[I fear that this posting will be of little interest to most RR readers. It is memorialized here as part of my personal record of thought that I am willing to share with those few whose interest might be piqued by such subjects.]
Religions in general and Christianity in particular are suffering an assault of reason that has reached a zenith through the ascendancy and promulgation of secular humanism (q.v.) that is now touted as the all-explaining worldview held by the educated in every land. Christianity has been on the wane in developed countries – in Europe it is mostly extinct as a belief system – enjoying gains only among the pre-educated in less developed nations. Staying its current course, Christianity may expect a similar fate in those countries when they too become developed.
In my extended study of this phenomenon, the fundamental reason for the retreat of Christianity is that its adherents and protagonists continue to teach the faith through promotion of tenets that are easily rejected in this age of accessible mega-information. What is taught from the pulpit on Sunday does not match the encountered reality during the rest of the week. And when the supplicants and/or prospects present these dichotomies to Christianity’s purveyors, their counter to reason is ‘You must believe more strongly in the teachings, and then your questions and questioning will disappear.’
Most people answer that they don’t want to become a person in whom such patently reasonable inquiries are no longer possible. They see it as undergoing a form of intellectual lobotomy, which, at a minimum, will destroy the salutary parts of the image they have of themselves. And they turn away, proclaiming to other potential seekers the details of their frustrated attempts to understand.
As some previous posts have revealed, I am among those Christians who hold that Christianity is a most plausible and simple system (see Occam) of belief, one that lays the intellectual foundation for our cosmology and provides the most satisfying answers to the deepest teleological questions (the whys) about our existence and fate. One can even argue that there exist perspectives from which Christianity is falsifiable. However, such arguments cannot be made from what we may label as the commonly taught ‘everyday Christianity’.
To all this, I believe, there is a powerful yet little known alternative interpretation that can lay to rest the standard litany of doubts about the scriptural history and expression of the faith. One of the most compelling conundrums for the questioning seeker can be summarized by, 'Does God Watch Paint Dry?'. This is the title of a little apology I have composed for those who would still like to discover whether for them Christianity can serve as an illuminated path between intellect and faith. Perhaps it will be of help.