Theology for a Scientific Age: Being and Becoming--Natural, Divine, and Human

Theology for a Scientific Age: Being and Becoming--Natural, Divine, and Human

Theology for a Scientific Age: Being and Becoming--Natural, Divine, and Human

Theology for a Scientific Age: Being and Becoming--Natural, Divine, and Human

Synopsis

A positive answer to Stephen Hawking's question, "Does the universe need a creator?"Alan Keightley, in the Modern Churchman, aptly identifies the focus of parts one and two of Arthur Peacocke's seminal work. This second, expanded edition of Theology for a Scientific Age now also includes the author's Gifford Lectures. In the new part three, Peacocke deals roundly with the central corpus of Christian belief for a scientific age.

Excerpt

Anyone who has been at all concerned with the history of the interaction between Christian theology and the natural sciences cannot but view current controversies between the self-appointed ‘conservatives’ and the pejoratively labelled ‘liberals’ with an acute sense of déjà vu. For again and again Christian theology has had to face up to the challenge of new knowledge about the natural world and indeed about its historical origins and sacred scriptures – and the heresies of one generation have become the orthodoxies of the next. So much so that, even when he traditional words are used in creeds and worship by a twentieth-century Christian, the content of their belief often bears only a distant genetic relation to what was believed in the context of the thought-world centuries, or even a millennium, ago. For the whole framework in which affirmations of belief about nature, humanity and God are set have changed radically over the centuries, and never more rapidly than in the twentieth.

It is no use pretending that these recent changes have been at all helpful to membership of the mainline churches in the West which have usually been associated with the conservation of past beliefs rather than with intelligent, open inquiry into new modes of expression of commitment to God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, to use traditional terms. the current resusdtation of very conservative positions, both in and outside these churches, is a sign not so much of a recovery of faith as of a loss of nerve before the onslaught of new perceptions of the world.

The understanding of the world which is evoked by the contemporary natural sciences is commonly taken in the West to be inimical to, or at least subversive of, religious belief in general and Christian belief in particular. I am convinced that this widely accepted view is mistaken and that the myth of the gulf between Christian theology and the natural sciences is debilitating to our culture while impoverishing the spiritual and personal life of the . . .

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