1. Fundamentalists are the most 'scientific' of all believers. They need their facts strai

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1. Fundamentalists are the most "scientific" of all believers. They need their facts straight, and they all have to fit scripture, which is why they are so concerned about proving evolution wrong. There is nothing "mystical" about the Southern Baptist Church. They dropped such doctrines as transubstantiation and adoration of the saints long ago, because such beliefs were thought to be superstitious. But it is disturbing to such believers, who consider themselves to have such a firm grasp on the truth to be proven wrong, since they themselves are veterans at proving the irrationality of others' beliefs. Who were the most purely rational of all the Christian theologians ? Saint Augustine and Calvin. 2. Mystics do rely on the unknown - but they generally do it for their own reasons and urges. Since mystics reject man's ability to understand all the reality there is to know by way of their senses, they seek that knowledge through extrasensory means. This sort of thinking is impervious to scientific rebuttal - it takes a sort of arrogant "faith in science" to assert that man can "know" about all the things mystics are interested in knowing. But I think it is fair to say that it is not a desire to deny the scientists their due which impels mystics on this strange and often lonely path. 3. There are many shades in between fundamentalists and mystics. The Christian charismatics are into what they experience. For these people, mysticism and fundamentalism are combined. They seek experiences, somewhat analagous to the Greek "mysteries", not to seek some Gnostic truth hidden to man, but to reaffirm the theologically appropriate basis for their belief. You can spend lots and lots and lots of time trying to debunk their sense perceptions, but here again, such people are responding to deeper urges than trying to figure out why lightning strikes where it does. 4. Of interest are also people who call themselves "Reconstructionists" who, in effect, are reinterpreting traditional religion in such a way that God's presence is not necessary to spiritual life. This is a bit of novelty in Western culture, and I'm not at all sure that it is going to get anywhere. But here again, the activity of such people gives the lie to the statement that if science were successful it would sweep religion off the table. Not likely.


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