Beyond and Within the Bubble

The BioLogos blog Science and the Sacred has a wonderful post today about the “bubble” that communities of faith create to try to “protect” believers from the influence of science, Biblical scholarship, and other sources of knowledge they fear could “damage” the faith of the faithful. But as hard as the bubble can be to break through if one is within it, it seems to be even harder to pass through moving in the other direction. The “bubble” may work fairly well as a prophylactic against inconvenient facts, but it is even more effective at keeping those who have ventured beyond the bubble from returning.

I wonder if this isn’t in a very real sense one of the intended purposes of the bubble, perhaps even its primary function. After all, information in books can easily be ignored in our day and age, especially by those who have been told they have to choose between the knowledge contained in those books and their faith. But when someone ventures forth, embraces the knowledge in question, and modifies but ultimately holds on to their faith, showing in the process that the dichotomy that had been posed was a false one, the “threat” posed by such individuals to the oversimplified and inaccurate belief system within the bubble is far greater.

Sacred Troubling Topics in Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur'an
Taste and See that Thorin is Good
How To Grow A Church
Doubt, Theology, and Mountain-Climbing
  • Josh

    "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift…and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance…" Hebrews 6:4-6I agree with what you note about the intended purpose of the bubble. Was the author of Hebrews was writing about a similar phenomena? If so, and clearly fundamentalists believe it to be, it could be a logical and biblical extension to view science that way as well.

  • Josh

    Ah, just read the linked post, not just about science. Thanks for posting that link, it looks like a very interesting article.

  • elbogz

    The Church, she felt, had lied to her. Having purposely distorted the real world, it had kept her enclosed in the bubble. Upon emergence, she looked back and saw the layers around it, not as a protective shield, but as impenetrable barriers which would forever prevent her re-entry. She would never go back. Ditto. As Carl Sagan once wrote:How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, "This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed"? Instead they say, "No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way." Carl Sagan.

  • Bill

    There's a lot to be said for protecting the sheep. On the other hand, you probably know where I stand on overbearing control. In most cases, that bubble is the Berlin Wall. IOW, I agree.Good, healthy boundaries should not be based on what views someone holds. Good, helpful boundaries do things like keep out people who aggressively tear down the simplicity of weaker souls b/c of their own struggle for validation.Last week, someone back home asked me not to let on to the old folks that many at SBL weren't necessarily christians. For me, there was no question about what facts to include – only how to express them with grace towards all parties concerned.It takes a lot of patience to pass through a bubble without popping it. Thanks for the post. :-)