Rethinking Christianity depends on accepting truth where ever it may be found
The third post summarizing my thoughts on reforming Christianity.
Based on the Christian tradition in which I was raised and educated, a profound truth has been a guide all my life: All truth is God’s truth. This is a Reformed perspective along with the notion of God revealing himself through two “books” — the Word of God called the Bible and the book of nature which is made known to us through science.
While this is the teaching, like many such teachings, it is not always accepted and practiced. Within conservative Christianity, there are still strong strands of antipathy toward science and even efforts to construct alternative sciences. That is the legacy of Henry Morris in Young Earth Creationism. It’s not merely a rejection of science relating to the creation of the cosmos and life, but the belief requires constructing an alternative version of science to buttress the overarching commitment to a super literal understanding of the Bible.
This may be an extreme example, but there are many less extreme. My own experience may be a good example. I consider that I have an inquiring mind and reasonably open to ideas outside those long held, comfortable and familiar to me. Much of my writing on Medium was triggered by reading a book called Irreducible Mind edited by Edward and Emily Williams Kelly of the University of Virginia. Here I was exposed to the vast research done by a wide variety of scientists related to psychology, particularly consciousness. Much of it falls under the psi phenomena and parapsychology, so it is widely dismissed by the dogmatists of physicalism. This large body of knowledge opened my mind to new possibilities relating to consciousness, spirit, the soul, human experience and God.
I found some of the reports to strongly support some of my beliefs and presuppositions. These include experiences beyond the veil, even mediumship, and certainly the widespread phenomena of Near Death Experiences. Other reports caused discomfort such as levitation, moving objects, and especially reincarnation. Psychologists from the University of Virginia have made a deep study of global reports of reincarnation. But my Christian teaching and beliefs provided stiff resistance to the idea.