freedom of inquiry
"If I gave you a dollar, and your father gave you a dollar, how many
dollars would you have?"
"One dollar? You don't know your arithmetic!"
"You don't know my father!"
joke presents a problem in arithmetic which gets answered as a problem in
sociology; a theoretical problem that unexpectedly receives a real-world
answer. This humorously illustrates that in the real world the lines
separating different disciplines of study do not exist. The separation
from geography from philosophy, etc., may be appropriate for the sake of
concentrated study, but each academic topic has little independent existence
you're hauling the kids across town to buy groceries, or relocating a corporation,
it's more than just a problem in only geography, or only economics,
or only arithmetic, or only sociology. It's all of those and
more. Life's problems don't restrict themselves so narrowly, and life's
answers aren't always limited to material solutions.
real-world approach to a best-understanding of difficult problems is to
give yourself freedom of inquiry; that is, don't restrict your search
to any one field of study. To do so would be to preconceive the solution
before it is found. To avoid such a fallacy, the astronomer, for instance,
should not overlook the mathematician. The paleontologist should not overlook
the biologist. The sociologist should not overlook the theologian. Each
must consider the possible contributions of the others if their search for
knowledge is to enjoy true, open-minded freedom.
the real-world approach to a best-understanding of the resurrection, or
the origin of all things is, again, broad inquiry. For example, Christians
could simply accept that Jesus died on the cross, or they could additionally
understand the confirming medical implications of the witness's detailed
observations. Or, Christians could believe the Bible's description of the
stars to be "as numerous as sand on the seashore", or believe it
AND be wowed by the estimated number of stars which modern astronomy provides.
not that belief in the Bible depends on all other fields of study. No one
has to be an expert in anything in order for a belief they hold to be true.
It's just that contribution and confirmation from other realms of knowledge
make a believed truth more certain. It's like an astronomer who says
"Trust me, the stars are far away." Yes, they ARE far away; but the contributions
of others that can tell us exactly HOW far will add more certainty and appreciation
than we would otherwise have.
and appreciation of biblical truths increase in the same way. Christians
who hold Scripture to be true without empirical testimony are not in error,
and can be confident in that. But those who look to the various natural
sciences to gain an appreciation of just how true Scripture is are neither
in error. For in this intellectual act of asking, seeking, and knocking,
they just might arrive at a special depth of belief; a fitting reward for
their passionate and God-glorifying effort of studying his creation.
do you believe comes across better to the Lord: to simply agree quickly
with passages like Psalm 8:3-4a (NIV) that say,
When I consider
your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which
you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him…
to stop and actually consider those heavens, moon, stars for yourself,
and then to glorify God with your increased knowledge of his creation in
addition to agreeing with Scripture? I would suggest that it takes at least
some depth of knowledge of those heavenly bodies to even understand the
sentiment being expressed.
psalm writer investigated nature at least enough to be humbled before God;
I can't think of a good argument why we should not do the same.
Where did the universe
Where did man come from?