A thought in church

Sometimes I write in church. I used to feel bad about this, but a friend, Bethany Lee, who is also a worship leader, once explained some things to me about the true nature of worship, and now I feel a lot more free to write if I feel called to do it, no matter where I am. Anyway, here's a little note I jotted down last Sunday, something of an unpolished thought:

"I think about this new wave of intellectualizing against faith of all kinds, and I cannot help but notice that these men: Dawkins, Hitchens, Onfray, seem to me to have an immature, underdeveloped knowledge of their own ignorance. They are reluctant to acknowledge that which they don't know but take on faith. This, in itself, is not an argument for faith. That would be a God-of-the-gaps argument, for one thing, and frankly, I'm coming to believe that apologists for Christianity are not "The second Judas", as Kierkegaard called them, but merely an embarrassment to themselves and other Christians; Not the second Judas, but the second Kirk Cameron. Still, these anti-apologists strike me as lazy philosophers. They are quite aware of the irrationalism of their religious neighbors, but they do not know themselves with any particular clarity or insightfulness. One of my old professors, a man who firmly believed in Intelligent Design (remember what I said about apologists and embarrassment?) who felt that if Christianity gave up its scientific claims it would be giving the ceding the entire playing field to atheism. I believe, increasingly, that the battle lines have been falsely drawn between scientific rationalism and ignorant, anti-intellectual irrationalism. To a large degree, men like my professor created this false dichotomy in their attempt to employ science to promote faith: instead of promoting faith, the made a mockery of it while promoting a reliance on science as authority. By promoting bad science, they reaffirmed the supremacy of the scientific ideal while undermining their own religious beliefs.

When the false debate of science vs. no science ends, and science wins resoundingly in the hearts and minds of people dependent on their microwaves and cell phones, I hope we will move on to a healthier recognition of the limits of science and the relationship between intellect and faith. I believe there must be Christians out there who are also eager to reject anti-intellectualism and earnestly explore the nature of an intellectual faith in God. Maybe I'm naive to think there are many folks out there who are still interested in this, and I admit I see dwindling empirical evidence of this kind of community of believers, but I'm a person of faith, so I go on hoping."