Saturday Quote: Augustine’s Advice on Engaging with Science


“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens… and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn … If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason.”[1]

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[1] Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis, vol. 1 (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1982), chap. 19, v.39, p. 42.

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