Saturday, November 22, 2008

To make an edifice alive

I feel like I should say something to you about the things you should believe
but my words would all be floating bricks with nothing underneath
always falling down in piles and I cannot build you up
left with a heap of lettered blocks that say all I've not been living
and I know I know deep down I don't have what I'd be giving
I've would be writing verbal checks with the debts up to my neck
He would be formed, revealed in me
but we're industrial now, and birth's slow going
would I chop up a tree that's growing
and call the branches fruit?
then why would I preach all the things I've never been
and why would I hold to your eyes all the things I've never seen?
I need the fountain found again
that pours foundations made of life
let him be all he is in me
and let him cut me like a knife
remove the things that shouldn't be
and cause the good to grow
til I'm again a living tree
who lives the good he knows

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I watched "Expelled" some time last week by myself at the School, and then ordered it on Netflix so that Brandy & I could watch it together. When it arrived, I remembered that for the past two or three weeks, our computer hasn't been reading DVDs. But in the spirit of persistance I put it in anyway, and the laptop spit it out, and I put it in again, and again it was regurgitated, and another ten or more times, then I went into the bedroom to the other computer and tried it in that one, and to my surprise that one wouldn't take it either! SO I washed it off and cleaned it, and tried a handful of other times, then handed it off to Brandy and left the room to let off some steam. I asked God what was up with this-especially as it's something I figured he'd approve of us watching, and then he birthed the realisation in me that I hadn't really consulted him at all so far-I'd been trusting in the law of averages. So I went outside where Brandy had put it in the laptop for the fifth time or so since I'd left, and grabbed her hand and said we should pray. So I prayed and asked God to make it work, seeing as this is probably the first really edifying thing we've watched in a while, and asked him to make sure it was an edifying watch. As we said our "Amen", the DVD 'took' and the menu screen came up. After a short and heartfelt prayer of thanks, we watched the movie (which, by the way, was excellent). Then we had a good long conversation springboarded off of the topics touched on in "Expelled", and I decided that this was the first time in a while I'd prayed for something supernatural with the expectation that it would happen. Brandy objected that she does and has fairly recently prayed in such a way, and I said that I do too, if it counts prayers for the universe to be rearranged to avoid inconveniencing us (for our car to run, for us to get more money, for our health to be good) But when was the last time we'd prayed for God to work a miracle that would be to His Glory for the purposes of His will being obeyed and accomplished?

As a result of that conversation I've realised that prayers for cars to start and money to appear can be pure superstition, on the level with rubbing a lucky rabbit's foot, as opposed to prayers which seek the will of God to be supernaturally worked out with our cooperation. One starts from the nature of Christ - For God's will and Glory, and the other starts from our desire to be comfortable - loving our life here in the world. I definitely think that God's will and glory can result in our comfort, but I don't think that the comfort should come first, and I think I've been relegating the power of God to disaster relief lately.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

This is upside-down, you'll have to read it last message first for it to make any sense, but It's a conversation I had with an intelligent guy in the Youth grp. @ church.

