The problem of the relation of science to religion is still the greatest stumbling block for those who are earnestly seeking to believe that Christianity is true. Thus the story of my spiritual journey from liberalism to orthodoxy, which CHRISTIANITY TODAY has asked me to write, is the story of clearing the ground of the obstructions offered by science, so that I could with intellectual honesty believe the biblical religion I had loved from childhood.

My parents were earnest Christians and independent students of the Bible. My first childhood orthodox (i.e., supernatural) theology was pieced together bit by bit from routine Sunday school, and the hymns, Bible reading, and scattered remarks in sermons, in our plushy, liberal Congregational church. At seventeen I had read the Bible through of my own volition.

The real initiation into the currents of scientific humanism came in my undergraduate years at Smith College, 1922–1926. It did not worry me in the least to be told that no educated person believed either that God was an old man with a long white beard, or that there was a platform in the sky on which he lived. My picture of God, drawn from my Bible reading, was a picture of his character, and I was already conscious enough of the way my mind worked to recognize the shadowy outline of human form that sometimes accompanied my thought of God as part of the mind’s technique for thinking. And by the time I was sixteen I was already conscious “that the great distances are those we carry around within us.”

The awareness of genuine (i.e., non-metaphorical), non-spatial distance is nothing new in religion (Isa. 57:15; 2 Cor. 12:2–4). I find myself puzzled by the Bishop of Woolwich’s distress as to whether God can be thought of as ...

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