Thinking Intuitively, Rationally, and Experientially about My Christian Faith…(aka Christian Apolegetics Essay on Faith vs. Science-ism)
Starting with my last year of my undergraduate studies and leading into my 18 months of graduate school I began to stray from my faith due to distraction, spiritual laziness, and wanting to be perceived as “cool.” Ultimately, this lifestyle continued and my faith or faith walk laxed from age 24 to 29–both in terms of face to face attendance on Sunday, spiritual disciplines (prayer, reading), and my day to day walk in my faith. Thats not to say that I didn’t go to church, just that my attendance was extremely lax. I primarily attended when I returned home. I found when I returned to be re-energized and more focused–I find my life more fulfilling and meaningful. I’m just recounting my own experience. This may not happen for everyone–and certainly its a journey from one place to another as a person.
But perhaps more to the point….like everyone else I look at the facts of existence, the universe, humanity, and the patterns which at its core. Then I’m forced to make a gut decision about what that means for. While, others would see a paradox between the two, I mostly see them being parallel and sometimes even mutually re-inforcing forces. (Although this may is arguably an imperfect expression of that principle, I believe that Law of sciences = Laws of the Universe = Laws of God and vice versa.)
I don’t know what happens when we die. We don’t know and probably never will know with 100% veracity until it happens to us. All we can say is the physical dies. We can speak about near death experiences. I’m sure these experiences range from perhaps believable to semi-credible but unfortunate misinterpretation or misunderstanding. I don’t think they are easy to explain away. At the same time, I don’t per se put my faith in them–or don’t rest my faith in them. I do know, however that
For me, it’s unmistakable that love, relationships, community, and forgiveness are at the center of existence. To me, that speaks to the deep, deep wisdom of the Bible. How often and how profound are these issues in human affairs. I think church attendance helps me reflect on those issues and hang out and gain wisdom and build relationships with people that are on the same path (or at least gives me the ability to and gives me a weekly or at least regular reflective wake up call on my accountability to its principles). People need habits–particularly habits of self-reflection
I don’t think faith requires me to necessarily have any notion of science itself. I only take issue with a one-sided science-ism when people allow scientists to comment on science, but not in a faith-based way (particularly following after Huxley). At a minimum. After all, whats cross-disciplinarity and multi-dimensional. The arts, philosophy, and theology offer potential solutions–as do other disciplines.
Like all fields, science experiences limits at its margins–which other fields are better able to address because of fundamental nature of the question being addressed which directly effects the type of data required (which means those two issues seem fundamental). More specifically, identity and human experience are fundamentally multi-dimensional–which the filter of science can approach–but is going to be left without answers, with partial ones, and/or ones colored by its methodological and ideological filter.
To me, science’s seemingly intrinsic bias toward a deterministic view of the universe has the tendency to leave out choice and the very essence of what makes us human (autonomy, dignity, love, purpose, and the cornucopia of of human potential).
Finally, I see the issue of the historicity of Jesus far, far, far more answerable and accessible question.