Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Opus 2012-296: Victory of Reason: An Introduction

One of the books I have read in the last few years is called The Victory of Reason by Rodney Stark.  I have adopted a discipline of taking notes on books that I think have something to say and then type them into my computer so that I can review them.  Since I am away from the posts I have been working on, I felt this was a good time to do some review.

Stark has a lot of interesting things to say in this book.  For instance, in his introductory comments he says,
“While other world religions emphasized mystery and intuition, Christianity alone embraced reason and logic as the primary guide to religious truth.” p. x
When I read something like this I always ask myself, “Where is this person coming from?”  A statement like this, written by someone with my dominant Christian beliefs, while being an honest expression of opinion would need to be examined carefully because of the  presuppositions.  So, is Stark a Bible believing Christian?

First, I looked at the publisher of the book, Random House.  This is a secular publisher.  I think that is an indication that this is offered as a scholarly, intellectual publication. 

Second, I checked out Stark online.  Wikipedia gives a summery of his life and deals with his “personal religious faith.”  Based on his own statements he would be at most a general believer, at worst an agnostic.  He does not seem to have a strong, focused faith that would cause him to give pro-Christian analysis.

With that, I feel I am able to accept him as an unbiased source.  When he says “Christianity alone embraced reason and logic,” I can accept that as an analysis not a conviction.  Conviction does not invalidate a statement but it needs to be considered.  As one with a strong faith and strong convictions I admit that.  At the same time having strong convictions does not make your beliefs invalid. 

Third, he is a sociologist of religion.  He did graduate work at Berkeley which tends to be liberal and teaches at Baylor, affiliated with conservative Baptists.  He is a scholar in the area he is writing about.

I hope to look at and discuss some of his points while I am away from home.

Stark, Rodney, The Victory of Reason.  New York:  Random House, 2005.

homo unius libri

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.