No, I don't think anyone is completely un-biased, not even us; but I think it's possible for someone to be biased towards the Truth (but the problem is, a man would have to either discover the truth first in order to be biased towards it-an impossibility-or, if Truth happened to be a Person, then Truth would have to reveal it/Himself to that man...Sound familiar?) An easier way to talk about it would be to say that it's impossible as a human to be completely objective. We're all subjective because we've all got a point of view, we're each limited to OUR five senses, OUR reasoning. In order to have full objective knowledge of ANYTHING, you'd have to have full objective knowledge of EVERYTHING (since everything is interrelated) i.e., Omniscience. And no one has any hope of that kind of knowledge unless they happened to be an infinite, eternal, transcendent Being (again, does that sound familiar?)As Madeleine L'Engle said: "you have a point of view, I have a point of view, but God has VIEW"I do believe that the scientific method (hypothesis, repeated empirical testing, observation, theory) is a pretty reliable method for discovering things about the observable universe - but a lot of things called science aren't strictly "science", they're heavy on storytelling and light on scientific method (disciplines like evolution, psychology, sociology, history etc...). As long as we consciously discern the difference between what has really been observed and what is story-being-sold-as-truth we're pretty safe, but even then it's still not an infallible method because it relies on fallible subjective human observation.As to the reason WHY it's generally reliable? Materialists don't have an answer, all they can do is point to technology or chemistry (the "hard" sciences) as their poster children and say, "see? it works!" But WHY it works, how the scientist knows that he knows what he knows? - they don't have an answer. But as a Christian I do. A reasonable God created a reasonable universe that operates on reasonable principles, and he created us in his image with the faculties of reason and perception (not total, but sufficient and real) so that we can really discover things about the creation we're a part of. Which is why it's widely recognized that the Christian philosophical position was historically a midwife of sorts to science, because the original scientists all believed that they lived in a real, reasonable universe created by a reasonable God and could therefore be tested and observed.
Materialistic "Science" lacks humility (humility=choosing to "know thyself") and so it falls. Of course, We as Christians can get ugly and ridiculous too if we aren't scripturally humble, if we don't recognize our ignorance and limitations and give our answers with the "Gentleness and respect" we're commanded to.It's been really enjoyable to have the chance to talk with you about these questions, I'm just glad that someone else is asking them! These are important questions for me too and I've spent a lot of time thinking praying and reading about these things - I appreciate that you're taking the time to talk/type with me too.
Peace in Jesus,

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: T.Date: Nov 6, 2008 5:47 PMAlright, so what i am getting out of this, is what i have been thinking about over the past couple of days. Bais is all over the place. When they (evolutionist) find evidence or do experiments, they already really know what they are looking for, so they just make it fit. just like you said, they ask, "how it fits in the tree" not, "is there even a tree" (evolutionary tree). So my big question is, is science even creditable as it is, because everyone has a bias toward something. For example, if me and you were to conduct the same experiments or find the same things that the evolutionist do, then we would come to two completely diffrent conclusions. Is it possible to not be bias? Thanks for talking this out with me. It has really made me think. Also, you have given me the most logically answer i have heard. I appreciate you talking to me.

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From: JudahDate: Nov 6, 2008 1:33 AM
Hmmm, lets try this again, except it'll only be about half as long 'cause I'm annoyed that Myspace erased the 1st draft.But basically, yes, I think that the story of evolution doesn't account for what we, as human beings, have experienced about ourselves for all of recorded history-or what we experience about ourselves in the present as individuals.The word "worldview" is getting thrown around a lot lately, some people call it "metanarrative", "grand narrative", or "controlling story" - but that's really what it all comes down to when we talk about interpreting evidence. The dominant grand narrative of our day (at least in academic circles) is reductionist materialistic Darwinism. So whenever some paleontologist digs up an australopithecine skull, the first question he asks is "where does this fit in the evolutionary tree?" He never stops to question the existence of the tree in the first place because it's the establishment story. Same with any discovery of a biological function, their first question is "how does this fit into the evolutionary process?" - Either way they by reflex are finding something that exists (a skull, a genetic mutation,) and presuming that it must fit somewhere within the story, it's just a matter of where (ever heard of "the scientific community"? it really is a community). But none of them seem to be able to live consistently with their presuppositions (the things they take to be basic facts-that they are fundamentally meat machines, complex accretions of chemicals and chemical reactions) What they spend their lives researching they deny every day- when they choose and ponder, feel the pangs of conscience or love.
Our story (the Scriptures) I believe is much more comprehensive, and accounts for the observed facts a lot better than materialistic neodarwinism. All that being said, I don't think evolutionists are stupid, and I don't think the story of evolution is entirely unconvincing - but taken to it's logical conclusions it's insufficient.
Microevolution... I guess it depends on what you mean by "evolution", and "species". It's undeniable that the mechanisms claimed as "mechanisms of evolution" exist -mutation and natural selection happen, there's gene flow and genetic drift; but I just don't see them doing what Neodarwinism says they've done. I'll take the example of microevolution that's given in the textbook I'm reading: Sickle cell anemia. Yeah, sure, there's mutation taking place, and natural selection, but that, like all the other examples of "microevolution" I've read about is a corruption or loss of information that's already present and selection for or against that-no new information being created. They don't seem to have any convincing examples of the kind of evolution it would take to account for the degree of change they're trying to account for (the biological diversity we see today). So you have guys like Stephen Jay Gould talking about punctuated equilibrium to try and explain how it could happen, rapid evolution in isolated populations (something no one has, of course, observed) to try and tweak the story to fit the facts. But it just doesn't seem to fit.
There ARE things that don't seem to fit in either story though, like how we haven't yet found human remains in the lower strata (I'd like to know why). I think that we (as christians) could do a lot better at fitting observed facts into our story if we had anything near the funding or governmental support or academic community that the establishment does...but we don't. Ultimately though, if we've determined our story fits the facts, then that means there really IS a God who is there, in your room and mine, and we can know Him here and now through Jesus. That's really the final test of its reality.
Peace in Jesus,

