I have to say that I have felt a bit isolated in the last year—not just because of physical isolation due to COVID restrictions, but also when it comes to thinking about appropriate Christian responses to our global situation.
So it has been encouraging to have discovered the invigorating work of the Rev’d Dr Jamie Franklin and his colleagues on the Irreverend podcast. As I have been updating and sharing some work that I substantially wrote back in October and November of 2020, I have found a great deal of overlap with Franklin’s work—though he writes more theologically and movingly than I ever could. As part of my series on COVID and lockdowns in the church (read more and subscribe here), I’ll be sharing excerpts of his work and other helpful resources as I find them.
It is my pleasure to commend to you Dr Franklin’s recent piece, “Metaphysics, Medicine and Modern Science: Why the Christian Response to COVID-19 Must Change.” Careful readers will note points of agreement between this essay and my recent installments (here and here). Here is an excerpt:
It is very important to note therefore that modern scientific methodology (or “science” as we call it) is limited to temporal (and not eternal) considerations which have to do with increasing human utility and power through the mechanical arts (Francis Bacon) and making us “masters and possessors of nature” (Descartes). Healthcare and medicine is also a part of this: making the body healthy, curing disease, delaying physical death and so on.
What is my problem with this? Nothing, as far as it goes. But when, in the words of David Bentley Hart, the scientific methodology mutates into a metaphysics, and from there into a comprehensive view of reality encompassing moral and religious considerations, there is a very serious problem indeed.
To read more in my series “Pandemic, Church, Society, and the Gospel: A Pastoral Response,” click here.