Red vs. Blue. Alabama vs. Auburn. Ford vs. Chevy. Two rivals enter the arena. Only one rival will leave victorious.
Heated though these rivalries may be, they don't compare to the winner-take-all struggle for the soul of the West. Science vs. Religion dictates our debates and defines our times. The closely watched debate on the origins of life between Ken Ham and Bill Nye confirmed this adversarial narrative. As did a recent essay in the New Yorker, in which Adam Gopnik observed, "Surprisingly few people who have considered the alternatives—few among the caucus who consciously stand up, voting aye or nay—believe any longer in God." Writing in his widely influential book A Secular Age, the eminent philosopher Charles Taylor argues that Science is winning the argument against Religion not primarily on the facts so much as the intuition: would you rather be on the side of reason and progress or dogma and repression?
Has the argument always been shaped this way? Will it always be this way?
For these answers and more I turned to John D. Woodbridge, research professor of church history and the history of Christian thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Along with co-author Frank A. James III, he recently published Church History Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day. Among other topics in this 30-minute interview, we discussed the decline of Christianity in the West, challenges to biblical authority, and the damage of Darwinism. Stay tuned for the end of the interview when Woodbridge offers hope for Christians who feel under attack by philosophers and scientists.
You can stream the full interview below, download the mp3, or subscribe to TGC's podcast on iTunes or through your other mobile devices.
Collin Hansen serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. He is the author of of Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church, Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey With the New Calvinists, and co-author with John Woodbridge of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir. He earned an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an undergraduate degree in journalism and history from Northwestern University. He previously worked as an associate editor for Christianity Today magazine, co-edited Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism, and co-edits the Cultural Renewal series with Tim Keller. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School. You can follow him on Twitter.