Monday, August 13, 2007

Couch the Problem

Sometimes I feel I have rather overworked the caricature of contemporary Christianity as a touchy-feely, hyper-feminized, anti-analytical subculture; no longer able to connect with or make sense of ‘materialistic’ science it is engaged in a great gnostic retreat into the ‘deep soul’, and consumes workers whose skill set is skewed towards the ‘inner life’ at a prodigious rate: spiritual guides, pastoral workers, homiletic patriarchs and an army of counselors. News has just come in, however, suggesting that this picture is indeed no exaggeration

When I heard that there was going to be a lecture in Norwich by a former professor of the University of East Anglia challenging militant atheists like Richard Dawkins I was anxious to see what was afoot. I eagerly followed a blink to an event advertised on Network Norwich, the local Christian News Web site. What did I find? That the lecturer was a professor of physics? That he was a mathematics scholar? Or perhaps even a philosopher, political scientist or a historian? No! The lecturer was the former professor of counseling studies at the University of East Anglia!

So, the battle with scientism is being tackled as a counseling problem! If you’ve only got a hammer every problem looks like nail! Or rather, if you’ve only got a hammer, you've got no choice, every problem has to be fixed using the hammer!

The church sees itself as a custodian of ultimate cosmic mysteries. Therefore, while mysteries remain about the human heart the church may feel that it still has an edge in this area, its last bastion of credibility and authority. But until the church ceases to make the ‘head knowledge – heart knowledge’ distinction and a host of other dualistic assumptions, that bastion itself will be threatened.


Anonymous said...

I think I actually agree about the dualism thing now. Incidentally, dualism has also ended up being the scourge of psychological research.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Your blog looks a bit redundant!