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A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  475 ratings  ·  62 reviews
In A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture, Dr. Keith Mathison tackles a topic that has long been a subject of debate, aiming to enable believers to approach questions pertaining to science and Scripture with grace, humility, and patience.
Kindle Edition, 50 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Ligonier Ministries
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Clark Goble
Jun 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Essentially, this little book is a commentary on a statement made by theologian R.C. Sproul. It serves somewhat as a guide for scientists and theologians to come to terms when disagreements arise. The basic argument of the book is as follows:

1. All truth is God's truth.
2. God reveals truth in two ways - General Revelation (nature/science) and Special Revelation (Word of God).
3. Both General and Special Revelation are infallible, however, they are both subject at times to fallible interpretati
Dec 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
I found this to be disappointing on many levels. First of all, it was merely a commentary on a lecture by R.C. Sproul. Not that this is a problem. But it was more like reading a review of someone else's work. Secondly, there was no actual "approach" advocated. There was a lot of dancing around issues. Perhaps "that" is the aforementioned approach. Thirdly, the word "science" in the title is far too general. The only issue the book was addressing is the age of the universe. It was not advocating ...more
Doug Kauffman
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
This short book is essentially a commentary on a statement made by R.C. Sproul in response to a question about the age of the earth. And while I do not identify as Reformed, I found the book very helpful. (Incidentally, it also increased my respect for Sproul, and makes me want to read more of his work.)

Sproul demonstrates a humility that is often lacking in discussions of science and Scripture. Since all truth is God's truth, then all truth is compatible. When Scriptural revelation and natural
This was a wonderful but short book on a Reformed approach to science and Scripture. Since God is the fountainhead of all truth, then all truth is God's truth. This means that natural revelation and special revelation are both infallible because they both spring from God. What is fallible, however, is our interpretation to each of them (either our interpretation of the Bible or our scientific theories). There were a lot of quotes from Reformed teachers (Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Aquinas, Hodge, ...more
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent. In this day and age with all the scientific findings that are around it is good to take a step back. God has revealed Himself to man in two ways, general and special revelation. Both are infallible. This means that general revelation cannot contradict special revelation and vice versa. This short book does an excellent job at warning Christians on the dangers of taking an interpretation of Scripture over scientific fact. Conversely it is impossible to believe scientific theory that is ...more
Jesse Larson
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
A very interesting read that helped temper my thoughts on the subject. Would have been nice to reference someone other than Sproul all the time, it made it feel a little one sided. This had potential to be a good book but ended up being little more than a long winded paraphrasing of someone else's thoughts. ...more
Frank Peters
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent little booklet, which shows how one can deal with debates about origins while remaining faithful to a high view of scripture. The authors are very careful not to be dogmatic about issues that cannot be fully known. While not all Christians come from a reformed background, I believe that all would benefit from this booklet.
Christopher Brehm
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian, science, own, kindle
I thought this was a good introduction to the topic if you are unfamiliar with the subject. It was oddly written as a commentary on a speech given by Dr. Sproul in 2012. I think if this book were to be expanded to include discussion on many of the ongoing discussions beyond the age of the universe, that would be very helpful.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was a good introduction to the topic of the science/scripture authority debate. It doesn't go into a lot of detail, but gives a good basic foundation to learn more on the topic without getting bogged down with too much detail right away. The book is pretty much an elaboration on RC Sproul's answer to being asked how old the earth is. ...more
John Yelverton
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author makes one good point, which is that we need to make sure that we don't misinterpret God's special revelation and then use that misinterpretation to misinterpret God's natural revelation. Unfortunately, that's the author's only point, and he hammers it chapter after chapter without building on it or moving on from it. ...more
Jan 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Generally insightful. More of a wise approach to look at the conversation of creation. It basically covers RC Sproul's comments on the idea with just a bit of logical investigation. Quick read. ...more
Connor Longaphie
Jun 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
Should be re-titled: a proclamation of a modern PCA approach to science and scripture that directly contradicts their reformed forefathers and gives no actual defense of why they think traditionalist views are untenable besides "but the bible isnt a science textbook"

If you want to beleive that OEC and PCA evolutionists like keller have any capability of being "within biblical lines," on their scientific beliefs then fine. you're wrong, but thats fine. But to assert that it is untenable to take
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This books is basically parsing a Sproul quote on Natural Revelation and Spiritual revelation.

I don’t know that this book was needed but I guess you can’t say a common sense approach to science and religion and assume that everyone understands. The reformed part I hope is at least not needed as I hope that most conservative Protestants would be close to this but I guess that’s the point. Writing it down means others might not have to wonder as much.

Want to know where reformed people stand on sp
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting and informative little book that seeks to explain the relationship between faith and science from a Reformed Christian perspective, specifically that of R.C. Sproul. I admire the simplicity and perspicacity of the writing. In general, the book argues that natural science is a form of divine revelation, and that Christians ought to show more humility in understanding that we are but fallible interpreters of divine revelation, whether it is given to us in the book of Scriptu ...more
Jun 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
Was this book even necessary to be written?

Written for redherring, it seems. Despite Calvin and Luther's erring on this, how is geocentrism vs heleocentrism even relevant to the issue of the age of the cosmos?

