What Would Be the Alternatives (To Theology Explaining Things?)

Roger E. Olson | 9/17/2019 | Staff
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What Would Be the Alternatives (To Theology Explaining Things)?

My immediately preceding blog post was about theology’s explanatory power. It was a response to a snarky comment posted here that I, as owner and moderator, deleted. The writer simply said that theology doesn’t explain anything because there is no evidence backing it up. I have said here numerous times and I expect intelligent people to know that what counts as evidence depends on one’s worldview.

Evidence - Commenter - Evidence - Things - Events

But I assume by “no evidence” that snarky commenter meant what he considers evidence and, if I’m guessing correctly, he probably only considers empirically observed things and events as evidence. But that is a very narrow view of “evidence.” It’s a common one, but one that doesn’t really hold up. Almost everyone I know believes in some things for which they have no empirical evidence. But that is a rabbit trail I won’t go down here and now.

I write as a Christian to Christians. Others are welcome to listen and learn, but this is not a space for non-Christians to preach their views. This is not a discussion board. It is my space for expressing my opinions, explaining them, and then inviting others to respond—respectfully and with a mind open to learning new things. I’m the teacher; this is one of my classrooms.

Question - Title - Blog - Post - Alternatives

So back to the question that is the title of this blog post. What are alternatives to saying that theology explains things? Well, I suppose there are many alternatives but I will focus on two.

First, there is the alternative that theology doesn’t explain anything because “explain” is restricted to what can be proven intersubjectively by empirical data—that that everyone can see if they come to the right place and use the right equipment. But, of course, that would rule out as non-explanatory many disciplines taught...
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