Thursday, January 03, 2019

"New Year, New You?" A New Year, And An Enduring (and Quite Captivating) Topic

Two early resolutions for a new year
It is common practice to look at a new year and make resolutions.

Here goes for 2019. I resolve to start this year’s posts by looking back. Right now on the
left side of my blog you’ll find the top ten list from 2018—that is, which blog posts had the most readership. By and away the most viewed was “A Parable that Arrived Bit too late.” In it, I describe the surprise at how the Greek I learned at UC Berkeley worked just fine at Princeton Seminary, but the science I took in was often rejected by the church. 

This shock really led me to spend the last three and half decades or so, working to put those two together for others and hoping to tell others what I’ve learned. On that note, have my online course on how to relate mere Christianity and mainstream science?

Another result of this question is that I’m writing a book on the past, present, and predicted future state of religion and science in the United States. I imagine many posts will circle around the set of topics I’ll be writing. So I suppose that’s my second resolution for today.

And this leads me to a brief meditation.

A brief meditation on religion and science in the U.S.
America has always had a dialectical relationship with science and religion, that is to say, with rationality and order, as well as feeling and conversion. And if I began by reflecting on 18thcentury European settlements in the East (e.g., the Pilgrims), it is even anachronistic to speak of “America” or “the United States.” Nonetheless, a dialectical—and sometimes contentious—relationship exists between these two forces, which of course, continues to the present day.
This comment by theologian Robert Jenson’s comments (as he unfolds the thought of Jonathan Edwards) struck me, 
“American has been more than other nations undone by alternate fear of science itself and capitulation to usually jejune science-inspired ideologies.” Robert Jenson, America’s Theologian: A Recommendation of Jonathan Edwards
For a nation as unusually religious as ours—we are outliers as a developed country with a far higher degree of religiosity than any other—an uneasy antiphonal response to science merits our attention.
To Alfred North Whitehead’s categories for religion and science, as Americans, we are often poised between 
“The force of our religious intuitions, and the force of our impulse to accurate observation and logical deduction.”(A.N. Whitehead, Science and the Modern World)
If this is at all accurate, how do we bring the two together as Americans? Let me know what you think. I'll be working with these theme in the early part of 2019

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