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Archive for the ‘Science and Religion’ Category

. “Holy Discontent”
Bass considers discontent as a gift, because it is “the beginning of change.” That is, “Discontent is one short step from the longing for a better life, a better society, and a better world; and longing is another short step from doing something about what is wrong. Indeed, restlessness possesses a spiritual quality: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,’ said Jesus, ‘for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 5:3).” (Diana Bass, “Christianity after Religion,” 84)

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Church Business?
“The religious model that once worked so well serving to educate, spiritually enliven, and socially elevate so many does not accomplish those goals as well any longer…. [C]hurch executives became too distanced from the regular folks; managers (i.e., pastors) grumbled about pay, benefits, and working conditions; creativity was strangled by red tape; expenses began to outrun income; and huge facilities needed to be maintained. Faith increasingly became a commodity and membership roles and money the measures of success. The business of the church replaced the mission of the church. Slowly, then more quickly, customers became disgruntled. Resources declined. (Diana Bass, “Christianity after Religion,” 72).

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Nowadays we can hear often an expression, “spiritual but not religious.” It means that people are not satisfied with institutional religions any more but in finding “a new way of connecting with God.” (Diana Bass, “Christianity after Religion,” 68).

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“Religion, faith, spiritual experience, mysticism, church, theology—all these are holy things, profound ways of relating to God. Yet they all exist in the context of the world, equally as dependent on the vicissitudes of human experience as any surety of divine revelation. Religious expression is not immutable; it changes all the time. Faith roils right along with other global pressures. Christianity is no exception to the historical transformation of our times, and to view faith as either irrelevant to or outside of the purview of global cultural change is foolish.” (Diana Bass, “Christianity after Religion,” 7).

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God in natural system

A Proposition of possibility of supernaturalism within naturalism
1) Natural laws can explain most natural phenomena.
2) Nonetheless, there are some parts of supernaturalism that natural laws cannot explain.
3) This is the place where God of gaps can explain.
4) Thus there is a supernaturalistic God.

However, this position is faced with a serious problem.
1) Natural laws could explain the parts of God of gaps, when science develops later.
2) Then, the area of supernaturalistic God disappears.
3) Thus atheism wins.

Although naturalism could explain all natural systems, God still works in and with the system. This is a way to explain God without supernaturalism.

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“What contemporary theology needs, since it still cannot get by without the help of philosophy, is a system of concepts that takes science, religion, and all other modes of experience into full account.”

“Who can deny that the religious sensibilities of most people in the world remain most at home in a prescientific understanding of the universe? Theology has moved only slowly and often reluctantly away from the ancient cosmological assumptions in which it came to birth. And even where notional awareness has conceded the correctness of an evolutionary worldview, Christian spirituality still remains emotionally fastened to the pillar of permanence stamped into our consciousness long before the coming of modern science.” (John F. Haught, in Joseph A. Bracken, S.J., Christianity and Process Thought, x)

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It is interesting to know that Darwin was not an atheist, as David Griffin argues, but a deist who held that “God had, in creating the world’s original molecules, given them a propensity to evolve into the more complex beings.” That is, there was directedness in the process of evolution from the beginning. By contrast, no direction in evolution, as neo-Darwinians maintain, means only that “God provided no more help.” (Griffin, “Neo-Darwinism and Its Religious Implications,” in Back to Darwin, 280).

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