My friend, The Philosobiker, seems confused by the way some of my friends and I talk about faith and reason. Specifically he was confused by
"there is nowhere to go spiritually in our culture once the rational mind awakens”
- this is not referring to an inherent quality of religion - it is referring to the way we practice religion in Western culture. Some religious groups are trying to do something about this (Methodists, Episcopalians, Unitarian, Unity) but they remain controversial. What is a Southern Baptist (as I was) to do when we become proficient at rationality and are brave enough to apply it to real parts of our lives, not just classroom abstractions? The choices, apparently, are to abandon rationality in some domains of your life, or to abandon your religious beliefs. This is the steel ceiling. It is exceedingly difficult to embrace rational religious beliefs. We polarize religion and rationality so that the gulf is only bridgeable by changing sides. What Daniel and I are interested in doing is building a broad bridge by which these two opposing nationalities can intermingle and perhaps make peace.
So there are at least two big parts of this:
1) Open religion up to rationality
2) Open rationality up to religion.
This discussion gets confusing because there are two conditions involved - the way that reason and faith are currently perceived by many, and what may be other possible ways to deal with reason and faith. So I may say "reason and faith are not incompatible" meaning there is no reason we can't build this bridge. And I may also say, "there is a steel ceiling on religion that won't allow the faithful to develop into reason." meaning that many of the "reasonable" and the "faithful" have adopted this antagonistic stance and are preventing the successful integration of the two.