Childish Religion in an Adult World
The Kopernik Solution
The Reason—Faith Fault Line
Reason and faith are both important to me. They always have been. Science has been my love and interest since before I remember. The same for faith, except for a few rebel years of atheism. You may read more about my journey here: Two Shoes. Once the fault line in my mind was settled into a relaxed state, I enjoyed discussions with technical people and church people. I was comfortable with both faith and reason.
But I noticed two things that bothered me and that finally led me here, to Bible Freedom Science Network. First, my way of thinking about the universe and religion, even though it was simple enough, was so radical and new that it was, and is, difficult to explain. This goes for science people and church people, even people who are neither. The words are not big words or specialized words known only to philosophers. The ideas are not anymore complex or difficult to grasp than the orthodox or conventional doctrines of popular society. I talk about subjects like quantum mechanics and the Big Bang but understanding them is not important for understanding the system of virtual atomics and fenestrations. These are my mental tools for naming and understanding the universe. My goal is that reason and faith instruct each other with respect and become allies in the battles against tyranny.
Second, I became aware of people (usually men) who were educated in science and who still went to church. Some, of course, have joined their two worlds in a different way than I did. Usually the believers take science up to some point and then call in God. But there are some who have not resolved faith and reason.
I remember talking with a young father, an electrical engineer, who told me he went to church every Sunday.
But you always ignore me when I talk about religion. I said to him. It turned out that he
…did not believe any of that B.S. but went with his wife and kids to church because,
It was the right thing to do.
I started to ask other men I knew and was not surprised to find out many were in that same situation. They enjoyed the company of other men at the men's group, they wanted to help with the community service, they wanted their kids to be brought up with a moral code. But the theology left them cold. They sat in the pew and wandered their minds to work or a hobby, never religion, in a vain attempt to stay awake.
Can we blame secular schools? A Sunday School faith is fine for children, but for an educated adult, not so fine. Accustomed to complicated and close reasoning at work, the answers given by a well meaning parent or Sunday School teacher to a eight year old seem trite and shallow. But, since public schools are forbidden any sort of religious education or training, those answers to a child is all the grown up has to go on.
There is another problem. So much of the church environment today is aimed at women and children that men do not feel welcome or needed. Now, any stereotype can be pushed too far. But often, as in this case, a sexual dimorphism is present and important. By that I mean the sermons and liturgies of most Christian churches project comfort, safety, healing, reconciliation, peace, love, happiness. Okay, fine. Men like that stuff too. But we need, require, and demand something more: challenge and opportunity. I know about other men, I am one myself. And I have not been able to explain this to very many women. But we are explorers, seekers, warriors, hunters, achievers, doers, and natural addicts to the wild and the free. A church that does not offer a hard way, something difficult, will be full of sleeping men.
Feel and think.
Emotion and devotion has its place but that place is not (mostly) at Bible Freedom Science. We are more interested in the philosophy of religion. I hesitate to call this an intellectual approach to religion because that is pompous and a goal I too often miss. But understood as one pole of an emotional to rational continuum, I prefer to think rather than feel. Even the poetry found here is not directed inward.
Do not get me wrong. Anger, love, devotion, suspicion, joy and all of the rest have their places in my private life and sometimes peek through on these pages. I can tear up at Silent Night as much as any grandma. And after all, a passion for truth and clarity is an emotional stance. But is that all? Just laughing, clapping, crying, singing? There is enough of that in the churches, too much in my judgment. How about a little more reason and a bit of intellectual challenge? There is more to our religion than music with a hypnotically repetitious refrain. Thus this attempt to balance the too often immature emotionalism of the modern churches with more mature emotions, which are those informed by reason.
Some will notice I did not include faith on my list of emotions. Well, that is because it is not an emotion. As practiced and preached by some in the churches, and as caricatured by angry atheists, faith is purely emotion without an ounce of logic or reason. Not here. Not at Bible Freedom Science. Here faith in the biblical God is the reasonable trust that He lives and will keep His promises to us. I do not claim to prove His existence with reason or with faith. What nonsense that quest is. I can no more prove His existence than I can my own, much less even define what exist means. That is the stuff that has tied European philosophy into knots with unraveling rope ends for centuries. All I claim to do is find a reasonable, rational trust in His Promises, in His Word, and in His Person.
And the science guys have no bragging rights here either. Some of the atheism abroad today is so full of bitterness and hatred one wonders what awful experiences these folks had. Okay, you believe the early church was wrong about the Resurrection of Geshua. But that does not give you the right to impugn their motives and call them charlatans and conspirators. Lose the bile and come back to a rational discussion and argument.
Perhaps you are like me? or like that young father and engineer? If so, you are the reason why I write and publish.
I have no choice then, if I wish to remain faithful to my God, but to publish what I have discovered and do my best to have you read it. I cannot promise it will fix everything or anything. I can promise my way is hard, very hard, and requires an intellectual and emotional maturity that will challenge you to your core. But it works for me and perhaps it will work for you as well.
I have no desire or ability to change any doctrine of the church or synagogue. Nor do I present a scientific revolution. But I am called by my God to give adult men and women of science a path into the covenant of Abraham, Moshe, Isaiah, and Geshua, the Son of Man.
Therefore the reference in the title of this page to Kopernik, known to Latin speaking people as Copernicus. His book was presented to the world, not as proof that the earth circled the sun, but as an easier way to calculate the positions of the planets. Do me, then, this same favor. Read what I say. Without agreeing to its reality or truth, see if it makes Scripture, your life, your religious experience, and your science easier to understand and do.
Logos help me, I am not up to this task. I am too flawed, too old, too stupid. But here I have been placed and here I will do my poor best.
Next, please read the preface.