Religious Texts: The Relation to Natural Law and Science

Dawson manages to marry the religious texts with aspects of natural law and science.  First, he notes that “the Scriptures assert invariable natural law, and constantly reoccurring cycles in nature. Natural law is expressed as the ordinance or decree of Jehovah” (Dawson, Page 73).  In other words, natural law is real and it is the work of God.  It is not separate from God, but created by him.  Second, Dawson claims that “the Bible recognizes progress and development in nature. At the very outset we have this idea embodied in the gradual elaboration of all things in the six creation periods…” (Dawson, Page 75).  

Dawson maintains that Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth” marks the beginning of creation.  He views this first line as revealing the truth of revelation because, as he states “it is remarkable and instructive fact that the first verse of the Hebrew sacred writings speaks of the material universe – speaks of it as a whole, and as originating in a power outside of itself” (Dawson, Page 87). Dawson is convinced that this statement is riddled in deep theological and scientific insight and, therefore, is clear evidence that the ancient writer was directly inspired by God. The rest of the book goes through the first Genesis creation myth (Genesis 1-2:4) and details how each verse and segment parallels and is supported by scientific truth. He makes no attempt to hide his desire to force scientific descriptions on ancient texts.  For instance, Chapter VII is called “The Atmosphere” in his book.  He, then, begins by quoting Genesis 1:6-8 and showing how it offers a framework from which to interpret the creation of the actual atmosphere.  He attempts to read into the text modern-day scientific discoveries.

 

This same pattern is repeated throughout the book. 

 

An interesting chart was displayed on page 353 of Dawson's book (Picture on the left). Dawson drew a parallelism of the "scriptural cosmogony with the astronomical and geological history of the earth". This chart further illustrates the points discussed above.

Religious Texts: The Relation to Natural Law and Science