Scientism is the mask of atheism that states that no knowledge is possible that is not scientifically verified. In. my new book Beheading Hydra I point out that this is a mask of atheism because it follows logically from materialism–the belief that there is no reality other than this physical material world. There is no heaven, no hell, no angels or demons and no transcendental, immaterial reality. This is a mask of atheism because most materialists will not profess explicit atheism, but of course, if you do not believe in an immaterial, spiritual reality you must also deny the existence of the ultimate spiritual reality: God.
Scientism is an outgrowth of materialism, and I contend that it is one of the noxious results of the Protestant revolution. Here’s why: Before the Protestant revolution the church lived with a vibrant sacramental vision. By “sacramental vision” I mean the general perception that there was a link between the physical and spiritual realms. Having the sacramental vision meant one not only believed in the spiritual realm, but also believed (by virtue of Our Lord’s Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection and Ascension) that there was a real link between the two realms, and that the invisible was accessed by the physical–that the immaterial came through the material–that grace was imparted through the physical realm.
At the Protestant Revolution that sacramental vision was jettisoned. The supernatural quality of the sacraments were denied. They were only symbolic, or at best grace was transmitted through them only by virtue of the recipient’s personal faith (the Anglican theory of receptionism) When this break in the sacramental vision took place it was only a matter of time before science (and subsequently scientism) would be in the ascendent. When the sacramental vision was abandoned there was no longer a link between the material and immaterial realms. The ladder to heaven was broken. The door to eternity was closed. The gate back to Eden was once again barred.
It is no wonder that so many Americans believe “science has disproved religion.” This is the result of scientism infesting our culture.
For a further discussion of this and fifteen other “ism’s” that poison our contemporary world and their antidote, pick up my new book Beheading Hydra – A Radical Plan for Christians in an Atheistic Age.