Faith and Reason

Without saying as much in so many words, fundamentalism actually invites people to a kind of intellectual suicide.

(The Interpretation of the Bible In the Church, The Pontifical Biblical Commission, 1994)

Wherein the Author Wishes to Give Mr. Robertson a Swift Kick and Opines on Science and Faith
Written in 2005.

Mr. Marion “Pat” Robertson is clearly in need of some professional help.

First, he publicly called for the assassination of the President of Venezuela. Granted, he apologized (perhaps realizing that this is a misdemeanor in the United States), he did but did not recant. Then, he claimed that Hurricane Katrina was somehow caused by legalized abortion.

And now:

I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city… If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them.

While I’m willing to grant Pascal’s assertion that occasionally we catch glimpses of reality which transcend reason (more or less his definition of Christianity), it does not follow that Christians are required to be nonsensical.

I just returned from Mass, and what I heard there was vastly different.

(F)rom the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen.

In answer to Mr. Robertson’s anti-science, I ask: can science contradict the Christian faith?

The answer must be: of course not. As Pope John Paul II said, “truth cannot contradict truth“. If Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection accurately describes the evolution of life on Earth – if it’s true – then it cannot be incompatible with Christianity. Is Genesis literally true? Of course not; some of the earliest Church Fathers said as much. For one thing, there are two different accounts of creation there. And just in case anybody was unclear on the idea of mythopœic cosmogenesis, the first chapter of John’s Gospel should pretty much clear up the concept.

They’re myths, people, in the greatest and biggest meaning of the word. They are an inspired attempt to speak Truth, not facts. Genesis tells us about God and about the people who worshiped Him, and about how to live, not about exactly how the physics of cosmogenesis works.

Science seeks to understand how the universe works. Faith seeks to understand why and what to do now.

Science may eventually unravel the secrets of time and space, but it cannot describe an Eternal God who transcends time, an omnipotent God who transcends space.