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Influence of Bible on Science, Economics and Democracy

[Some notes from part of a talk I did yesterday morning]

The bible's influence on...

Science

Other cultures produce technology, ingenuity, inventions, not science

Other cultures seek to investigate the world, but by different means

Some cultures good at the practical, but they're not looking for patterns (or "laws")

In other cultures they believe in laws (Reason) but it doesn't occur to them to check the facts

E.g. Aristotle thought flies have four legs, it was taught for a thousand years

He thought there was a necessary universe and reason alone discovered it.

Christianity says there is Reason that takes flesh - which can be handled (1 John 1:1-4)

Here is a solid foundation for scientific enquiry.  Both practical and patterned.

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Economics

Ancient cultures only knew two responses to wealth: either horde or display.

Neither is good for economic growth

A culture is reared on the stories of Jesus - much about reinvesting

According to Jesus, the 'horder' is wicked. The 'displayer' is a proud fool.

More generally, grace and money is linked throughout the bible (riches of grace 6 times in Ephesians)

2 Corinthians 8 - from Christ to us and from us to the world

God never wants "payback" but "pass on" - freely you have received, freely give.

What happens when people apply that economically?

The end of hording and display - reinvestment... economic flourishing.

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Democracy

When did the phrase "gevernment of people by people for people" appear in English?

John Wycliffe - in preface to his bible translation (14th century!)

Bible provides standard by which to challenge divine right of kings

Charles I judges according to Scripture and executed.  Divine right of kings also dealt death blow

More than this - biblical idea of priesthood: representation by one of us.

Not even God believes in the divine right of kings per se.  There needs to be human representation.

The Son becomes Man in order to sit on the throne!

Our rulers need to be of the people.

 


 

0 thoughts on “Influence of Bible on Science, Economics and Democracy

  1. Josh VB

    Democracy can only flourish when those in charge willingly lay down their power for others (that's the difference between democracy and a popular coup). It's not surprising that we only see democracy flourishing in cultures influenced by Christianity, and as we see Christianity decline in the UK, so we see democracy being eroded.

    Anyway, thanks God that there is no heavenly democracy and we have King Jesus instead!

  2. Glen

    Very stimulating comments Josh, thanks. We do have a heavenly King - but (stunningly) He is more earthly than any earthly king. Truly one of the people. This is not democracy true (for a start, He elects us!), but it's not exactly what we think of when we think monarchy either.

    Which has got me thinking about the science part of things also. In modern science, we don't exactly have the integration of logos (laws) and flesh (empiricism) that we do in the incarnate Word, but perhaps the next breakthroughs in science will happen when we move closer to the Truth.

    Which just warns us off holding up "science" or "*this* kind of capitalism" or "democracy" as the one true application of Scripture. But they are vague and distorted outflows from a distinctively Christian culture.

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