Several issues are at stake with the age of the universe, however: Putting death before the original sin (which further puts theodicy in a mire; and undermining Romans chapters 5 and 8 and detaching them from Genesis 1-3), the noetic effects of sin (hence its influence on our intellect for
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book brings clarity!

there's a lot of discussion surrounding the scripture versus science debate which is an artificial way of framing it anyway. this book looks at an extended quote from RC Sproul where he provides a lot of wisdom and a foundation on how I believe all Christians should respond to questions regarding scripture and science.
Ronny Fallas
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Too short, an expanded review of Sproul's answer. I expected at least some Scriptural considerations on why there are some valid positions on either side, and which one with certainty can be dismissed. ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Meh, 3.5 stars. If you really haven't thought about the subject at all this would be a good introduction. If you have thought about it, even a little, you've probably covered most of this. ...more
Jack Richardson
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful little read.

Wonderful little read on the history and interaction between the reformed and science. Also the the topic of special and general revelation.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Super short read but VERY good! Does it answer how old the universe is? Nope. But that's the point. It's ok to say "I don't know." ...more
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What the Church needs
Jeffrey Ballein
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Mike Narvaez
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent essay.

It is a good introduction into the doctrine of creation, though I wish it had gone deeper into the subject.
Chris Little
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Chris by: Kamal Weerakoon
A good thing about buying a book that really is a book is that you get a sense of what kind of book it wants to be. A 600 page treatment is a different beast from an 80 page piece - neither is necessarily better, but the aims will differ.

With an ebook, this is harder. And, perhaps, easier to be disappointed. 'I thought this was going to be in-depth, but it's only a brief guide.' Or, 'I just wanted something simple, not the history of the universe.'

So let's explain the intangibles of this book. A
May 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: theology, science
One of the challenges of picking up an e-book is that you're not quite sure how long it's going to be. So as someone who came into this book expecting at least a couple hundred page long investigation of the relationship of science and Scripture, discovering that this was only a fifty-page barely-not-a-pamphlet was disappointing.

Such is life, though. It's best to judge something on its own merits and not by what you had expected it to be. The only problem is, there's not much here. This book str
Scott Roper
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a short, basic book that argues for what should be elementary: all truth is God's truth. More applicably, Keith Mathison argues that theologians can misinterpret Scripture just as scientists can misinterpret nature.

Because it is introductory, the author does not get into the questions of epistemology raised throughout. One illustration of this is in chapter 7 where he argues that only if Christ is not risen from the dead is our faith in vain. Besides limiting Paul's meaning (he didn't sa
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity, science
This short e-book gives an overview the Reformed view of truth and applies that to how we understand science. It re-affirms that "all truth is God's truth", and that as Christians, we don't need to be afraid of scientific truth. Any truth, now matter its source, will point us to God.

The problem comes in when we confuse what revelation (special or general) actually says with our interpretation of that revelation. If a claim of science conflicts with a claim of scripture, what are we to do? We nee
Adam Calvert
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: hermeneutics
A pretty short book with the main argument that both natural and supernatural revelation are infallible. The interpreters of either form of revelation, however, are not.

It’s a great thought. I don’t know that it’s new, but maybe the way it was presented was new.

Basically, the book is a recap (and elaboration) on what R.C. Sproul said at some conference. In general it kind of reads like a high school (or maybe early college) paper. I mean no offense to the author of course; but that’s just how it
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
An excellent and well-reasoned defence of a biblical approach to the relationship between science and scripture. Sometimes it came across as a bit of a panegyric to R. C. Sproul, but it was probably because the entire short book is based on about a paragraph's-worth of words Sproul said in answer to a question at a conference. It's a quick read, and definitely worth the time.

(n.b., if you're looking for a defence of calendar day creationism, day-age creationism, or framework creationism, you won
Jul 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a very basic book. The concepts to me were obvious but I guess for some it would help them to better understand the relationship between biblical theology and science. It seems to be more of a commentary on Dr. Sproul's statement and didn't seem to get into specific theories- which is what I was expecting. It did highlight on some key points and I do think it's a good, easy, and quick read. Hopefully it lessens the bashing from one side to the other but either way it's a good read.
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Dr. Keith A. Mathison is associate editor of Tabletalk magazine. He is also academic dean and professor of systematic theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Fla., and author of From Age to Age: The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology.

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
4 likes · 4 comments
“believe firmly that all truth is God’s truth, and I believe that God has not given revelation only in sacred Scripture. Scripture itself tells us that God reveals Himself in nature, which we call natural revelation. I once asked a seminary class, a conservative group, “How many of you believe that God’s revelation in Scripture is infallible?” They all raised their hands. I then asked, “And how many of you believe that God’s revelation in nature is infallible?” No one raised his hand. It’s the same God giving the revelation.” 1 likes
“The doctrine of sola Scriptura, in a nutshell, asserts that Scripture is our sole source of normative, infallible apostolic revelation, and that “all things necessary for salvation and concerning faith and life are taught in the Bible with enough clarity that the ordinary believer can find them there and understand.”6 Truths that are not found in the Bible (e.g. the date of your birth, the structure of protein molecules) are not necessary for salvation.” 0 likes
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