FYI, this is a continuation of a discussion started at http://stimulation81.blogspot.com/2007/09/does-science-disprove-my-view-of-bible.html. You might want to catch up there if something here doesn't make sense...
The 7-foot ninja is not a fan of poor thinking of inconsistent reasoning. And he's certainly not going to let me or anyone else get away with our own constructs. Here's a quote from is post:
What about the idea of accommodation, which Gordon invokes and you do as well? The idea that God withheld the whole truth from the ancient Israelites and just adopted the common cultural outlook to somehow express his word through is by no means a new thought. As a formal theory it goes back at least to J.S. Semler well over 200 years ago. The idea that we today have reached the maturity and intellectual capacity to really grasp what God has to say smacks of the chronological snobbery that C.S. Lewis so disdained. This is not postmodern, but thoroughly "modern".
I make no claims that we have "reached the maturity and intellectual capacity" to speak accurately for God. I would go so far as to say that 1,000 years from now those alive then will be questioning our understanding of both Science and Theology on various aspects. They will have progressed in the accumulation and sharing of knowledge in ways we can't imagine, just like we have in the previous 1,000 years. But any smarter? I doubt it. And certainly not any more mature, especially in the things that matter, like practicing the things that the Bible calls "wisdom" or avoiding the things of "fools."
I do however think that there is some merit to the idea of progressive revelation. God did not reveal the whole picture to those who lived before Jesus. And while I fully believe that Jesus' sacrifice was complete for our redemption, I don't think we know everything today that there is to know about that either.
Yes, God accomodates his communication to people for the situation that they are in. He speaks in their language, within their cultural limits, in ways they can understand. Does this mean he accomodates his message? No, not necessarily. And it certainly doesn't mean he waters down his message. Does it mean that we sometimes hear our own voices--whether our own wishes or our cultural norms or whatever--and attribute God's voice to them? Absolutely not. We do this both inside and outside the church, speaking for God or in the name of God in such definite terms on issues that we may have simply made up or we may be crazy or whatever. Do pomos often go overboard and throw out the baby with the bathwater on this accomodation idea? Sure they do.
Then he says, quoting someone who wrote on another blog I referenced:
Gordon says, "If the purpose of the Hebrew creation story was not to provide Israel (or us) with accurate scientific knowledge about the cosmos, why then do so many Christians reject any version of natural history that fails to conform to the Hebrew account?" In response I ask you, "If 'natural history' and 'science' by contemporary definitions automatically exclude God and his intervention in the world, why then do so many Christians accept the presuppositions of such theories and the slanted results that they produce?"
I do not think that "natural history" and/or "science" do automatically exclude God. Every human being has levels of constructs by which they view the world. As you have often pointed out, we rarely examine these constructs, or what Lesslie Newbigin called "plausibility structures" in his great book "The Gospel in a Pluralist Society." I on the other hand, in the proper contexts, love to deconstruct my own and others constructs. I'm wrong (probably a lot) in my assessents. I do it way too much for most of my Christian friends, including my own wife. But I think I do it BECAUSE I'm often proven wrong on things, not because I think I'm right on things. Perhaps I'm getting off point here, but I have come to see at least one aspect of maturity as being a healthy self-criticism. When I was 22, there were 4,208 things I knew to be true about theology, science, philosophy, etc. They were black and white. Now there are only 4 or 5 that I'm willing to stake my life on being true. I think that I have matured, but I certainly don't think that means I can speak for God with his authority on hundreds of topics and viewpoints.
So back to the matter at hand--just because (some, most, even all) materialistic scientists say that the theory of evolution denies the existence of God does not mean that evolutionary theory isn't a plausible scientific theory, anymore than just because Tim LaHaye says that the Bible clearly teaches a pre-trib rapture, premillenial eschatology means that if he's wrong (I think he is) Jesus isn't coming back at all (which I believe him to be).