Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Danger of the New Monism: Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 6

The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 1
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 2
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 3
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 4a
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 4b
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 4c
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 5a
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 5b
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 5c
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 6
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Complete Series

What follows is a series of posts regarding the New Monist movement which combines neuroscience with theology and argues that science has "proven" we have no soul.  The problem I have with such a suggestion isn't just the challenge it presents anthropologically, but soteriologically. How does denying the existence of our soul affect our understanding of the gospel? That's one of the questions I hope to answer.  This debate is another example of the challenge that science can present for Christian theology.

Conclusion

The point should be clear.  The gospel that results from this new definition of human nature is not the gospel of Scripture or of traditional Christianity. With little regard as to how monism affects our understanding of the cross, the atonement, the person and work of Christ, sin, and salvation, one must reject this new monistic movement as a movement driven more by science than by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What orthodox, dualistic believers need to do in response is not to change their theology to fit the supposed implications of neuroscience, but to fully and more completely articulate the gospel as revealed in Scripture. Rising conversations regarding holistic dualism is helpful and ought to increase as believers emphasize more than just life after death but also life before death. The gospel affects both. What the new monists are pushing and the direction they are heading will emphasize, almost exclusively, to this life here and now at the cost of the next. As a result, concepts like reconciliation, redemption, propitiation, and justification will become back-burner issues at best or openly rejected at worse.

Though the new monistic movement is still in its infancy, we can already determine where it will end up by adulthood. It is already undermining the gospel in its fidelity to science. It seems, then, that the battle many Christians have been fighting over the fidelity of the gospel against the rise of science is not limited to the debate over evolution but also includes over the implications of neuroscience. Already many well known theologians have abandoned ship in an attempt to be faithful to science rather than faithful to Scripture and the gospel.

All of this is not to suggest that we must choose either-or. If Scripture is inerrant then science will never contradict it. However, many have come to Scripture and orthodox theology with a lot of secular science as baggage and the new monist movement is really no different.

So in the end, though the new monists seek to be faithful to Scripture – so long as their reading of Scripture affirms the finding of science – they have abandoned the gospel in favor of a more popular message more acceptable to the culture it finds itself in.
Post a Comment