Reason and Christianity
There are some who believe that reason has nothing to offer religion, and others who believe that religion has nothing to offer reason. When I was attending school I was told that reason had barely escaped the ravages of religion. Prior to the Enlightenment (what PR man came up with that term?) all had been darkness.
Naturally I was surprised to find that my research for the Science Timeline suggested the exact opposite.
The host of British scientific geniuses includes many boys who floundered in their teens. Poor and unschooled, they struggled until they had an exhilarating encounter with reason, mathematics, and the real world, and other Brits noticed, and helped them out.
As I peered more closely at their lives I saw that Brits helped them with schooling and grants and mentoring and teamwork because they lived in a Judaeo-Christian country that respected reason. I saw what I had never seen before because it was as invisible and as pervasive as air –
In Christian schools and universities the British felt called by their faith to celebrate God by understanding God’s world. They believed that reason was a gift of God. Explore, describe, verify! And Brits did just that with indescribable intensity and ardour, supported by communities of respect and trust. Not surprisingly, Brits also found that thinking rationally contributed to their well-being and prosperity.
Despite assorted conflicts, and an extremely disagreeable period when some of the best of the Brits dared to defend freedom of conscience and were burned at the stake, Brits lived in a country of largely reasonable men and women whose faith taught them to use reason, to help each other, and to search for those Eureka! moments also known as epiphanies.
The astonishing results are evident in THE SCIENCE TIMELINE.
(This post is a revision of one we posted a year ago.)