Theology Is Queen, Science Subject


Picture of Queen VictoriaGordon H. Clark, in the 1963 Presbyterian & Reformed edition of his Karl Barth’s Theological Method, argues that letting Scripture-based theology reign as queen over the sciences yields the unity of knowledge that reason requires. He writes:

Orthodox Protestants would of course agree…that theology cannot submit to the scientific canons acknowledged by Huxley, Pearson, or Feigl. But what if a different philosophy of science is adopted in which the other sciences submit to the canons of theology?….The Scripture is a better source than experimentation is for the norms of ethics and politics; perhaps there is some way to bring physics and zoology also under its authority….[From this and related discussion, Clark draws two conclusions:] First, rationality, which is indispensable to all exchange of ideas, requires a unification of the sciences. Second, since modern scientism cannot supply [its] own norms, theology should redefine science and rule as queen. (67, 68, 75)

This proposal may strike even some Christians as odd today, since many so-called apologists now look to science for evidence upon which to base their version of Christian “faith.” In this scheme, science is queen and faith, and with it theology, is but Queen Science’s humble subject. Should not Bible believers hold, with Clark, that it is science, not God-given faith and its theology, that must base itself upon some surer authority?


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So, what say you?