Pannenberg's Fundamental Challenges to Theology and Science



This paper is a response to Wolfhart Pannenberg's “God as Spirit—and Natural Science” (2001). I argue that the distinctiveness and significance of Pannenberg's approach to the conversation between theology and science lies in his method of relating biblical-theological concepts specifically and directly to scientific knowledge and theories. The example at issue in this paper is his correlation of the biblical-theological term spirit to the scientific term field. This approach is both distinctive and the most difficult of challenges. However, it results in a genuinely theological interpretation of the scientific knowledge of the world. In his argument, Pannenberg asserts that his use of the term field is both similar to and different from the scientific use of the term. This assertion is provocative, but it also requires further discussion.