Scot McKnight: Reconciling Science and Scripture

Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author or editor of some sixty books, is the Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL. Dr. McKnight obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Nottingham (1986) and has been a professor for more than three decades. He and his wife, Kristen, live in Libertyville, Illinois.

Key Questions:

Why should the church pay attention to the new discoveries we are making about human genetics?

What would you say to the person who can’t hold evolution and God in the same thought?

Why is there such a struggle between science and Scripture?

Key Quotes:

“The primary reason I got involved [in the discussion about science and Scripture] is pastoral. I was convinced my college students needed a better answer.”

“I knew as a fact that the primary reason young Christians, evangelical types, leave the Christian faith is because of what they’re taught about science through the Bible and what they learn in science classes, and they become convinced that the Bible is untrustworthy because they’ve been taught what I would call a false view of concordism.”

“Many people who accept evolution as a scientific hypothesis…simultaneously believe in God.”

“When we read [the Bible] in the light of the ancient near eastern world, we would say that it is a piece of polemics against Babylonian and other types of ancient creation myths…”

“We’ve got to quit trying to show that the Bible is scientific and let the Bible say what it says in its world.”

“An actual, biological, genetic, fallen, sin-nature-passing-on theory of Adam was not held by anybody in the Jewish world or in the Bible.”

“The DNA that is currently characteristic of human beings in the world today could not have come from less than 10,000 individuals. Which is to say, there never were two solitary human beings on earth with no genetic connection to animals prior to them in a process.”

“I respect people who read Genesis chapter 1 and 2 and say ‘See, there were only two human beings in the world when it was created and therefore…everybody descended from them.’ I understand why they say that….but they are forcing people to make a choice between science and the Bible.”

“I believe that we should learn to read the Bible in ways that don’t contradict science—not because science is right—but because we need to be careful about thinking the Bible is scientific.”

“I would encourage pastors to respect scientists. Not diminish scientists as atheists. My experience with scientists is that they’re some of the most honest people in the world. And they operate with honest principles.”

“I would encourage people to read the Bible in the context of the ancient near East and the Jewish world. The biggest mistake we make is when we read the text out of a context….’A text outside of its context becomes a pretext,’ and that’s exactly right.”

“I see the immensity of creation as an opportunity to praise the depth and immensity of God.”

“I tell my science friends: Don’t step on my turf and tell me that God isn’t the creator because as a scientist you can’t talk about that. Your science will not lead you there.”

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Jason Daye
As Director of Ministry Development for Outreach, Inc., Jason dedicates his time to encouraging and equipping churches, denominations and ministry organizations to develop their Kingdom effectiveness by creating a culture that is both incarnational and invitational. Jason lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his beautiful wife and six children, where he enjoys hiking with his family, fighting rainbow trout, summiting 14ers and swapping stories with good friends. Connect with him on Twitter @jasondaye