Re: Why post-Christian?

From: Innovatia <>
Date: Sun Jun 06 2004 - 23:20:47 EDT

From: "Howard J. Van Till" <>

> I recently came across the following paragraph regarding science and
> Christian faith. Any comments?
> **********************************************
> This age into which we are moving has been called post-Christian, meaning
> that the Christian faith has lost control over the conduct of life.

I would put it that post-Christians have lost control over the conduct of
life, not the Christian faith.

>The reason for this is not the rising power of sin; the reason is our
failure to
> show how the rising powers of science can be applied to the purpose of
> existence when this purpose is found in Christ.

First, who is "we"? "our failure" is who's failure? The antecedent to the
pronoun is not given. I presume the author means Christians in science?

Second, the "rising powers of science", while a significant cultural-change
factor, is hardly a (or the) dominant one. The rise of consolidated power in
the hands of the wicked has much more to do with it. The powers of science
have been rising for the last 500 years, yet societies of science have waxed
and waned spiritually.

Third, it has not so much been science as technology that historically has
produced this rising power. (Ref: Terrence Kealey's book, The Economic Laws
of Scientific Research.)

Fourth, as to the substance of the comment, does this mean that Christians
in sci/tech have not been reflective and vocal enough upon the consequences
of technology? First, it is too difficult in the early development of a new
technology to foresee the indefinite range of future possible uses. Imagine
trying to anticipate the consequences of the invention of the transistor or
laser at the time given their many uses today. Second, nominal Christianity
has not been careful to avoid involvement in wicked applications of
otherwise good technology.

> The blame does not rest on
> the evil of scientific civilization; the blame rests on those of us who
> responsibility for interpreting the revelation in such a way that the
> of civilization can be brought into its service. This we have not done.

First, "scientific civilization" encompasses much that is beyond the control
of "us" in the use of technology and has culpablity.

Second, who gave "us" this (sole) responsibility? It is to be shared by
anyone whose life involves technology and its uses. Those applying
technology to socially significant ends are more responsible, and those
people are, for the most part nowadays, in politics, in policy formation
NGOs, and in upper management of transnational corporations.

Third, I presume "the revelation" is biblical instruction. If I understand
this correctly, the author is saying that Christians in sci/tech have not
seen to it sufficiently that the scientific powers in civilization have been
applied according to scriptural instruction. We haven't. We have not raised
our voices as Christians enough about the increasingly oppressive and
otherwise evil consequences to which technology is now being put. Specific
details would fill a book. I have written such a book, XLM, available via
email upon request. It is headed toward paper publication, but is presently
distributed in the form of a Winzipped Web.

Dennis Feucht
Received on Mon Jun 7 12:38:26 2004

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