Pattern: Science & Theology Nature & Scripture Sources Assumptions Critiques

Natural Theology

Evidentialism: Science provides evidence for an intelligent Creator/Designer. Concordism: The Bible contains hidden science that verifies it. Hugh Ross, Moreland, Montgomery, McDowell, Thaxton, Morris (ICR) Science & Genesis are both mainly historical narratives. God of the gaps. Evidence yields a limited view of God; science becomes the basis for faith; rationalistic.


There is no common ground between them, so no conflict is possible. Bible not literal or historical, but contains spiritual truths, esp. about Christ. Karl Barth, Neo-orthodoxy All natural theology is humanistic; God is found only in the Biblical revelation. Total dualism; loss of unity of truth may lead to indifference. Neglects possible overlaps between Scripture and natural history.


Theology based on the Bible rejects much of modern science. The Bible is inerrant and is the basis for all truth. Morris (ICR), Bahnsen, Presuppositionalists, Theonomists, Reconstructionists. We presuppose that the Bible is literally true. All knowledge follows from that, in a pure and simple system. But God wrote two books, not one. Presuppositionalism becomes another name for blind dogmatism.


Scientism: Science has destroyed traditional theology. Science has refuted much of Bible history. Provine, Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Weinberg, atheists, secular humanists. Science & Genesis are both mainly historical narratives. God of the gaps. Scientism is a belief not demanded by science itself. Its reductionism rejects personal meaning in human experience.

Scientific Theology

Traditional theology must be redefined to be consistent with modern science. The Bible is an ancient book of myths, perhaps with hidden psychological insights. R. W. Burhoe, Teilhard de Chardin, Capra Scientific mind rejects Biblical concepts; religion is wholly human; optimism rests on our growth in knowledge to save ourselves. Highly intellectual but results in equating creation and redemption, and crude mixing of theology and science, with loss of integrity of both.


Two different perspectives on one reality; both are authentic sources of knowledge. Nature is God's general revelation; the Bible is God's special revelation. Augustine, Francis Bacon, R. Bube, H. Van Till, C. Hummel God is the one Creator of all reality; reality is composed of levels; different levels require different kinds of descriptions; all complement one another. Maximizes the demand for integration; comprehensive but most complex logical structure. Supports both authentic science & authentic Christian faith without dualism.

New Synthesis

Monism: Radical transformation of both science and theology into one reality. What's the Bible? McLaine, Pagels, New Age, Eastern religions, paganism, gnosticism, Christian science, Scientology No creation. Monism: all is one. Rejection of reason. Secret knowledge. Fatalistic; no solution to evil, nonrational; full of pseudo-science and pseudo-theology.

This table is based on the analysis given in Putting it All Together, by Dr. Richard H. Bube, Univ. Press of America (1995).

Same table without the colors (suitable for printing).


American Scientific Affiliation
Washington - Baltimore Section
Rockville, Maryland 20852

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