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Faith and History

March 16, 2014 Leave a comment

A few years ago, I posted a blog on Faith and Science which elicited a very logical and detailed response from a reader of the opposite opinion. I appreciated his comments because he made them in a dignified and logical way and expressed what seem to be many people’s reservations about Christianity and religion in general these days.

The first thing that I noted though, was that he wasn’t really countering my discussion on faith and science. Instead, he was addressing a separate issue of faith and history. You see, science and religion are fields which seek truth about very different aspects of the same reality. Where science seeks to understand how the universe works and how to control it, religion seeks to explain the meaning of the universe and Who or What created and already controls it. Science deals more with concrete realities while religion handles the realities that we can’t put our hands on.

History is an interesting topic because it becomes something of a meeting point for the two fields. Science uses its concrete methodologies to determine realities of the past, and many religions claim a God who has actively participated in history. Christianity, more than any other religion (that I know of), lays itself on the line in the historical stage. As a Christian, I believe in a God who sent his son, Jesus of Nazareth, as human being to live, die, rise from the dead, and ascend into heaven. If those things did not historically happen, then my faith is false. What I have noticed though, is that the larger issue is that both faith and science have tended to overstep their bounds in trying to express their discoveries about reality. As I discussed in the original post, Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, has a rap for the insistence by church leaders in various centuries that certain physical realities were revealed by God in the bible and therefore irrefutable, when God was simply using the terms and culture of the current society to express the reality of his love and faithfulness. Conversely, scientists who make discoveries or develop theories about physical realities have on occasion claimed that their work points to a reality that either has no place or no need for God. However, the philosophical implications of those statements are well beyond the expertise and field of a scientist.   When both of these flawed perspectives make their way into historical discussions, the process generally results in tainted religion, science, and history.

If you have some time, please read the blog response to my initial blog below as well as my follow-up and let me know what you think. I’m sure there is much more perspective to be added on both sides of the argument and I welcome the discussion…

Read more…

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Same Sex Unions and Marriage

July 3, 2011 4 comments

Alright this is a pretty long blog, so I decided to give you the summary first…

Short Version:

Some say Love + Commitment = Marriage, but the government doesn’t legislate love or personal commitment. It does however define legal relationships in order to ensure appropriate rights and protections. In the case of marriage, the definition gives rights and protections to both members of the relationship as well as any children. If we change the definition of marriage to include same sex unions we effectively say

man + woman = man + man = woman + woman

which means (by subtraction from both sides)

man = woman

Which is true if we look at “=” to mean “equal” but false if we look at “=” to mean “the exact same” (which would be required to give both institutions the same name).  The whole reason that we have different words for men and women is because we are not the same. For the same reason, there should be a different word for same sex unions. But wait, there’s more math:

(woman + man) child

This a possible reality which is unique to the union of man and woman and not possible for same sex unions so there is also an inherent inequality. This inequality specifically arises when we look at the issue of children. Some claim that same sex couples have the same inherent ability to parent a child as a father and a mother, but when we evaluate this claim it can only be true if men and women have NOTHING UNIQUE TO CONTRIBUTE to a child’s development. I have a hard time believing that. I think there is inherent value to a child having a mother and a father. And I don’t think that makes me a bigot.

Long Version: Read more…

Faith and Science

June 18, 2011 3 comments

The other night I was talking with one of my friends about the role that our faith has in our pursuit of scientific truth. She was concerned because of a fairly common notion these days that intellectual evaluation of the world leads people to loose their faith. It’s a misconception that scientists and Christians alike have fallen prey to over the last few centuries. The basic idea behind that philosophy is that religion is for the ignorant. That it can’t withstand intellectual scrutiny and has no place in the mind of a person who wishes to understand how the world really works. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Read more…