Yeah, I still haven’t buckled down and gotten to serious work on my next series, so here’s some links I found over the last week or so that deserve a share.
First up, there’s an article about how to apologize. I may never have kids and almost definitely will never be a teacher, but I thought it was a great idea. I’m sure I’ll have an opportunity to apply it in my own life someday, probably soon. The method boils down to knowing and articulating what you are sorry for, why you are sorry, promising behavior improvement, and asking for forgiveness. Come to think of it, the formula is not that different from the Catholic sacrament of confession. In 2000 years, Catholicism was bound to do something right.
Second, the A-unicornist, whose blog name I wish I’d thought of first, has a recent post on a letter from a friend of the family inviting himself and his fiancee to church. My favorite part was this:
Vanessa and I are not lapsed Christians. We don’t secretly believe in the Christian god deep down. We’re non-believers, period. We think the claims of the Bible and Christian theology are false. That’s not the kind of thing that you can waltz into a church service and change because you hear a message that “touches your heart”.
Next up is a picture that might make some of us tear up a bit. It’s essentially Calvin and Hobbes fan fiction. I’ll let it speak for itself.
Fourth, in case you haven’t already heard, there’s a kickstarter for potato salad. Not much to say here except what everyone is thinking: I wish I’d thought of that.
Finally, here’s an article by a Christian on signs you don’t understand evolution. Number 9 is particularly hilarious. The only one that might not be accurate is number 10, which says “You think it’s inherently opposed to Christianity or the Bible.” The ending lines are particularly interesting, especially to someone of my background:
Therefore, if evolution is true — as everything we know about biology, and a number of overlapping fields of inquiry indicate — then it is incapable of conflicting with the God-breathed truth of sacred scripture. If there appears to be a disagreement between the two, then the interpretation of the passage in question must be incorrect. For the Bible-believing Christian, there is no other option.
In other words, science trumps whatever the sacred text appears to say. The only difference in opinion between myself and this person on this issue is that I said, “Science appears to conflict with this part of Christianity, and truth cannot contradict truth, but we’re really sure about the science, so Christianity must be wrong” whereas he says, “Science appears to conflict with this part of the sacred text, but both must be true, so we must be reading the text wrong.”
It is still my contention that anyone who thinks theistic evolution is reasonable, at least in Christianity, misunderstands some part of science or theology. I’ve yet to meet an argument that removed that notion; some insist that humans are aware of suffering while animals are not, so a somewhat metaphorical interpretation of the Fall as an awakening to suffering makes sense. Unfortunately, that just isn’t true; our closest cousins mourn their dead and have midlife crises, just like us. If being able to grieve is not being “aware” of suffering, I don’t know what is. Perhaps I should do some research into the BioLogos site to see if it can prove me wrong, as it is dedicated to solving this problem.
2 thoughts on “Apologies, Church Invites, Calvin and Hobbes, Potato Salad, and Evolution”
I am, by no means, a theist; however, the idea of theistic evolution isn’t all that contradictory. The argument is basically that nature is the mechanism by which deity normally operates. That is, we do not find God in the gaps of our knowledge, but in our knowledge, itself.
Coincidentally, Dennis Venema posted about this topic on the BioLogos blog, just yesterday:
Thanks for the link!
However, the conflict I see is that evolution shows there was suffering before sin, which is biblically the source of suffering.
Why does so much pain and death (suffering), millions of years of it, predate consciousness if suffering is a result of sin, which requires consciousness?
If the Garden of Eden is metaphorical, why should we think the Garden of Gethsemane isn’t? And what are they metaphors for? What do they mean?
Why did Jesus die (assuming for the argument that the story is true), if not to make up for Original Sin?
These are the questions I think can’t be satisfactorily answered, and saying, “God could have directed evolution” doesn’t do anything to answer those questions. Of course he could have, though I could bring up Occam’s Razor.
Catholicism is even more direct in its conflict with science, for there is a doctrine that Original Sin is inherited through Adam, so there had to have been a literal Adam who was the first human man and who fathered the species. (See encyclical Humani Generis, paragraph 37.) Of course, this contradicts scientific findings that the human population never had fewer than some thousand breeding pairs.