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: T.
Date: Nov 4, 2008 1:51 PM
i can see exactly where your coming from. so in the big picture, they are trying to reduce us into something that we can't be, if we just look at the physical aspects then maybe, but if we borden our view and see that we are smart and have a spirt, mind and can think of our selves in the third person, evolution is impossible? so wait... do you think evolution is true in micro, like just in a speices?

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From: JudahDate: Nov 3, 2008 4:57 AM
I agree with your main point. That's one of the reasons I've been buying and reading college textbooks lately, I want to know firsthand what the professors of Anthropology/Biology (who hold to neodarwinism) have to say about their position. I think the difference between your analogy and the C/E issue doesn't touch one important point: in your story the doctor's diagnosis would be testable in the present, (it's not an attempt to say how things got the way they are today, like evolutionary theory) so it's something everyone would be able to observe for themselves in the present. If in the present I DID see natural selection and mutation (both of which ARE testable in the present, and which I believe take place) acting the way that most evolutionary theorists say they did, I would have a lot harder of a time hanging on to the biblical account of things. But to be honest I don't see that happening.
On the chimp note: DNA codes for physical characteristics. It makes sense that if two organisms are physically similar, they'll be genetically similar. Physically, It's pretty plain that we do have a lot of similarities with the great apes-but I don't think that our physical bodies are all that we are, do you? Even in the genesis account it seems to say that we're physically made out of the same stuff, "out of the ground" - physically we're on the same playing field as the animals (you might want to check out Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 on that too). That is why I think modern anthropologists have such a hard time trying to figure out what-if anything-fundamentally separates humans from animals, because they reduce life to its physical component and think that that's all we really are. But I believe from scripture and experience that we have a non-physical component too, a spirit, which is made to commune with God on a higher level than the animals.Okay, this is a lot longer that I'd meant it to be. I'll stop here.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: T.Date: Oct 29, 2008 9:36 PM
This is one of my blogs.... please read it:Okay, so i was thinking, what if we had all the doctors in the world come together, very well educated (they are doc's after all), and they came up with something called "cancer" and said it would kill you over a short period of time, really just eating you from the inside out and it wasn't really treatable. But there was a group of religious people that said, "no, there is no way that God would do this to us, we are way to important to him", even though all these well educated doctors said it was true, well on the other hand, these people were not.
If you as a person with common sense, looked at this situation wouldn't you go along with the doctors?This same principle applies to modern day evolution vs. creationism, and this is why people tend to think evolution is more believable, because all the experts in that field say it is, but all the church people go in and say, "nope isn't true" without having any education in the matter.Tell me. Am i totally off base? comment my page.