science and theology

At a science/faith conference last year (sponsored by TANSA and hosted by Northcote Baptist Church), NZ physicist ((Member of the Royal Society of NZ, and recipient of the prestigious Rutherford Medal, and described here as ‘a benchmark for what world-class science is’)) and Christian Jeff Tallon comparatively defines physics and faith as follows:

  • Physics: understanding through enquiry the world about us (which we transcend) using the language of mathematics; it involves theory (concepts & equations) and application.
  • Faith: understanding through enquiry the world about us (which transcends us) using the language of worship; in involves theory (revelation & theology) and application.

I recently had a similar thought (still under formulation) about science and theology:

  • Science: a systematic account of the experience of the natural world, expressed in the form of hypothesis and theory; its sources are reason, experimental data, basic assumptions and imagination.
  • Theology: a systematic account of the experience of the divine plan, expressed in the form of confession and creed; its sources are reason, experiential data, basic beliefs and scripture.