Lauren Green, chief religion correspondent for Fox News, stops by the studio to discuss her book, “Lighthouse Faith: God as a Living Reality in a World Immersed in Fog.” She and Father Dave talk about truth, science, and faith.
Father Dave points out that in her book, Lauren takes classical philosophical and theological premises and presents them in a modern way, like natural law. He asks her to explain the premise of hardware and software. “It’s just the idea that you have a natural self,” Green says. “And then you also have this idea that you have been programmed from the culture around you. You’re much more of a product of what has been done to you than a unique force of your own. One of the things that scientists know is that there is a plasticity to the brain. You can actually change the brain through experiences. This is documented stuff … we think our lives are determined, but they’re not. It all has to do with how you’ve been programmed from day one, this idea that what you read, surround yourself with, and your community shapes that. There is a hardwire to you, yes, that’s basically your skin color, eye color, but there are other things that are much more malleable, and that’s the software stuff that can be malleable. It all depends on how you’ve been raised.”
Green goes on to explain that we need God in order to be the best versions of ourselves. “If God has spoken, then what? Is it true or is it not true? And if it’s true then the Bible actually has to have weight and meaning and power. The first commandment has to mean something. There’s a formula. I call the 10 Commandments God’s barcode. It’s on everything, including us. So, when we violate our own barcode we’re in trouble.”
Father Dave points out a topic that stood out to him in the book: “People in a modern, secular society would reject natural law saying that there is no objective truth; everybody is their own thing. What you do nicely is say that these things go hand in hand. You can’t have a software program unless it’s running on hardware. And every hardware can run differently with different software. Both of those things go together.”
Green explains, “Case in point. The secular world and liberal mindset says that we’re inherently good. We’re born good and then society corrupts us. But the Judeo Christian concept is really much more realistic. It tells us that we are not inherently good. We have to be taught how to be good. We are inherently selfish, self-absorbed, and self-righteous. People have to be taught how to be generous and loving in a way that’s not narcissistic. You can be loving toward somebody, but it’s always about you. It’s about what I’m getting out of it.”
Father Dave asks Lauren if things seem less clear in our modern world. Green responds, “You said it perfectly, that people don’t believe there’s truth out there. And this goes counter to what Jesus said. When he’s with Pontius Pilate, Jesus says, ‘Those who are on the side of truth listen to me.’ And he also says in the Scriptures, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’ Here you have Jesus saying there is such a thing as truth, and if you don’t believe that, it’s fine, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. If truth is objective, it’s a revelation. You don’t create truth, you discover it. Two plus two equals four. It’s not because I like that it equals four, that’s a fact. That’s truth. I cannot change that whether I believe it or not. And that’s what I’m saying about the scriptures. If these scriptures are true, then something like, ‘I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me’ is a truth. And if you don’t believe it, that’s fine, but it will have consequences on your life. And if you do believe it, that’s great too, because that will have consequences on your life.” (Original Air 4-23-18)