Reconciling Science and Religion, PART 1

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As we finish up chapter 5 of The Shining Stranger, Preston Harold gives us a preview of what is to come in the next couple of chapters. He asks:

Will scientific knowledge prove itself saving grace to man – elucidating in time the answer to the question, who and what am I?… Will science take the place of religion?

In his “First Principles,” Herbert Spenser writes, “Religion ignores its immense debt to Science; and Science is scarcely at all conscious how much Religion owes it. Yet it is demonstrable that every step by which Religion has progressed from its first low conception to the comparatively high one it has now reached, Science has helped it, or rather forced it, to take…” So science doesn’t extinguish religion but rather helps to purify it. But it works the other way, too…

One might say that all religions are undergoing the refining fire of the Bunsen burner. But so is science. Something as far beyond man’s grasp as God emerges as the “stuff” that energy and matter is made of – the mystery of it deepens with each scientific revelation… Einstein saw that the new physics may justly be called a theory of life, “for the general laws…claim to be valid for any natural phenomenon whatsoever.” Progroff looks to the new physics to open a new road, a new view, for psychology. But the theologian as yet sees little hope of reconciling orthodox doctrine with this science. Samuel Miller asks if a Christian can talk to people of God “when they find God quite unimaginable in a …world scientifically structured in iron law.”

It is this ‘iron law” and Jesus’ approach to it we will broach in our next installment. Until then, peace.

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