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.