons I am so hopeful about Creationism, despite its many problems. The history of science has been steadily marching closer and closer to Biblical truth. Therefore, there is no reason to pawn away the remainder. In fact, Biblical truth gives us a head start in science, precisely because we have many pieces of knowledge not in possession by secular science. Why not use that head start and do research rather than wait several hundred years for science to catch up?
[NOTE - this post was updated 3/18/2010 to clarify a few items]