One Last Time

I had a brief Facebook brush-up recently over blind tribal loyalty then discussing theological issues. I backed off. Discussion becomes impossible when one side holds its viewpoint to be absolute truth.

You can’t do theology apart from history, as the story of two early scholars points out: Galileo (1654-1642 and Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543.

In 1633, Pope Urban VIII summoned Galileo to Rome to face heresy charges. He had been arguing with the Church about its teaching that the Earth was the center of the universe, the sun, moon, and stars all revolving around it. The Church quoted Aristotle and Ptolemy as well as the Bible to make its point, declaring any other view to be heretical, implying that Earth did not hold a central place in God’s creation.

Galileo had studied Copernicus theory that Planet Earth was not even the center of the solar system, let alone the whole universe. Galileo wrote a book, “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems,” which led him to the Inquisitors. Found guilty of heresy, he was ordered to recant. Galileo chose to save his skin. He wrote: “Therefore, desiring to remove from the minds of your Eminences, and of all faithful Christians, this vehement suspicion, justly conceived against me, with sincere heart and unfeigned faith I abjure, curse, and detest the aforesaid errors and heresies, and generally every other error, heresy, and sect whatsoever contrary to the said Holy Church, and I swear that in the future I will never again say or assert, verbally or in writing, anything that might furnish occasion for a similar suspicion regarding me.”

Galileo spent the rest of his life under house arrest in his villa in Arcetri near Florence. His book was placed on the Church’s Index of Forbidden Books, where it remained until 1835. It took the Church 350 years to publically dismiss Galileo’s heresy charge.

Fit that into your thinking where you will. I’ll stay out of the battle, but I’m grateful I see not the slightest conflict between true faith and true science.

Old Grandpa Lloyd