Notable Quotations – Explanatory Power

In an inversion of the ancient dictum, we might say: “As below, so above.” What we experience of space “out there” will reflect our inner spiritual state. Perhaps this is why, as glorious as the modern discoveries of the heavens are, they often leave us cold. This is not only because they’re mediated to us through images, or because we sense ourselves to be “of the earth.” It’s also because we children of modernity live in the shadow of the world’s disenchantment. The world is no longer “deep.” There is no inherent mystery in things. God’s absence from the world is echoed in the cosmos’s deafening silence. However wondrous the things we discover in space (which can awaken a reverent awe in even the most coldly scientific mind), they can never, in themselves, overcome this spiritual lack. For though we now have even more reasons for marveling at the cosmos than our ancestors, Peter Kreeft’s insightful observation remains true: People formerly looked upward and saw “the heavens”; today they simply call it “space.” Even the greatest exploratory adventures can never make up for this primary lack of spiritual vision.

—Brandon Tucker, “Creatures in the Cosmos”

I don’t normally comment on quotations, but this one is just too perfect, as is the entire article from which it comes. It is an especially good example of the concept of explanatory power. According to Google, explanatory power is “the ability of a hypothesis or theory to effectively explain the subject matter it pertains to.” In apologetics, it shows us how much more powerful and plausible the Christian worldview is compared to any of its competitors, and in this case the explanatory poverty of atheistic materialism. One of the keys to keeping our kids Christian is to consistently show them, to persuade and sell them on, the veracity and plausibility of the Christian Faith and worldview. As this article indicates, it’s rather easy to do.