Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Living Spiritual Rhythms - December 23

I have recently written several things on Divine action and want to add these reflections. Here’s a wager. God “acts” into our lives in a variety of ways, notably through images, emotions, and thoughts from within the natural world, but this is not to say that God “intervenes” and rearranges nature according to our desires or assumptions.
DA comes to us from Top down (mind, consciousness) and Bottom up (organisms, quantum) causation. God influences outcomes, but does not necessarily and normatively break natural laws or denigrate human freedom. If this is the case, it often leaves us without direct evidence that this or that was indeed a God act, but there are nevertheless occasional glimpses that might, at least to some degree, be tested in order to indicate if this would be an appropriate hypothesis.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Reflection for the Week - December 21

Some say that Theology is all that matters for Christians, since there is a “metaphysical priority” in naming theological truths. Ok. Well, maybe a quibble or two about metaphysics, though not for now. But even if theology appeals to metaphysics, theology is not all that matters. I would wager that it is equally important to hold to a “physical priority” in naming scientific truths. To go down this path means that Priority will depend on what subject is being discussed. If we’re talking about loving our neighbor, then theology will have the priority, whereas if we’re talking about cells and molecules, science will have it. I’m suggesting that both matter; each priority has its own voice, which needs to be heard. Building off that, I’d then propose that a dialogue between them is essential for deeper understanding. That is, through dialogue we will discover that the metaphysical and the physical have some relation to, yet also some distinction from each other. Working out which is which will lead to an increasing credibility and open up possibilities for finding out more about what’s true.


LSR - Book 3

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Musings – December 18

To refuse to explore evolution and its implications for Genesis 1-3 and theology is like flushing credibility down the (church) toilet - WC. 

If you’d prefer to enhance credibility rather than flush it, read our new book From Evolution to Eden. Making Sense of Early Genesis.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thursday Thoughts - December 17

Recently, I read a piece on a ‘big’ issue, which was arguing against another opinion. The author of the piece claims to be a Christian who values life in all circumstances. Then there was a comment critique that went something like: it ‘doesn’t matter’ what this person (writer) values; all that’s really important is ‘what’s valuable in itself.’ This comment is a typical criticism of what is perceived as a subjective view, which supposedly makes ‘value’ person (in this case writer) relative. I accept the critique with a couple of caveats. I would wager there is also a problem with the comment since the commenter is apparently arguing for or claiming access to an entirely objective view of value. But, it seems to me, there is no ‘solely’ objective view available. If that’s the case, it means that what has value for the writer of the piece should be considered as important; it does matter, but it cannot stand alone. If value is simply value ‘for me’ then all values are equal and this would create problems. Value ‘in itself’ however, still has to be determined by exploring and then dialoging with other options, though the only way I know of to accomplish this is through oneself. Thus, when it comes to value and much else, there are two problems (subjectivity – value only ‘for me’ / objectivity – value only ‘in itself’), not just one. To counter these and guard against the tendency to polarize, I’d suggest a “subjective objectivity” where both have a role to play in discerning what is valuable.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Living Spiritual Rhythms – December 16
The supposed loss or partial loss of humans being “images of God” has had disastrous results for humanity, but especially for the weak, disabled, and impoverished, as well as for those with a skin color other than white, or for women. Approaches to God’s image have all too frequently been more connected to early church, Medieval, or Reformation ideas (of course the case for God too), than the biblical narrative. As far as I can tell from my contemporary standpoint, in that mega story, all humans were, are, and will continue to be “images of God.”


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Theology and Science
In the past, literal interpretations of the Genesis stories of creation and fall played a dominant role in determining the general contours of Christian belief. But such an interpretive orientation seems more tenuous than ever in light of our contemporary scientific knowledge. Where does that leave us today? Answering that question is one of the major reasons we wrote From Evolution to Eden. Check it out.