Friday, 24 June 2016

Mistakes We Christians Have Made

Calling Out the Dumbcluck

In the conflict between Christian faith and dogmatic secularist science, Christians are often at the mercy of their own credulity.  They are far too willing to believe consensus science to be the truth, based on hard, established fact.  Therefore, when science and the Bible appear to be in conflict, the text of scripture must be adjusted to accommodate hard science.

However, the more one becomes aware of the assumptions and presuppositions of science, the more one becomes familiar with scientific internal debates, the less one is impressed by consensus science.  Science is a helpful servant.  It makes an exceedingly poor master.

The Enlightenment rationalist argued as follows: if a religious doctrine cannot be established by Reason and/or Empirical Inquiry (science) then it must be dismissed as myth or baseless speculation.  On this basis Christianity, the Gospel, and the Bible become discredited and were eventually rejected by Western society in general--which is where we are today.

Unfortunately, far too many of us Christians are willing to concede to the authority of science over the Bible.
 If pressed with the question, which has more authority: the Bible or science? many Christians would think they are equally authoritative.  It is the position which led to the West turning away from Christianity--and many Christians and churches in our day still hold to that false position.

Take for example the question of Jesus' resurrection from the dead.  What does Rationalism, Empiricism, and Science conclude on the question of our Lord's rising from the dead?  All three agree that it never happened.  It is a religious myth.  Science depends upon the repetition of consistent experimental results in order to establish its truth.  So, how many resurrections have there been in the history of mankind?  And when three-day old dead people are subjected to experimentation and laboratory controlled manipulations, how many resurrections have taken place?  Zip.  Nada.  It just does not happen.  Therefore, claims about Jesus rising from the dead are unscientific and, if unscientific, irrational.

Faced with that perfectly closed syllogism, nineteenth century Western Christians began to shift and wriggle.  Well, our understanding of the Bible must be adjusted to agree with science, since (remember) both science and the Bible are equally authoritative.  Christians, following in the footsteps of Kant, tried to preserve science while making room for faith.  Naturally, as one would expect, faith moved aside to make room for rationalism.  What became known as "liberal theology" suggested that the Resurrection of Jesus was not a bodily resurrection; it was a spiritual resurrection of soul, or spirit, or mental construct--whatever--but certainly not a bodily resurrection, since Science or Reason would not permit such a thing.

Did Israel come out of Egypt?  Did Noah's flood consume the entire globe?  Did the walls of Jericho fall after a bunch of Israelite invaders walked around them seven times?  Of course not.  These things cannot be replicated in the laboratory, or outside the laboratory, and therefore Science rejects them as error, impossibilities in an empirical world.  Belief in miracles and Reason were irreconcilable.  Thus Christendom passed out of Western history.  We are living now amidst the carnage and chaos that has resulted from such unfaithfulness on the part of our fathers, and on our part.

The faithful Christian position--and pronouncement to Rationalism and Empiricism--is that the Bible is not an equal authority alongside reason and science.  It is the uber-authority that establishes both reason and empirical inquiry.  Because God is, and because His Word, the Bible is true, reason and empirical authority can exist and can be undertaken.  Without God, rationalism collapses into irrationalism, and empiricism collapses into mysticism.  And that is pretty much where we are today.

Human reason is a servant, not an authority over God.  Empirical inquiry is an employee, not a master.  The consistent testimony of Christians to our secular world needs be that anyone who believes that human reason is on a par with its Creator is a dumbcluck.  It's time we Christians grew up.  Let's begin our reasoning and discussions with the world by presupposing God, without Whom rational inquiry or discussion would not be possible in the first place.

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