Another take on faith | Bleader

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another take on faith

Posted By on 11.08.07 at 07:53 AM

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James F. McGrath, who teaches at Butler University in Indianapolis and blogs at Exploring Our Matrix, takes exception to the usual usage of the word "faith" to mean "belief in the absence of evidence," and goes on from there:

"When people today read the Bible in a non-literal fashion, this is not a retreat from the advances of scientific knowledge. It is rather a return to the classic way of approaching these texts. The only people who are allowing the concerns of modern science to determine the way they read the text are, ironically, the fundamentalists, who seek absolute certain scientific explanations in a text that does not offer them.

"If you are looking for inerrancy in Scriptures and won't take no for an answer, I suspect that most Christians would be grateful if you would try Islam or some tradition that at least claims to offer such a text. But please, please stop trying to make Christianity live up to your strange modernistic expectations."

Read the whole thing -- it's not long. I personally would disagree that there is such a thing as "absolute certain scientific explanations," nor would I say the available evidence justifies McGrath's claim that "the reality of which we are a part is neither simply hostile nor ultimately meaningless." But those are side issues compared to the fundamentalists' failure to understand what it is they're reading.

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