Knowledge is a sacred thing and so is the way in which it is gathered and gained. Knowledge is a little bit like making your favorite sandwich! Pass the mayo please and spread it around nice and evenly. Without a clear methodology for how knowledge is acquired there is the potential for a wide margin of error. Be careful what gets through the filter folks because it just may contaminate the entire well later on!
I want to highlight the differences between arguing from tradition versus arguing from all of the relevant facts that have been gathered to this day. Does the Bible withstand scrutiny? I’ll let you be the judge because there appears to be a significant difference between authoritative divine claims within a religion and the kind of reputation that science has established today. Why does science remain neutral toward religion?
The answer is methodology. Science is not going to simply take someone’s word for it, why? Well, for a few relevant reasons. Science is an endeavor that seeks to gather knowledge from the ground-up. This means that the scope is far and very wide! We are talking about the world in which we live and the universe in which we dwell. We are talking about everything for which we have clear access to in the present. Immaterial beings within immaterial worlds is Theology, it is not science.
Also, what appears to be influencing how Theologians champion a theory of immateriality today? It wouldn’t have anything to do with how science has remarkably unveiled what was previously unknown and unseen would it? Millions, perhaps billions of galaxies beyond our own! The discovery of DNA, nuclear physics, so on and so forth. Immateriality has been fine-tuned by science and not the other way around. The Bible teaches that God is invisible, not immaterial. Let me rephrase my point, the Biblical teaching of invisibility is not equal to an assumption of immateriality and undetectability. Immateriality is a privileged position that science has pushed Theology toward adapting for itself because otherwise Theism would appear even more devastated linguistically than it already is.
The Bible portrays a God that is said to be an invisible spirit-being. This need not imply undetectability! Theist’s should at least grant that God is detectable on their view in this way: He is called a spirit that dwells both in the world and outside of it. Spirit implies substance, does it not? For there to be a complete and literal absence of any substance would bring us to the closest definition of nothing that we can come to! Obviously the Bible does not portray such a view.
In one sense I think that a doctrine of immateriality is a means for Theism to attempt to remain relevant in discussions about knowledge. However, in doing so a rather significant problem starts to surface. A doctrine of immateriality puts God into a knowledge category that is not feasible for human beings to bridge into reality. It makes God a compelling idea, but not a relatable one. On such a view God need not be relatable and within a person’s conscious awareness. God is simply there, why? Well, for no other reason than that modern theology says so. I find this to be very peculiar!
Perhaps Christians have gone a little too far in separating their conception of God with what he is said to have created. The Bible again would seem to indicate in Colossians 1:17 that God is intimately connected with everything that exists, so much so that it is God who is said to be holding these things together. The verse states it in this way: “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” I used to think that this was a very powerful analogy until over time I came to realize how inapplicable it is to what is actually known in the world.
It is said that God is simply hidden and we do not know exactly why. This again relates to my previous posts about a margin for doubt which includes what cannot be known or justified in the present. Since this is the case this appears to be exactly the kind of scenario that would warrant human beings to hold their tongue and suspend their thinking. When knowledge stops, it stops, and it is potentially very dishonest to fill in the gap with what is not carefully bridged into our present reality. Think about this friends, really think about this!