The danger of scientific theology.

Written by John on Tuesday 12/12/06


We tend to think of an "ology" as a science - biology, psychology, cosmology.
Certainly when we come to think about parts of the universe we turn to science and scientists for answers.
We respect their ability to detach themselves from the object and study it
dispassionately applying logic and tried and true techniques to find answers.
Part of science, therefore, is to stand above the object - it is "arrogant" in
the sense that the scientist is somehow "greater" than the object.


That is certainly the message that was passed down to us from the Enlightenment -
the age of reason and it still pervades much of our thinking today.


The danger for the theologian, and indeed any Christian who thinks about God,
is that we do so in the same "arrogant" scientific manner in which we project ourselves as somehow
"greater" than the subject (God in this case). We see this happening with those
who try and reconstruct Biblical texts to fit their own view of the way they think the world should be.
We see it in our own lives when we try and manipulate God with "deals"
(if I do this, you do that - like a scientific hypothesis - if I push this, then "that" will happen).


One of the good things that has come out of postmodernism is a degree of
skepticism about the claims of science to have all the answers and to be totally independent.
Postmodernism has reminded us that we are all interconnected - because we are all part of God's creation.