The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Science and Religion Together, Companionably, In One Book

In Barbara Brown Taylor's 2000 book, The Luminous Web, the author, an Episcopal priest with a flare for the written word, explores how religion and science can coexist well and assist each other, leaning on the strengths from each realm. It beats all the petty squabbles so well publicized in the various media (social and otherwise). If you are struggling or curious or seeking backing for your ability to hold both spheres in your mind without schism, this book is for you. It's a great little introduction, and at only 100 pages of text, it is a quick read.

I particularly like how the author explains that business about Christmas and Easter coming on earlier pagan holidays that atheists make so much hay over. The author states:

"Forever and ever, one way Christians have spread the gospel is by learning the stories of the dominant cultures in which they live and then retelling them from a Christian perspective. That is how the pagan festival of the winter solstice in late December became the festival of Jesus' birth. We took a celebration of the s-u-n and turned it into a celebration of the s-o-n. That is also why Easter falls on the first Sunday on or after the first full moon on or after the spring equinox. The date does not have anything to do with the exact day Jesus rose from the dead. We simply took over an ancient fertility festival of new life on earth and reinterpreted it as a sacred festival of new life in Christ." [pp. 35-360
There you have a quick and simple explanation that is easily understood. As one who has never had trouble reconciling my faith with science, happily living in both spheres and benefiting from the wonder, the awe, the magnificence to be had from both realms, I encourage others to read this book, think things over a bit, and then do some deeper digging.

Here's a useful companion post:

For my reaction when we choose to brawl against each other (science and faith) instead of working together as we should, see:

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