After writing this the main post earlier… I thought of more I wanted to say. I thought of rewriting the original post and turning it into a two-parter. Maybe I will eventually. For now, I decided to add some clarifications. For now, this post has little meaning without first reading the other post.
1. On metaphors. I used the term “trainwreck” following Beck’s usage. However, the metaphor is more commonly applied to something that is horribly messed up. But I guess I have the Mythbusters mentality that there is something beautiful and instructive in the chaos of collision and explosion. How does one deal with competing fields of study and how does one describe it metaphorically.
One way is “compartmentalization.” Act as if the two do not hold relevance to each other. This image is the least combustible (keeping the steel and flint in separate drawers).
Another thought is “dialectic.” The idea that a thesis and an antithesis morph into a synthesis. This is not a bad view. Still there is a sedateness to feel of this.
A stronger image is “creative tension.” This is a David Bosch expression. It emphasizes the stress of the interaction of two perspectives but without combat imagery.
I also like “strange attractors” from chaos theory. They emphasize the complex interaction of the two perspectives.
These are okay, but sometimes the interaction is better understood in terms of combat or collision. I chose train wreck because of the article by Beck. However, War or Particle Collider may better express the relationship. A crash/collision is destructive, but in the world of ideas, it is also potentially creative.
I think that it is the (metaphoric) violence is that it is necessary for paradigm shift. Systems tend to adapt or react to modest tension or interaction. It takes some kinetic energy to redirect a train of thought.
2. Some would look at the fact that I am treating theology and social sciences in an even-handed manner as problematic. Some would argue that they should be treated as different levels since one is from God and one is from Man.
But that is incorrect. Theology is man-made. It is the human construct that creatively links divine truth with the changeable human condition. Social sciences are also human constructs. These attempt to analyze creatively God’s design (also a divine truth of a different sort).
Since Theology and Social Sciences are both human constructs they can be treated as equals. Of course; the conflict of the two should not lead to rejection of God’s divine truth, just as the conflict should not lead to rejection of reality.
- A Missions “Trainwreck.” (munsonmissions.org)