Saturday, May 24, 2008
Scientific progress can only logically be advanced within a worldview that allows for the universe to be separate from the Divine.
Some take this to the other extreme, and hold to a materialistic worldview. Materialism removes purpose and value to life, leaving us with a meaningless existence that is driven only to the self-indulgence of the here and now.
But if we live in a world where there IS a God, but that God is separate from the Earth and the universe, we can live a life that has purpose and meaning AND logically be able to examine the world in such a way as to develop a scientific understanding that can make the world a better place.
I say CAN make a better place because obviously a gun is a technological advancement that can be used for both good or evil, depending upon the purpose of the bearer. Human nature is thus a factor. Once again, Christianity is the only worldview that keeps the pendulum in balance, giving us the impetus to distinguish between good and evil, so as to use the guns for the right purpose of defending life itself.
Even anti-gun pacifists will call men and women bearing guns (Police) to a crime scene.
Christianity balances the pendulum, giving us a reason to develop technology, a motivation to use it for good, and a purpose that declares the value of life over things.
The technology that creates the platform for this very blog testifies to the fact that we live in a world that rewards empirical science.
Sure, technology can be abused and misused, but there is no denying the fact that technology has for the most part, made life better.
Just as miracles authenticate God's word, technology authenticates empirical science.
Empirical science puts the earth under a microscope, dissects it, experiments with it, and makes discoveries that produce computers, and all the tech gadgets that has come to define 21st century life, automobiles, air planes, more efficient ways to farm land, the printing press, etc....
When the Europeans first discovered the Americas, the natives were still living very primitively. I don't believe that the Native Americans were less intelligent or less evolved as some would believe but never dare say (rightfully so to their shame). I believe they were stifled by their worldview.
Native Americans, believe in pantheism, which is the idea that everything is divine. In such a world, there is no separation between Creator and creation because the earth itself is part of God.
In such a world, it would be irreverent to put anything under a microscope, perform experiments or to otherwise study the known world. THIS is why the Natives were so primitive.
So if the Earth is our mother, then why does nature itself seem to reward us for putting her under a microscope?
Does this reward not scream a truth that there is a distinction between the Creator and His creation?
The question of the existence of alien life fascinates me as a Christian. Many people that I know have a perspective of, "We can't be alone in the universe. There must be other life out there." If their evolutionary presuppositions are true than the massive size of the universe itself increases the odds of the existence of alien life forms.
Proponents of the existence of aliens sometimes even go so far as to claim that to believe that human life is the only created or evolved life in the universe is egocentric.
Perhaps there is alien life. If aliens were discovered tomorrow, it wouldn't blow away my Christian faith. What Christianity describes as Spiritual powers, in the forms of Angelic hosts and demons, could very well be called alien life forms in today's vernacular. Christianity does describe these beings as having a mystical power that would incline me to believe that these life forms would not use or need superior technology in the forms of flying saucers and the like to travel through space and time. Even so, Arthur C. Clarke once said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" so perhaps what Christianity paints as spiritual power IS technological.
But leaving this position aside, what if there is no alien life in space? What if the Spiritual powers that Christianity describes are ghost-like life forms that can't be observed physically? What if they are metaphysical and don't need a habitat on some distant galaxy far far away...?
Here's where I state an alternative belief that is probably not unique, but I've never heard it expressed anywhere before. If human life is the only created life in the grand universe, wouldn't the vastness of the cosmos only magnify the uniqueness of human life? You can call this megalomania, but only if you fail to examine the nuances of this thought at a deeper level.
This specialness would be endowed by our Creator. It would be God ascribing a fantastic worth to human life. Wouldn't this be consistent with God giving His only son for humanity?
Fred Smith from http://www.breakfastwithfred.com/ once said that the difference between humility and pride is that humility thinks its gifts come from itself and pride understands its gifts to come from God.
This endowment would be given by God as the universe's existence clearly has not come about by anything mankind has done.
Consider the idea that in such a world, we could carry this a step further. The universe, with all of its vast galaxies and countless stars, in its beautiful splendor would be overkill if it were created ONLY for human life. Really all we'd need for human life's sustainment on the earth is a simple closed solar system (with the Sun, the earth and the moon).
So what if the rest has been created for God?
A rich man builds a mansion on the coasts of a beach, when all he might really need is a 3 bedroom, 1 and half bath ranch with a 2 car garage.
