Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Queen of sciences

The alarm goes off at 8:00 a.m. At 8:04 a.m. a knocking penetrates through my room. "Mmyeah," I garble through my still asleep mouth. "Oh I'm so sorry to wake you. My roommate locked me out of my room." Ah, this is my life as an RA. But a good thing, as I inadvertantly turned off the alarm rather than hitting the snooze.

I began training for my new job today with Information Technologies. But more importantly, today was the first day of classes on campus. My only class on Tuesdays will be Basic Christian Theology, a study in systematic theology reading through Thomas C. Oden's trilogy. And it doesn't meet until 6:15 p.m.

There were about 60 people in a room made to fit 50. The air conditioning does not work in the building. The windows were thrown wide open. By dusk the crickets were in full concert, competing with the lecture. "Seventy percent of the world's Christians are without air conditioning, so get over it," so says the professor.

Dr. Seamands displayed this picture of a stained glass at Drew University. It represents Theology as the "Queen of the Sciences." It is a principle that was held from the medieval period up to the Enlightenment. In the center is Theology personified. Below her is Humility (Psalm 25:9 - "He guides the humble in what is right") leading the Believer.

Above theology are the three moral virtues: Faith, Hope and Love. To her left and right are Philosophy and Science. The implication is that Theology leads to the life of virtue and that Theology rules over the academic life.

It all coincides nicely with some Karl Barth I was reading last night. Barth lived in an era that insisted Theology was one among equals in the pantheon of Sciences. But Barth insisted that Theology was the lens through which all other sciences could be judged rightly. As he puts it, "It is not a matter of arguing that the Bible is the finest book, but that it is the standard of all fine books."

Fides quaerens intellectum.

posted by Peter at 11:58 PM
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