The Canaanite genocide just became less of a problem for me. The conquest stories of the book of Joshua (in the Bible) have troubled me for a long time. But it’s recently occurred to me that the problem really lies somewhere else — much deeper in the fabric of nature. If we take evolution seriously (and I do), we have to acknowledge the troubling fact that Death is the engine that runs Life. It has been like this for 3 billion years. I have no intention of going back to being a creationist who believes that death resulted from “the Fall.” That idea is behind me. I trust the data, and the data says that the God I believe in has created a world of Life fueled by Death, and I’m really not sure how to deal with that. That’s where my thinking process now has to start.
We sin against our scriptures when we use them to serve our fear of learning. This is the lesson I wanted my kids to learn from last night’s family Lent discipline — watching COSMOS. For Lent, we are giving up smallness of vision. As a family, we are facing the delightful terror of discovery.
I am a science geek, and I love the Bible. If you have a geeky spirituality that involves a set of sacred texts (Bible, Quran, Torah, Sutras, Vedas, or whatever), you know how hard this can be. We’ve all been taught that Science and Religion are mortal enemies, and anyone who embraces both is just confused. How to manage this? I’ve been wrestling with this issue since like the 5th grade, and here’s what I’ve learned to keep in mind: 1. In Theology, I am studying God, not the texts that talk about God. Now and then, people run into...
This is a talk I gave at The Journey Church in Westminster, Colorado. If you can’t get the embedded player above to work, here is the file.
“For many people the fundamental way we see things is that we are these individual autonomous units. But when quantum physicists start talking about how things are affected when they’re observed, that just puts us all much more into a relational space. So there is the power of the scientists in the lab and a white coat with a clipboard standing objectively over something, and there is a time and a place for that and we have lots of luxuries and conveniences because of this sort of understanding of things. But, at its core, the universe is far more inter-subjective; we are way more involved than we first realized. So, when people of faith have been talking about the relational dimensions of our existence and the importance of relationships and the awareness that things are shaping us and we are shaping other things, this isn’t a crazy idea—this is actually really well founded. So, when people talk about “good vibes” and being positive and other people being a “drain” and being toxic, we have this sort of loose language about the way we operate in the world, but there’s actually a lot of truth to it.”