Re: Fragility and tendentiousness

From: Dr. Blake Nelson (
Date: Fri Sep 19 2003 - 14:41:54 EDT

  • Next message: D. F. Siemens, Jr.: "Re: Fragility and tendentiousness"


    I would assert that Spong, having read some of his
    writings, is an example of the problem with uncritical
    thinking about a "scientific" worldview. Spong's
    views in my opinion misrepresents (or is simply
    ignorant of) what a scientific worldview is and Spong
    appears to misunderstand science very badly.

    Peacocke and Barbour while both going farther to
    different degrees in rejection of some aspects of
    traditional christian theology at least know what
    science is and isn't. Spong, with his assertions
    about, inter alia, the resurrection just not being
    palatable to modern "scientific" understandings of the
    world is simply ignorant of what science and can or
    cannot say about a unique historical event that
    christian theology treats as a unique event.

    I don't see Dawkins or Crick or Provine or Sagan or
    others who say that science invalidates religion on
    any surer footing as the 19th and early 20th century
    challenges of Freud, Marx, Feuerbach, Neitzche. In
    fact, I find them more naive since they seem to have
    little to no philosophical understanding of issues
    that have been present with christianity for two

    I tend to think that someone like Hans Kung is perhaps
    more useful for seekers to read in understanding the
    philosophical underpinnings of christianity versus
    other worldviews. The "scientific worldview", as in
    the renegade logical positivism, is simply wrongheaded
    and is built on a lot of handwaving about or simply
    ignoring questions of ontology. Rather than pay
    homage to the efficacy of science in so many areas by
    assuming that it has an accurate description of all
    reality, I think it is more fruitful to realize the
    handwaving underlying a "scientific worldview" in that
    sense. Ironically, the "scientific worldview" IMO is
    vastly incomplete, relying on a small area of efficacy
    to make emotive claims of omnicompetence.

    At the end of the day, I think Kung is right that your
    choices are nihilism or theism if you follow through
    the consquences of various worldviews. Now, the
    scientific worldview is thoroughly supported within a
    christian worldview, but it is not thoroughly
    supported without a theistic basis -- at which point
    you simply say this just is, it works, and we are not
    making any claims to anything more grand. But that is
    not the sense in which I think you mean a scientific
    worldview. If that was all the scientific worldview
    that you are talking about was, it would pose no
    threat for christianity and would not lead to people
    leaving the faith.

    --- Steve Petermann <> wrote:
    > Dave wrote:
    > > I am guessing that the major reason why
    > "intelligentsia" reject
    > > Christianity is that it is not PC.

    > These
    > people are among what I all the intelligentsia,
    > educated, thoughtful,
    > critically thinking individuals. They are not
    > interested in being PC. They
    > are interested in a well reasoned faith. They are
    > reading Borg, Spong,
    > Barbour, Peacocke, etc. Why would they do that if
    > they aren't questioning?

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