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Theology, Science, and Postmodernism: Responding to Stanley Grenz

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This article responds to Stanley J. Grenz's Templeton Lecture, “Why Do Theologians Need to Be Scientists?” published in the June 2000 issue of Zygon (Grenz 2000). In the first part I outline my reasons for finding the kind of theological reflections in which Grenz engages worthy of attention by noting my disagreement with the view that a sufficient response to theological issues can be formulated on the basis of an examination of our biological nature. I assert, in that connection, the autonomy of reason as a way of investigating and understanding the world. In the second part I respond directly to Grenz by explaining my disagreement with the postmodern critique of science upon which he relies and his adherence to Christian eschatology as an answer to the conundrums into which, he posits, we are drawn as a result of that critique. I note that I agree with Grenz, however, that the activity of valuing is necessarily a forward-looking Godlike endeavor that is not derivable from science. In the third part I suggest that we must be open to the investigation of the possible existence of an objective realm of value and that, in any case, rejection of the postmodern critique of science in many cases pro-vides a sound basis for the disciplined resolution of factual questions that frequently lie at the base of disagreements about values.
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Keywords: Andrew Newberg; Christian eschatology; Eugene d'Aquili; Godlike powers; Michael Cavanaugh; Stanley Grenz; Thomas Hobbes; Thomas Kuhn; Thomas Nagel; absolute unitary being; aesthetic-religious continuum; creation of a new being; foundational; liberal individualism; mechanism and value; mind; naturalistic fallacy; objective realm of value; philosophical realism; postmodernism; science; solipsism; theology; Êanthropic principle; Êautonomy of reason

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-12-01

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