According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Leap of Truth, Part 6: History of a Worldview

August 3, 2011

This week we feature the next clip from the upcoming documentary “A Leap of Truth”, directed by filmmaker Ryan Pettey. As Ryan wrote in his accompanying post for the film’s first clip, our goal for the film is to put something proactive on the table to help motivate an elevated conversation above the unnecessary “war” between science and faith. It is our sincere hope that, above all else, the film can become a focal point for some of the big questions that inevitably arise at the intersection of science and faith. We believe Ryan's work will inform faith and enrich discussion.

To help foster such dialogue, we are once again including several discussion questions with this week’s clip. In the transcript below, you’ll find several prompts that are meant to help viewers dig deeper into the material being presented. Mouse over each highlighted region and a question will appear on the side. We encourage you to "pull up" this page and watch this video with your friends, your churches, your small groups and Sunday School classes, your pastors -- or anyone else for that matter – and take some time to discuss what is being said (and maybe even what isn’t). It is best to think about this in groups. You may not all agree, but you will find yourselves engaged in fruitful and spirited conversation. And it is this kind of conversation that will help move the science and faith discussion forward.

Click link above to view video

Bishop N.T. Wright: “The debate such as has happened between so-called science and so-called faith, has a lot of quite murky roots. In the 18th century in my country, for instance, one person I happen to know a little bit about is Charles Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, because I once lived in Litchfield, which is where he lived. Litchfield, in the eighteenth century was one of the small, buzzy, intellectual centers of Britain, and those guys were already exploring their scientific experiments within basically, what I have called, an Epicurean universe and it says in Epicureanism, ‘God and the world or the gods and the world are a long way apart, God is not involved in the world—if there is a God—and so we just have to explore the world as it is.’ That goes with the philosophy called Deism where you have an absentee landlord God.

The 18th century was a way of simplifying certain questions: ‘Alright, God is out of the mix, now we can just do our experiments…but, as we do our experiments, if God is out of the mix, then when we observe change going on in the world, it must be a change which has happened from within the processes of the world. When Charles Darwin went on his boat off to the Galapagos and studied these things and those things and finches and turtles and goodness knows what, that was fantastic and extraordinary and mind blowing, but the philosophical framework within which he interpreted that was one that his grandfather had been working on two generations before (and so had lots of other people): the idea that God was out of the picture and that what you had was evolution [and] development of an explicitly godless kind, a God-out-of-the-picture kind. The problem is that in America even more than Britain—and it was quite true in Britain as well in the 19th century—the Deism of people like Thomas Jefferson, had split off God from the world for political reasons because once God is out of the picture, then we are free to develop whatever sort of empire, whatever sort of power we want. Sadly, the church colluded with this because the church basically treated Christianity as a sort of escape from this world off to this distant God, and you have that in spirituality which is not anchored and earthed in social reality…

And you have it in a soteriology, a theory of how you get saved, which is that you leave this world, and you go off to be with that God; neither of those is actually Biblical. In the Bible, God and the world, heaven and earth kind of mesh together, and you find Jesus in the middle of that, and the Bible in the middle of that, and you should find yourself in the middle of that. Part of the point of being a Christian is that we are meant to be living at those strange, overlap points of heaven and earth—that is what prayer is all about, that is what the sacraments are all about, that is actually what ministering to the poor in Jesus’ name is all about. As Jesus himself said, ‘If you do it to the least of these, you do it to me.’ There is a sense of overlap and that actually makes life much more complicated.

It seems to me you need to unpick all of that, you need to understand how we got where we got before you even get to Scopes and monkeys and, you know, court cases, and so on, because those court cases are just misunderstood before they even start because of all that worldview baggage that is coming to us from the eighteenth and nineteenth century. We need to relocate the question as between devout Christians here and eager scientists there. We need to relocate that question within this much larger understanding of where our culture has been [and] where it might now be going. Otherwise, it will become a dialogue of the deaf or a battle in the dark, as it were.”

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