My new husband and I had dinner with a couple he had not seen since high school. It was good catching up, but we didn't do much talking about "old times," as it turned out. The man asked me what I "do," and when I told him about the Christian magazine he said, "Do you find that the Church is not a safe place to disagree?"
I could see by his intonation that the questioner already had his answer: The Church was not, in his experience, a safe place for disagreement. I happened to have some personal sympathy with that, but was soon surprised to learn that the view he was feeling ostracized over was gay rights. The man is an elder in his church and is chagrinned at the slowness of others in the fold to embrace homosexuality.
It was our dinner companion's reasoning that intrigued me. He said to us, thinking he was sounding orthodox, "I start with the Bible but I don't end there." He said this three times in the course of dinner, so that I could tell that it pleased him to say it, and that it is one of his stock sayings. He kept saying, "Science has proved. …" And "We know from science that. …"
He was an intelligent man, and so I marveled at such an unquestioning admiration for the veracity and monolithic agreement of "Science," as if Science had never contradicted itself or been infected with bias. (When I was born in 1951, pills were routinely distributed in maternity wards to dry up your mammary glands and all that nutritious colostrum, and you were handed a bottle of Carnation evaporated milk and Karo syrup. So much for infallible "Science.")
Satan is not unaware of the powerful seduction of Science and of all things modern:
"But the best of all is to let him read no science but to give him a grand general idea that he knows it all and that everything he happens to have picked up in casual talk and reading is 'the results of modern investigation'" (C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters).
And I was left pondering to myself: If you say, "I start with the Bible but I don't end there," why would you bother even starting with the Bible?