Religious “Mortal Combat”?
I’ve just added a new page (above, right) where you can read a synopsis of my 98 page ebook about to be released. I didn’t want to be so “commercial” as to include it all here. It does deal mostly with issues I blog about, but more in depth, with stories, an extended traveling metaphor, etc.
But I’ve decided to put into a regular post just one section of the synopsis for you to respond to as a comment, and hopefully begin a good discussion. Where I pick it up, I’ve just mentioned that institutional religion (including Christianity, the main context for the book) tends to make waaay too much of believing the “right” things (orthodoxy)…. Whatever happened to support for doing what Jesus challenged us to do? (Much of which non-Christians of various types take as valid challenges as well.) Now, to a segment from the full synopsis found on its own page (see above.)
With this said, Spiritual Growth: Live the Questions, Love the Answers wades into theological waters just a bit. The reason: How we conceive of God and God’s interaction with the world and with us is indeed important. Not only are personal peace and the ability to contribute to humanity at stake but also things like serious conflicts between certain institutions and thought leaders of religion and of science.
There is a war going on which need not be fought. It is the conflict between the God of traditional Christian thought and the theoretical/factual assumptions of science. This is conceptual mortal combat. Young spiritual seekers are often the collateral damage.
Supernaturalism is still dominant in religion. For over a century, pure naturalism has been dominant in science. So we have basic opposites in two of society’s most powerful institutions. It produces unsolvable stand-offs on issues that have massive practical effects. Politics and with it public and international policy are critical places the belief conflicts often housed in institutions of religion and science get expressed and affect us all.
How did we get into such a stand-off and is there any possible resolution? The book gives a brief overview of science emerging from a Western worldview of nearly universal and traditional concepts of an all-powerful and controlling God (most early scientists were faithful church members). With this, it traces the major movements within Christian faith that sought to adjust to intellectual advancements in science and the humanities and the secularization of general culture. This builds to introducing possibilities for greater harmony and even active collaboration between science and Christian faith. The situation can be improved to everyone’s benefit!
What have YOU observed or experienced? Is there “mortal combat” going on?
Do the attitudes or actions of some religious people or some scientific people you know or read seem like mortal combat? Do you agree that this is not necessary? If so, what can replace it? (I share some ideas in the book, but I want yours, too.)