Saturday, March 26, 2011

Robust Christianity

Two posts worth reading appeared today.

The first is by the inimitable Archbishop Cranmer. Cranmer is a bit florid, as he sometimes can be, but his post is basically a lift of a Facebook comment by Bishop Alan Wilson. The Bishop lets off a bit of steam about BBC2's Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou, and her "Bible's Buried Secrets". The point being that there is nothing particularly secret, or indeed buried about the things she is revealing. It's all tired old stuff which has been doing the rounds for years, and in fact the Bible itself is consistent with the arguments she puts forward.

The other is by Ruth Bancewicz on her "Science and Belief" blog, where she briefly lays out how she can be a scientist who believes in miracles. I think she would need to unpack the argument a lot more to defend it against a sceptical critic, but the basic point is clear - if God created the physical universe, he is not bound by its physical laws and is able to act outside them if he chooses.

Both these posts, in their own way, make the same point. There is a strong rhetoric in modern thought which tells us that the Christian faith is incredible, intellectually embarrassing, and needs to be quietly abandoned by all right-thinking people. This message is propagated by the media, sometimes deliberately, sometimes simply because it is part of the background noise of 21st century thought. Of course Christianity needs to face the challenge of modern thought and to admit where our ideas have been weak in the past. But it's also important for us to hear the alternative voice, the one that reminds us that our faith is credible and does stand up to intellectual scrutiny.

2 comments:

Edward Ockham said...

I read Ruth Bancewicz's post but until I am clearer about exactly what she means by 'miracle' and what she means by the frequently used word 'scientifically' and its cognates, it is difficult to say what is meant.

Augustine says "For we say that all portents are contrary to nature; but they are not so. For how is that contrary to nature which happens by the will of God, since the will of so mighty a Creator is certainly the nature of each created thing? A portent, therefore, happens not contrary to nature, but contrary to what we know as nature. (The City of God, Book XXI, Chapter 8).

Charlie said...

I dare say. Like I said, it needs unpacking. I think we get the general idea though.