The state of suburban theology

From: Howard J. Van Till <>
Date: Fri Jun 11 2004 - 15:07:56 EDT

Perhaps it's time to return to a topic in religion and science. Here's
another quotation that might stimulate some comment.

The context: The author is reflecting on what he sees as "two interrelated
concepts: the mechanistic theory of nature and the concept of God presiding
over the universe but essentially outside it (deism)."

"Deism was the compromise which religion made with mechanism. It was really
no more than a transparent frock put over the ugly skeleton of a mechanistic
universe.... It should have been torn to shreds. Instead the garment has
been preserved, at least in bits and pieces, by much of traditional religion
to this day. This has happened despite the fact that informed theology has
completely disposed of it. And that is the tragedy of our time. The thinking
that comes out of informed theological circles today has scarcely an echo
from the suburban pulpit. Suburban theology is one hundred years out of
date. If you want to be informed on these matters, you have a much better
chance by picking up a few paperbacks in any bookshop than by listening from
the pews."

Perhaps Ted Davis can clarify for us the essence of deism and its
relationship to the mechanistic view of nature. Then we could reflect on the
preparedness of "the suburban pulpit" to bring the fruits of "informed
theology" to the folks in the pew.

Received on Fri Jun 11 15:43:17 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Jun 11 2004 - 15:43:18 EDT