Wednesday, October 28, 2009

God of Gaps

Now, this is a really cool post explaining how a lot of our religious traditions are based on filling in our gaps of understanding with theology, sometimes inaccurately. Then scientific discoveries come and help elucidate these gaps, which challenge a lot of people's faith at the time, but later (when we get used to those ideas), do not challenge our faith at all today.

Perhaps this could address some of my own questions and struggles about recent scientific discoveries. What are your thoughts and reactions?


  1. I wrote a sardonic poem a while back suggesting the closing of the God-gaps has evolved us from paganism to immateriality (I'm sure there's a name for that doctrine, but I don't know what it is) to panadeism... or something like that. It's awkwardly written (my other poems on the site, if you click on the "poetry" category, are better)

    I would essentially agree with that article. Provisional explanations for natural phenomenon aren't the essence of what religion is. I would say, though, it's best to not invoke the God of the gaps in the first place (mechanistic naturalism). It's nothing but a fancy way of saying that you don't know.

  2. Thanks for comment, Thomas! I still don't appreciate poetry like Mrs. Henry and Mr. Buchta taught us to, but oh well... :)

    Here's a comment a friend sent via email:

    Interesting post. There's actually a very interesting treatment of the topic by Howard van Till in his section of a book on three views of evolution and creation. He points out the way in which people use things that science can't currently explain as evidence for God. The downside is that it puts Christians constantly on the defensive as each new scientific discovery shrinks God. It's like an island coastline eroding away--each new discovery knocks off a section. Finally one wonders if there is going to be anything left of the island. Much better to find another way to butress faith--vanTill really does a masterful job of showing how fragile a God we end up with when we try to use those types of gaps to prove his existence.



Got a question, struggle, or doubt you'd like to see addressed here? Contact me, and I'll try to discuss it (and may even help you get an answer).