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What is Scientific Naturalism?

Think Christianly: What is Scientific Naturalism?

Friday, August 14, 2009

What is Scientific Naturalism?

Scientific naturalism is the view that “the physical cosmos science studies is all that exists” (cf. J.P. Moreland). This worldview assumes that only material stuff exists (e.g., physics and chemistry) and that science is the only source of knowledge concerning the world; everything else is mere conjecture. The implication of this view is that there can be no human soul or immaterial objects/persons like angels or God. The supernatural is excluded by definition. Plainly stated: there is no spiritual reality in this world or the next. The grave is all there is.

This is a major worldview in America today. In order to be a good ambassador for Jesus Christ, we must understand the worldviews that are vying for the hearts and minds of this generation.

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Blogger Kevin said...

I think that materialism is compatible with all the things essential to the truth of Christianity. This, of course, doesn't mean that scientific naturalism is reasonable. Moreover, if materialism (at least a well stated version of it) is both true and compatible with the Christian faith, then materialism is not the Christian's enemy and, if so, this fact would remove a huge stumbling block for many thoughtful people who find the idea of immaterial objects incomprehensible.

Just speaking up for what I believe is true.



August 15, 2009 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Morrow said...

thanks for weighing in Kevin. My take - very briefly - is that materialism / physicalism leads to too much reductionism. Moreover, I think it eliminates clearly non material biblical entities like souls and angels. admittedly, if it could be shown, then it would remove a big stumbling block; but my inclination is to suggest that people will be stumbling for a long time if a robust (not merely essentialist) christian worldview is commended.

peace to you as well brother,

August 16, 2009 at 10:46 PM  

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