Monday, September 5, 2011
Truth and Truths
The secular world views the faith as the speculation and science as the truth. It absolutely reverses the approach stated in the first sentence of this post. I am not anti-science. I do not have my head in the sand. I believe that our children should be taught all the current and past theories of the universe and its origins and I do not believe that science teachers should teach religion in public schools (though I do believe that the texts should reflect the fact for the vast majority of human history it was sufficient to say that God created all things as they are). However, what science classes too often pass to us as certain fact is, indeed, the current speculation and educated guesses of a people looking at what is and trying to find out where it came from. I wish there was some intellectual honesty here. Though we speak of the ancient age of the universe, we do not have solid fact to back this up. Though we speak of evolution (here speaking from one species into another), this has not been observed and is an educated guess. Christians do not have to disparage what science speculates. We as people do the best we can with what is before us and, apart from Scripture and Christ, the best we have are the speculations of science as they have evolved to the present state. But neither do Christians need to accept the false dichotomy of factual truth espoused by science and the religious speculations of the faith.
I am speaking to Christians here and not to the scientific community. Your faith is not speculation and science is not established fact. The catholic faith is the truest of truth. Period. And while I appreciate the finer points of apologetics with the secular, unbelieving world, yet, within the Church, we do not need to be apologetic. We need to speak forthrightly of the nature of the truth that reached its fullness and culmination in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The catholic faith is certainty. Period. I do not mind the world outside the Church challenging this point. I understand and expect this. But it is entirely troublesome that within the Church we treat dogma as if it were the speculation of the scientist or archeologist instead of the revealed truth for what it is. It is a sad fact today that the reason many folks within the Church are having trouble maintaining their faith is that too many teachers within the Church treat Scripture as mythology, the Bible as if it were a book of what ifs (mostly morality), and science as the square to which the catholic faith must be trued.
Just a complaint about the way those within the Church treat doctrine and Scripture and the speculations and informed guesses of science. As St. Augustine warns us, "not to make rash assertions, or to assert what is not known as known,” so we must be careful not to assert science as factual truth and the religious truth as somehow less than factual. What God has revealed of Himself to us in Scripture is the most truthful truth we know. Christians should not forget this!