July 07, 2018

Reason And Faith Are Compatible

For the first several centuries after the death of Jesus church elders struggled to define the system of beliefs that would become Christian Theology. Their work was framed by contemporary superstitions, cultural norms, established philosophies, competing religions, and first century science. They selected, edited, and published the books of the Bible, developed theological doctrine, and established formal religions. They characterized the ministry of Jesus Christ according to their objectives and their understanding of the world in which they lived.

That was almost 2,000 years ago. Over 700 years have passed since Saint Thomas Aquinas summarized his views on natural law, metaphysics, and the interaction of faith and reason; a magnificent effort to rationalize 13th century theology. Although there have been many changes within the institutions of Christianity, and human knowledge has made incredible progress, these traditional beliefs have endured into this century. They continue to dominate contemporary discussion

Therein rests the problem. We humans yearn for the spiritual. Meditation and prayer allow us to experience the divine. We seek a transcendent interpretation of our physical and not-physical ecosystem. But Christian tradition conflicts with contemporary knowledge. Although the message of Jesus Christ is both ageless and divine, there is an obvious confusion of expression.

The solution is to validate the key subjects and beliefs of Christianity in 21st century terms: a renaissance of Christian theology. The discussion of doctrine must be creative, disruptive, and credible as we explore the philosophical subjects of truth, reality, alternative dimensions, multiple universes, the relationship of science and theology, our quest to understand the nature of God, and how we make a conscious connection with the spiritual. Let us vigorously examine our traditional beliefs about evolution, creation, hell, and heaven as well as contemporary questions about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

We have been challenged to establish a reasonable consistency between the doctrines of Christian Theology and our comprehension of the Cosmos. If we wish to know the truth of our astral reality, we must combine an enlightened sense of the physical with a contemporary understanding of the not-physical. As Thomas Aquinas pointed out, since both reason and faith come from God - they are inherently compatible.

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