The Interpretation of the Universe Throughout History Using Science and Theology
Anthony Ambrosius Aurelius
“Before British Author Clive Staples Lewis, more commonly referred to as “C.S. Lewis” published the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he wrote a collection of essays which he entitled “God in the Dock”. Lewis questioned his faith which has been fundamental to Christianity since its inception.
The Old Testament is fraught with doubt of Jesus Christ and God but in these stories, those who doubt tend to experience God’s wrath (e.g. story of Adam and Eve and their punishment for doubting God’s instruction not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge).
In western Christianity, doubt has chipped away at the fabric of the Christian faith, for both Catholics and Protestants, at times almost undermining and collapsing the faiths foundation. This skepticism can be traced back to the period referred to as the “Enlightenment”, an era when Western Europeans started questioning the power and authority of monarchs, clergy, and perhaps most devastating to Christianity, the power of God.
Conventional belief states that this era began with French philosophes (pronounced “fee-low- soffs”) in the salons of 18th century Paris, France. Contrary to widespread belief however, this agnosticism was actually present in Amsterdam, Netherlands 100 years prior.
During the 17th century, Amsterdam provided economic and social tolerance, unparalleled in Europe, a marketplace for both trades and ideas, where those fleeing religious and political persecution could take refuge.
Baruch Spinoza belonged to a well established refugee community in Amsterdam, Sephardic Jews who had been expelled from Spain and Portugal after the fall of the Islamic controlled city of Grenada, Spain in 1492. Spinoza did not believe in God as a supernatural, divine being, the immortality of the soul, or within the existence of miracles. Spinoza believed that God and nature were one and the same.”