A contributor to my blog recently made the following accusation against me:
Science is your god. The LORD is my God. You will continue to defend your god; I will continue to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to me, and defend the truth of God's Word. You have faith in man; I have faith in God. We are poles apart.....and dialogue is not fun anymore.
In the above comment it is clear that the writer esteems the use of scientific logic and reason to be antagonistic and dichotomous to "biblical faith." This writer hence presents scientific ways of knowing and "biblical faith" in polarity, as alternatives to one another. This accusation reminds me of the following quote from the esteemed German theologian Jurgen Moltmann:
For Christian faith to bring about its own decay by withdrawal into the ghetto without self-criticism, is a parallel to its decay through [unbelief]. And the decline into pusillanimous faith [through not confronting the real world] and superstition is a parallel to the decline into unbelief. How close this parallel is, is shown by the way debates within Christianity become polarized into false alternatives (pp. 21-22).
In the context of the above passage, Moltmann is discussing the stagnancy of Christianity as evidenced through the rise of "superstitious faith" which, instead of confronting the issues, shields itself into self-contained worlds of "just-so" constructs. These constructs, Moltmann asserts, are falsely dichotomous, and he includes faith vs. science in his listing of such polarities. Is it not obvious that faith has become pusillanimous when it refuses to think and then shrouds itself with "just-so" or ad hoc models that are intellectually and scientifically barren?
The writer of the opening accusation then goes on to assert:
I am convinced that your objective is to discourage me, rob me of my faith in God and the Bible, and drag me into the atheistic bleakness and darkness in which you find yourself. I am no longer impressed with your intellectualism and learning, for it led to a dead end......a place I have no interest in going.
The polarity of this person's faith with its fortification by false alternatives is a clear attestation its intellectual bankruptcy. One can accept all of the data that I have submitted about fundamentalism, about the Bible's retrograde moralities, about the unscientific and false models of biblical cosmology, evolution, etc. and still believe in the God of the Bible. The fact that there is such a polarity between these positions is an attestation to the ghetto mindedness of Evangelicals.
Multmann, Jurgen. The Crucified God. SCM Press: Philadelpha, 1974.