3/28/19 ASHLAND, Ohio – Dr. Nigel Brush, professor of geology at Ashland University, has recently published the second book in his science and religion series. This book, The Limitations of Theological Truth: Why Christians have the Same Bible but Different Theologies, examines the reasons why theologians often make mistakes in their interpretations of Scripture, especially passages dealing with the natural world.
It was written as a sequel to his earlier book, The Limitations of Scientific Truth: Why Science Can’t Answer Life’s Ultimate Questions. Both books are available on Amazon.com.
Brush argues that, although theology is based on God’s true and unchanging Word, theology, like science, is a human discipline and subject to: (1) human ignorance - we don’t have all the facts, (2) human error - we often misinterpret the facts, and (3) human bias - we sometimes distort the facts. Therefore, human understanding and interpretations of both scripture and nature are often incomplete or flawed.
In part one of this new book, Brush unpacks these contentions, showing how Christians, both past and present, have often arrived at theological interpretations that actually run counter to the teachings of Christ. Moreover, he shows that many theological truths, like scientific truths, have changed through time. In part two, Brush makes the case that theological interpretations of scriptural passages about the physical world are particularly prone to error because theologians frequently base their interpretations on what they presently know about nature. Such theological interpretations will inevitably come into conflict with science as new discoveries about the physical universe are made (as in the days of Galileo). Near the end of this section, Brush devotes three chapters to errors that theologians and religious leaders have made, or may be making, about the heavens, the earth, and life.
Christians who wish to better understand the relationship between their faith and science will be encouraged by the potential harmony that Brush sees between scientific findings and biblical teaching. As he guides readers into an awareness of the inherent limitations of our knowledge, believers can cultivate greater humility regarding these contested issues.
Brush is a native of Coshocton County and attended school in the Warsaw, River View and West Holmes districts. He became interested in the science and religion debate while completing a B.S. in English Bible at the Cincinnati Bible College and subsequently received degrees in anthropology and archaeology from Ohio State University, University of Southampton in England, and UCLA, as well as doing postdoctoral work in geology.
Since returning to Ohio in 1982, he has taught some 50 different courses at six separate colleges and universities. He has also conducted archaeological excavations at 30 rock shelters, five village sites, and two mastodon sites. Nigel and his wife, Anne, presently live near Wooster.
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, comprehensive private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Religiously affiliated with the Brethren Church, Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###