Monday, November 07, 2005

Chesterton and Polkinghorne

Pessimism is not in being tired of evil but in being tired of good. Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy. It is when for some reason or other the good things in a society no longer work that the society beings to decline; when it food does not feed, when its cures do not cure, when its blessings refuse to bless.

The Everlasting Man – G K Chesterton – chapter 8

The analogy between scientific and theological enquiry is not complete. Theology does not enjoy the luxury that experiment grants to science, of being able to deal with essentially controllable and repeatable experience. It has to look to the given and unrepeatable revelatory events in which God has chosen to make the divine nature known. The closest scientific analogues are cosmology’s reconstruction of the unique history immediately following the big band and biology’s reading from the fossil record the story of the unique evolutionary development of life. Theological enquiry is also not simply concerned with quenching the intellectual thirst for understanding. Its insights demand response and carry implications for human conduct.

Belief in God in an Age of Science – John Polkinghorne – chapter 2

I find it interesting that Polkinghorne uses these two 'analogues' to explain the problems of theology, even though in some circles both analogues are classed more highly than as revelatory events.
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