Thursday, January 29, 2009

Science and Theology and the Human

Some have said that science and theology are separate entities that have different tasks and should not seek to be intergrated. I would disagree.

Although both science and theology have value to man's existence, one is useful for pragmatic reasons, while the other is not, necessarily.

Science is investigative, and is based on "real world" understandings of life, while theology is no less investigative, but is not usually based on the 'real world" but the transcendental world. There is no proof of God, as in his transcendetal existence cannot be observed or evaluated. All we can observe is the world of experience in the physical realm, which is about man and his environment.

Some would understand this endeavor as an important undertaking, as it connects the transcendental to the real, which would bring about a reasoned faith. Gnosticism has bee the bane of culture, as it disconnects faith from reason altogether. Faith alone distorts purpose, and hinders human flourishing, because it separates reality from faith. These faith understandings are not believable by those who value science and the "real world". How can the interface of science and theology "work" to bring about a 'better world"?

Man and his environment intersects many disciplines in psychology and sociology and anthropology and political theory. These are integrations of "sides" of the Quadralateral.

Culture contains the religion, traditions and political realms of understanding a man in his experience/environment. How does one understand all men (universal) within their context (particularity)? All men have reason, but not all men have the same experience(s) even within the same culture. The complexity of understanding man in "God's image" is a huge undertaking. And I'm not sure that man can never be understood completely, in universal terms, as there will always be the particularity of the individual and so many factors go into that mix that it is improbale that there will ever be consensus. But, then, this is what research is about, isn't it?

Therefore, science is mandantory in theological endeavor, as theology is about man, as much as it is about God. There is no absolute universal because each man as an individual cannot be understood from afar.

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