It feels somewhat obligatory, but I don’t want some of my friends or others for that matter to think science – as determined by scientific theory and most scientists – is not a good endeavor. Science is even a holy pursuit. I actually believe God’s Spirit is in the midst of all that we can know empirically. I believe that everything physical is inherently spiritual. I also believe that there’s something “behind” what we see, something more that we can know. What you see is what you get basically and yet we continue to know more about creation. I believe, essentially, in Intelligent Design.
If you didn’t know, there was a “televised” event with Ken Ham of a Creationist Museum and organization and Bill Nye, who you might remember from PBS as the “Science Guy”. There are others better at explaining and discussing the issues raised and those which were not addressed and most certainly could have been. But here goes:
A very small minority of Christians believe in a “new earth,” one that literally believes, because of a particular interpretation of an ancient Hebrew and Christian biblical text – Genesis – that the world began 6,000 years ago, as if these scriptures were a calculator or math book. So I need to say one can very easily, and I would say, more accurately say, because of taking this ancient text seriously, believe that the 6 days of creation, for instance, mean periods of time or that they can be taken metaphorically. Much of the Hebrew Scriptures are beautiful narrative and poetic works. And spiritual ones at that.
Also, Mr. Ham’s assertion that for one to be saved by Jesus Christ and “forgiven of sins” one has to believe that the ancient Hebrew scripture of Genesis is a literal, scientific account of creation is untrue. God is bigger and greater than this in my estimation.
So, hear it from me since you didn’t hear it during the debate last night:
God Isn’t Against Science
(Photo by Adele Sakler)
Last Thursday Doug Pagitt and I hosted an event called Spirituality Pub: Faith & Emergence.
Well, he did most of the talking during the presentation part. But I did open up the event (among other things organize and take care of location logistics) and a couple wonderful parts of the evening came from a couple other folks, including those who stayed for the “conversation” piece during the 2nd half. Michael Toy read a couple poignant original poems and Adele Sakler shared some of her struggles with Christianity and yet why she still hangs around progressive Christians.
Doug spent most of his talk discussing faith and spirituality from “the ground up” and as something pulling us together, regardless of how one labels it. For a Christian, one would call it the Holy Spirit at work or God being greater and yet also smaller as the undeniable fabric we all live in, from atoms in our bodies to the atoms in the stars and a pulse transmitted through high tech scientific devices around the world.
What also is coming to the surface in the West, even among people of other religions or spiritual claims, is a humility and community of care for one another, of engaging someone on their terms, by drawing them in to
relationship and even perhaps one’s understanding of God as opposed to being forced to relationship and one way of thinking, believing, behaving or even being.
I had a wonderful evening connecting with people from all over Northern California interested in a friendly and yet throughly rich approach to being people of Spirit. We at The WordHouse are already thinking of hosting similar events in the future on faith and its intersection with societal concerns. Maybe Doug will be running another 50 miler soon in Nor Cal and will need another necessary distraction?
This may/might/most-likely-will be a blog I use as a writing tablet: I seek to understand Jesus, community, and faith – and maybe this journal will help.