- I am aware of no serious, reflective, Christian scholar/theologian who asserts his views clash with science and he is okay with that…what the vast majority assert (here) is more along these lines:
“Finally, Brunner stated that the real conflict between “faith” and “science” appears especially when modern scientists (or I would say popularizers of science) smuggle “scientific monism” into “science.” Brunner labels “scientific monism” (which many since him have called “scientism”) “superstition!” (p. 175) By “scientific monism” he meant the belief that all of life’s questions can be answered by science and that by its own methods science is capable (eventually) of providing a comprehensive understanding of all of reality.
In my experience very few actual scientists believe in or promote “scientific monism,” but many popularizers of modern science do just that—by implication (e.g., James Burke). Brunner rightly noted that “It is with philosophy that the serious conflict of faith is fought out.” (p. 173) The problem is that philosophy is often smuggled into the teaching of science—especially by popularizers who either don’t understand science’s limitations or misuse science, misunderstood and/or misrepresented, to promote their philosophy (viz., naturalism).”
- I could certainly quibble with his logic and opinions at points, but there is much here to agree with as well.
- This is a wonderful essay by one of my favorite theologians, but I note this part simply because we need to understand the dominant myth, the one we currently live under and inhabit…and just how false it is:
“In his extraordinary book Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies, David Bentley Hart observes that the relegation of Christian beliefs to the private sphere is legitimated by a story of human freedom in which humanity is liberated from the crushing weight of tradition and doctrine. Hart, whose prose begs for extensive quotation, says the story goes like this:
Once upon a time Western humanity was the cosseted and incurious ward of Mother Church; during this, the age of faith, culture stagnated, science languished, wars of religion were routinely waged, witches were burned by inquisitors, and Western humanity labored in brutish subjugation to dogma, superstition, and the unholy alliance of church and state. Withering blasts of fanaticism and fideism had long since scorched away the last remnants of classical learning; inquiry was stifled; the literary remains of classical antiquity had long ago been consigned to the fires of faith, and even the great achievements of ‘Greek science’ were forgotten until Islamic civilization restored them to the West. All was darkness. Then, in the wake of the ‘wars of religion’ that had torn Christendom apart, came the full flowering of the Enlightenment and with it the reign of reason and progress, the riches of scientific achievement and political liberty, and a new and revolutionary sense of human dignity. The secular nation-state arose, reduced religion to an establishment of the state, and thereby rescued Western humanity from the blood-steeped intolerance of religion. Now, at last, Western humanity has left its nonage and attained its majority, in science, politics, and ethics. The story of the travails of Galileo almost invariably occupies an honored place in this narrative, as exemplary of the natural relation between ‘faith’ and ‘reason’ and as an exquisite epitome of scientific reason’s mighty struggle during the early modern period to free itself from the tyranny of religion.
This ‘simple and enchanting tale’ is, Hart observes, captivating in its explanatory power. According to Hart, however, there is just one problem with this story: every detail of the story, as well as the overarching plot, just happens to be false (emphasis added).”