You may look at the mansion and think that it's too big for only one person, there must be a whole host of people living there. What if the universe is God's mansion?
Is it not possible that the real reason we search for alien life is because we long to confirm that we're not alone in the universe in our quest for relationship and are looking for a savior to save us from ourselves?
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
This is a collection of Aphorisms that that I have written:
Strengths and Weaknesses
"Capitalize on your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses."
"Every weakness is a strength out of context."
"Ambiguity breeds depth."
"Faith without works is hypocrisy, works without faith is legalism."
"Faith is the belief that meaning has been imposed upon our lives. Faithlessness is our attempt to make up our own meaning."
"Faith is God's litmus test of our desire."
"Cynicism is innuendo's 'siren song'. Faith is innuendo's 'Hallelujah Chorus.'"
"I've lost faith... in coincidence."
"At the heart of Christianity, stands the crucifixion of the divine purpose maker. At the heart of secularism, stands the crucifixion of purpose itself."
"If the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, then the love of God is the completion of it."
"Wisdom is a predictor. Foolishness is predictable."
"Wisdom is prophetic. Foolishness is pathetic."
"Wisdom provides the right answers by asking the right questions."
"The limitations of wisdom are manifest in surprise."
"Wisdom cannot escape doubt. Foolishness cannot escape certainty."
"Foolishness is incompetence unrecognized."
"Humility and wisdom can only coexist if wisdom always doubts itself at least 5%."
"The difference between a lie and a deception is that deception is based upon truth."
"Before we can know the world, we must know ourselves."
"I assess criticism for the same reason that I welcome it; to err is human."
"Reason necessitates its own limitations. Faith compensates for them."
"Although we can never have comprehensive knowledge, we can have a comprehensive worldview."
"Start with the right questions and the right answers will work themselves out."
"Science has replaced our narrative with proposition and our faith with technology."
"Life is like a sailboat where the heart is the sail and only a story can move it."
"A church that renders the world irrelevant becomes irrelevant."
"Theory is spread through information. Creativity is spread through inspiration."
"Some people see the glass as half empty, others as half full. I see the glass and ask for a refill."
"Brevity is the soul of wit, levity is the soul of nit."
"Life... what a fantasic idea!"
"Continue to ask "Why?" until you are forced to ask "Who?"."
"Just as miracles authenticate the speaker, technology authenticates the science."
"Moderation in belief, often leads to extremism in action."
"Two wrongs might not make a right, but three lefts do."
"War is not a battle of men, but of ideas. The peaceniks attempt to wage peace with the idea that they can rid the world of ideas. After all, a world without ideas is not worth fighting for. The problem is that such a world is also not worth living for."
"We often know what we are supposed to do, but fail to be motivated to do what we know."
"The road to the presence of God is paved by thanksgiving."
“Humility is the ability to stare weakness in the eye.”
"Life is not about what you have, it's about what you DO with what you have."
"Never end your theology with a proposition."
"In a changing world, we preserve something's essence by changing its form."
""Sometimes God's grace speaks loudest via silence."
I'm always adding more, so if you liked these, keep checking back at www.gregjonesmusic.com/aphorisms.htm
Monday, May 5, 2008
Chuck Colson, in a commentary entitled "Why We Whisper", states that there are economic costs associated with immoral behavior that are not being quantified and presented in public discourse:
I couldn't agree more. And with the current economic downturn we face, this line of argumentation seems to resonate louder. Colson concludes the article by suggesting that since the non-believer doesn't respond to arguments derived explicitly from the Bible, believers should present their case in economic terms in the spirit of promoting the general welfare.
Secularists can rest easy from my comments. I do NOT believe that Governments should impose religious morality upon a nation. But I do believe that the call to moral purity is impaired even if it is presented only in practical, economic terms. While such terms may forge a path for this discourse to be presented within the context of politics and legislative halls, doing the right thing simply because it will help our nation's fiscal policy is hardly an incentive.
Life is like a sailboat, where the heart is a sail and only a story can move it.
It takes passion, motivated by the purpose and meaning that comes from living out a life that is a narrative, to really motivate us to do the right thing.
Which is easier to do? Is it easy to pay the ultimate price in giving your life as a sacrifice because religion or a Government says its the right thing to do, or because you have a love and a story that is greater than yourself?
We can only do the impossible, in the shadows and such shadows can only be cast by one who is larger than us.
Are you living only for yourself or have you found someone who is bigger?