T.F. Torrance on Science and Theology

‘When the scientist inquires into the nature of the world, he does that not by looking at God but by looking away from him at the world, but when the theologian inquires into the nature of God as he has revealed himself he does that not by looking at the nature of the world, which God has created out of nothing, but by looking away from the world to its Creator. The scientist and the theologian thus move in opposite directions. The scientist is concerned with the created or contingent universe, so that he does not reckon God among the data with which natural science is concerned. And that is of course consonant with a proper theological understanding of the nature of the universe which God has created as a reality utterly different from himself but which he has endowed with a created rational order reflecting his own transcendent rationality.’ (T.F. Torrance, Preaching Christ Today: The Gospel and Scientific Thinking,’ 48-49)

‘Theological science and natural science have their own proper and distinctive objectives to pursue, but their work inevitably overlaps, for they both respect and operate through the same rational structures of space and time, while each develops special modes of investigation, rationality, and verification in accordance with the nature and the direction of its distinctive field.  But since each of them is the kind of thing it is as a human inquiry because of the profound correlation between human knowing and the space-time structures of creation, each is in its depth akin to the other…natural science and theological science are not opponents but partners before God, in a service of God in which each may learn from the other how better to pursue their own distinctive function.’ (Torrance, Ground and Grammar p.6-7.)

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