Bernard Ramm on Science and Fear

Out of the many
people with whom I would like to spend some time, I think I would have enjoyed
sitting down for an afternoon of conversation with Bernard Ramm. Ramm, the Baptist theologian
who wrote much on such topics as hermeneutics, and apologetics, would have
been an interesting person with whom to have a visit, for he was well versed in
the discussion of religion and science. His first love was science and he
studied chemistry at the University of Washington before turning to the Philosophy
of Science. The following two quotes from his prolific writings give us an
insight into his mind and how he saw faith, theology, science, and philosophy.
Contemporary philosophy, contemporary theology, and contemporary science
may be very unfriendly to evangelical theology. They seem to be opening all
sorts of doors and windows to let in soul-chilling drafts of air. But … the
Word of God in our hearts should drive out fear—fear of an unexpected discovery
in science or archeology or psychology or sociology. Not that in each instance
evangelicals should rise up and refute the distressing charge. Christians are
in this for the long haul, and vexing problems of today may well be resolved by
Might we sometimes
feel a cold chill in the air of contemporary science? Certainly there are some
who would believe that they can destroy the Word of God in our hearts with
words of solid or dubious science. But Bernard Ramm is quick to point out that
such disturbing questions may only be problems for which we have not yet found
a solution.
In theological studies one should not prematurely judge that a disturbing
question or problem has no solution. Granted, there is a fine line between
dodging an issue and patiently waiting for a solution. Aware of this,
nevertheless I have maintained that a problem that at the present seems
impossible to resolve may yet be resolved in the future. And in many instances
this has been my own experience.
Despite the fact
that these words were written in 1954, I find them amazingly resilient and
fresh. They stand well against the test of time and give me further confidence
in the words of the Bible. For it is in 1 John 4:17-18a that we read, “And as
we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the
day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus
here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.”

Works Cited

Ramm, Bernard. The Christian
View of Science and Scripture.

[1] Ramm,
The Christian View of Science
and Scripture
 (1954), 64.
[2] Ramm,
The Christian View of Science
and Scripture

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