Tuesday, October 30, 2007

 

Temptations in the Desert


Discover magazine has a theology blog? Who knew?

Father Michael Holleran has not been overly active – just two posts since his first on September 6th and, if the present one is any guide, you'll have to be rather conversant with (or willing to take the time and effort to look up) some definitely arcane theological terminology and concepts. Still, there are things to like:

[M]ature theology is also very far from intelligent design, which I consider to be a particularly unfortunate, maladroit, and problematic notion ... It is true that the fifth argument of St. Thomas Aquinas for the existence of God is based on the design ..... [y]et theologians themselves noted, long before Richard Dawkins, that the argument is hardly cogent, and ... [is more] a reflection ... of faith by believers than as an effort to persuade unbelievers. In addition, ... a priest friend of mine often takes ... [an] irreverent step further: with all the chance, chaos, entropy, violence, waste, injustice, and randomness in the universe, the project hardly seems very intelligent! Do we imagine that God is intelligent in basically the same way that we are, just a very BIG intelligence and "super-smart"? ...

All of this is mind-numbingly anthropomorphic, and what seems to be irreverent and blasphemous is actually the only way to avoid being so. ... Unfortunately, the most fervent people are often the most naive: the monks of the desert in the fourth century got violently upset when traveling theologians suggested that God did not have a body.
The image of William Dembski as an abbot in a hardscrabble priory in some arid waste, surrounded by unlettered and uneducable followers is too seductive for words.
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