The Sacred Cosmos

The World of Matter & Spirit United in Praise of Its Creator

Ever since the landmark 1966 publication of Ian Barbour's Issues in Science and Religion, the modern science-faith dialogue has flourished. The widening range and depth of relevant scholarship, interdisciplinary work, centers for study, and full academic chairs in the field, are evidence of the health and vigor of the program. Nonetheless, the dialogue has remained very much one-sided in the sense that science continues to enjoy the advantage of priority. Science has "slain" its theologians (T. H. Huxley) and issued its challenges. Faith invariably reacts in rearguard defensive maneuvers, trying to explain how we can still think religiously in a scientific world. Theologians and believing scientists first submit to the primacy of science, then labor to escape the implications of its strict materialist presuppositions, which in fact prohibit any meaningful ontological status to religious categories. Religion must always answer to science, but the converse is almost never the case.

Arguably the most fundamental and enduring problem at all levels in the dialogue is the conceptual difficulty in satisfactorily reconciling matter and spirit. Sarah Lane Ritchie has defined this point of contact, the so-called causal joint, as "that theoretical nexus at which a nonphysical God could affect physical processes." It is the problem of divine action in the material creation, and the dualistic context in which it is usually framed makes the resolution of the problem nearly impossible.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Jonathan R. Bryan , Ph.D., is a Professor of Geology and Oceanography at Northwest Florida State College, and a vocational deacon at Immanuel Anglican Church, Destin, Florida. An early award winner in the Templeton Foundation Science & Religion Course Program, he developed and taught Issues in Science & Religion at NWFSC for 15 years. He is the senior author of Roadside Geology of Florida and a licensed professional geologist in Florida.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more on science from the online archives

29.4—July/August 2016

Naked Truth

on Noticing That Modern Science Has Rendered Atheism Irrational by Harry Biltz

22.7—September/October 2009

Science Fictions

on a Random Quantum Fluctuation by Marilyn Prever

17.6—July/August 2004

Reality & Reluctant Science

Old Science Confronts a Formidable Challenge in the Scientific ID Movement by Jay W. Richards


more from the online archives

29.3—May/June 2016

The Master's Voice

Our Choice Is Obedience or Jesus as Anti-Christ by Anthony Esolen

32.5—September/October 2019

Make Men Pious Again

2018 Conference Talk by C. R. Wiley

19.1—January/February 2006

As If We Were to Be Immortal

on Death & Seven of the Last Words of Socrates by Graeme Hunter

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00