Sunday, April 10, 2011

a nice quote

Science is not a sinister enterprise aimed at destroying faith. It’s an honest exploration of the wonderful world that God created.

That's from a recent opinion piece on CNN by the vice president of BioLogos, Karl Giberson, "Jesus would believe in evolution and so should you." It's a really nice statement I think, and it really speaks to the opinions that so many hold.
The article itself is not bad; read it if you like, but I'm not really recommending it. I agree with his conclusions, obviously, but he's not saying anything new, and won't convince anyone who is disinclined towards the beliefs of groups like BioLogos. But there's something to that quote.

For those of you eagerly awaiting real posts on wardrobe (so, so many of you...), the semester is wrapping up, and with any luck I'll be able to post some more substantial pieces in the near future!


Emily Claire, your betrothed said...

I'm actually rather surprised you find that statement wonderful. Personally, I think it and the necessary logic behind it is horribly offensive.

Not because it professes evolution-- you know I'm not a young earth Creationist-- but because it makes claims about what Jesus would or would not believe. I'd be offended by any group bandying a phrase like that around.

That was one of my problems with In His Steps this semester, and I dare say we talked about it. Its stance was reliant on reading into what would or would not be the mind of our Savior if he lived in the modern day. What a presumptuous idea! I couldn't stomach it in that format, nor here in this.

"We are often asked to think about what Jesus would do, if he lived among us today. Who would Jesus vote for? What car would he drive?

To these questions we should add “What would Jesus believe about origins?” -- that just makes me cringe. WWJD incites me.

Jesus is truth, and would believe truth, yes. But, the "Jesus would x, and so you should x" logic from something so far removed from his human existence is as preposterous as what he claims it done with the ancient Hebrews who wrote Genesis.

I don't think the phrase "Jesus would"--in way that posits the thoughts or action of our Incarnated Lord-- is one that can be used responsibly in any scenario. The phrase "Jesus does/did", however, can be. Jesus did care for the hungry, poor, widows-- so we should. Jesus did obey his Heavenly Father-- so we should. Jesus *is* truth-- we should believe him.

There's also a disjunction in thinking of "Jesus believing." Did he regain what he lost through kenotic relinquishing when he ascended? If he did.. he knows the truth now, he doesn't have to believe anything. And who is to say anything about his "scientific" beliefs in his time on earth. As I said, it's preposterous. What Jesus is this fellow even talking about?

Far too many assumptions and shallow ideas for me.

An aside:
The first quote you used, about science not being "aimed at destroying faith." I think the author made a huge oversight in making that statement. At the heart of science, as an exploration of creation, its as he says-- but he totally overlooks the reality that it is used as a tool to do so constantly. Your own focus on Richard Dawkins and others should show you that. There are far reaching implications for that reality.

However-- I'm glad you found time for a brief post. I, and your other eager readers, will expect something grand from you next Tuesday ;)


Nance said...

First, I really, really love that you're commenting. Please continue to do so.

But second, it seems you've mistaken my meaning here a bit: I didn't say anything about the title of his article--I was only ever referring to the quote at the top. Of course you're right in saying that so-called "science" is often used as a tool, a bludgeon, really, for destroying faith. But that's not what science is, which is the point of his remark and what I want others to be sure to note. The scientific method is a tool for investigating the patterns and procedures of the organized beauty of all creation. Anything beyond this is the work and word of the particular scientist, not of the discipline itself. To say that science is indeed a 'sinister enterprise aimed as destroying faith' (as some people would say without blinking) is no more true or useful than a claim like Hitchens's that 'religion poisons everything'. That's what I want to affirm here.

As far as the 'Jesus would X' card goes, I'm not one to go there (I don't think!). Your 'Jesus does/did' is more solid ground, to my mind, and where I'll probably take my rhetorical stand most of the time.
You could have a long argument with some folks about what Jesus did and did not know in the Incarnation, but I'm not one of those people. Jesus probably believed what all good Jews believed, that "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." What that meant to our Lord in 'scientific' or 'historical' terms, who knows? Maybe nothing. Maybe something. I'll sit out that particular guessing game.

Emily Claire said...

Hi dearest,

Well, it would seem that it was my mistake then... I took the title and understood it to be the quote you were addressing. My apologies! It was a bit unclear :)

In that case, I do agree with your statement and think it is useful and important to keep in mind the true role/definition of science.

Now that you are so very free of school-related responsibilities for the time being-- hopefully you will find time and desire to put out a new post :) I'm not sure of the ideas you have rattling around right now, maybe you haven't even had to get that far! But I look forward to whatever comes next. Hopefully then I won't miss the point. Hee.

And, Happy Feast Day of St. Athanasius.