Should Science Be Unified with Theology?

Most definitely yes! There is way too much divisiveness in the world to allow the human race to adequately solve its many profound conflicts and problems. Anything that would bring minds together would certainly represent a move in the right direction.

Science currently seeks to describe everything in the universe from physical models, while religion addresses reality from a metaphysical principle (God). I have even heard a scientist state that if the world was somehow actually governed by a metaphysical principle it could not be a part of true science. This suggests that science is more interested in creating physical models of reality rather than finding truth.

Therefore, how could science ever be married to spiritual faith? Perhaps I should rephrase the question: Should Science Be Unified with Goodness?

While science embraces data and religion embraces values, a scientist is inwardly driven to discover something useful to society. In fact, the “greatness” of a particular scientific discovery is measured according to its helpfulness and serviceability to humanity.

What goes unnoticed is that serviceability is a derivative of love. Religion teaches us to love the neighbor as ourselves.

Therefore, the pursuit of knowledge must also be the pursuit of goodness. Knowledge that does not lead to goodness has a destructive and poisonous element lurking within it.

According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, Holy Scripture actually addresses the issue of unifying worldly knowledge with theological knowledge. He states that the biblical themes of Moses setting a serpent of brass on a staff, the birth of Leah’s two sons, Reuben and Simeon, and the Lord’s miracles of turning water into wine and walking on water symbolize the advancement of worldly knowledge to the more interior realm of the human heart.

The “Fall” of man in Genesis was actually the story of how humankind favored its own pursuit of reality rather than basing it on instruction from God. The “talking serpent” in the Garden of Eden represented the desire to learn things entirely from the world of the senses at the expense of goodness. This cognitive predicament is symbolized by the serpent being forced to crawl on the ground and therefore fully occupied from head to tail in worldly and empirical data. This is why Moses put the serpent of brass up on a staff—to get it off its belly and oriented upwards towards God’s heaven.

Essentially, true religion and spiritual growth deals with the reorganization of our worldly knowledge to be oriented upwards to heaven—toward greater goodness. Such a heavenly orientation protects us from the poisonous bite of worldly knowledge (empiricism) that is removed from goodness of the heart. This is the deeper spiritual lesson embedded and enfolded within the story of Moses protecting his people from snakebites in the desert!

My upcoming book Proving God offers more details about unifying science and religion. In fact, I address Bible interpretation, the dynamics of salvation and eternal life from a scientifically plausible model.

http://www.provinggod.com

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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