The Monday article, “Healing traumatized children,” expresses dismay that science has no effective answer to matters of evil, grief and loss. Yet science, by definition, is the study of cause and effect interactions within the physical realm only. The sooner our culture acknowledges these limitations, the better. Exactly why human beings do what we do cannot be understood with electronic instruments, test tubes or rulers. This is not an attack science, but an insistence that there is another, spiritual, aspect to reality.
Our culture is committing the serious intellectual error called reductionism every time we insist on treating humans in solely scientific categories. We have souls and therefore are more than material entities. The current persistent neglect of this reality is inhibiting our receptivity, indeed our very access to, the insights on ultimate purpose, dignity, morality, sin and accountability, forgiveness and redemption that only God can provide. To these matters empirical analysis has nothing to say.
Doubtless, those who insist on naturalism will scoff at my letter. But I challenge such objections on the grounds that their position is logically absurd. Naturalism isn’t working, and it cannot, because it is fundamentally self-contradictory. “What is true for the goose is good for the sauce.” If it were true that humans are simply electro-chemical machines, then the same must be true for every single “person” who espouses that nonsense. Why, then, using their own words, should we believe them? For the sake of rationality we must open the door to the larger reality.
Gary Jensen, Pastor
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church