John H. Coe
Rosemead School of Psychology
In contrast to the BC position, the scriptures and particularly the Hebrew sage reject a positivistic and reductionistic approach to the human sciences which affirms the fact/value distinction. Rather, the OT sage is convinced that one can discover facts about values from facts about nature, particularly from facts about human behavioral, interpersonal and intrapsychic phenomena. Thus, the sage provides us with a primitive and sketchy model for the social sciences as being, in part, a science of values and human nature which is opposed to the BC position. The sage's approach to science and especially a science of values involves the following theses:
(I) Objective Source of Values Thesis: There exists an objective extra-biblical source of values and wisdom in the patterns and dynamic structures of nature, particularly in human phenomena, which can be discovered by human observation and reflection.
(II) Science of Values Thesis: Values and wisdom for living are discovered from the facts of nature, particularly facts having to do with human behavioral, interpersonal and intrapsychic phenomena, which in turn makes possible a science of values.
(III) Nature as Normative Thesis: Both the objective source and science of values are theoretically grounded in the Hebrew cosmology and Creation theology which affirms that (a) "nature. is a normative concept inasmuch as the original creation was created good and that (b) persons created in the image of God in part retain that nature and are capable of discerning it even after the Fall.
(IV) Constraints Thesis: Certain constraints, guards and qualifications should be explicitly addressed in a science of values inasmuch as this science must account for the nature of personal agency as well as the radical nature and effects of the Fall.