“The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion. Not anything can be studied as a science, without our being in possession of the principles upon which it is founded; and as this is the case with Christian theology, it is therefore the study of nothing.”
–Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
Ouch! What a pain(e)! It's worth rememembering that theology was once described as the queen of the sciences. Mind you, the same honorific was also applied to astrology. In a varsity essay I wrote a couple of years back I quoted Richard Tarnas (The Passion of the Western Mind) who uses it with reference to astrology, only to get a snooty note back from the marker that I should have specified that I meant theology!
Anyway, may I say, as someone who has just completed a course of study in the queen of sciences (here I do mean theology) at a public university, and state with some passion, that I thoroughly...
Ack! Ggnnn! (sound of throttling)
[Normal service will be resumed shortly]