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
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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rebuilding the Faith - Dr. Carin Bondar Spoofs Miley's "Wrecking Ball" Torch Song

Carin Bondar tests out Face Recognition Binoculars

Rebuilding the Faith

Miley Cyrus move over. Yes, Dr. Carin Bondar’s remake of the infamous Wrecking Ball is "spoof + science" at its parody best. Wishing to "smash" creationist's notions the good scientist parodies popular shrift worthy of destruction. As the lyrics state,

Organisms do evolve
That giant mystery’s been (re)solved
Creationism’s proven false
Get familiar with our phylogeny.

Difficult words to sing for the Christian who believes in God and who seeks a deeper explanation for creation's existence beyond the mere rhyme of words stating there is none. When the great scientist Laplace was asked at the court of Napoleon where the Creator-God was in all his formulations, he was heard to famously quipped, "Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis." So too has the great physicist Stephen Hawking recently asked in his treatise entitled The Grand Design, three simple questions to the reader (10):

1) Why is there something rather than nothing?

2) Why do we exist?

3) Why this particular set of laws and not some other?

And based upon scientific determinism (sic, the key to Hawking's dilemma) God did not have any latitude in choosing the laws of the universe.(33) Hence, there are no miracles, nor any exceptions to the laws of nature.(34) Which are serious conclusions to make and must be grappled with by the serious believer wishing to understand his Creator.

To these questions Relevancy22 has been exploring these grand questions from an evolutionary, scientific, philosophic, and theologic viewpoint. Arguing for an Evolutionary Creationism as distinguished from the heartfelt creationist's non-evolutionary system that many believers continue to cling too. Here, at this site, we wish to reframe many of Christianity's more classically-derived church doctrines around the contemporary, postmodern doctrinal discussions that do now admit evolution into the bible without losing the God of creation either in its dogmas nor in its doctrinal formulations as they are perceived by pew and bible scholar.

So then, how should we listen to Dr. Carin Bondar, Laplace, or Hawking when arguing for an evolution perhaps devoid of any God but its own systems alone? We do so both soberly and mindfully. Not in denial, but in a fuller, more theologically-based approach, which admits and does not deny, the seriousness of these profound scientific observations, nor dismiss the existence of a Creator-God who is effectively unfalsifiable. Who has chosen to create through the process of evolution which we, as believers, must come to understand and accept, not fearing that the God of evolution will be misplaced or found absent in it all.

Yes, physical nature does do quite well. It was created that way! But not on its own... as a godless-based evolution might like to remind... but because of a wise and powerful Creator God who has affectively, and effectively, used this process to bring Hismself into a creative fellowship in an amazing way. To the questions of sin, free will, the first humans, how to read the Word, and many more, the reader may peruse the "chapters" or "posts" of this website (or web blog) and hopefully find capable direction leading to better questions and explorations. At no time is scholarly discussion closed down or stopped. For it is to this scholarship that we as Christians must both listen and discern. Hopefully you will find both in these digital pages placed at your disposal.

At the last, do not be offended by the good scientist's parody below. It is because of these concerns that I and others like Dr. Bondar have come along similar paths asking the same questions that the older system of creationism could not answer - no matter how it tried to reframe the philosophical and theological debates around classical concerns. In truth, evolution does run quite well on its "own." But for the believer we know who the real "Owner" is, and what makes it "tick" as the God of all creation.

And so, enjoy the parody, and do take seriously the science of evolution, especially as from a Christian perspective. And don't let it remain the bug-a-boo that so many would make it out to be based upon illegitimate agnostic or atheist charges to the contrary. There are many a good, thinking Christian scientist out there who can firmly attest to the God of the Bible within the ranks of their university, research lab, and field studies. Certainly they are evolutionists. But they are also godly believers who see the Creator's handiwork everywhere about when measure by time and space, process and curriculum.

R.E. Slater
January 14, 2013

Organisms Do Evolve

Published on Jan 12, 2014

"I am always troubled by the lack of awareness surrounding the process of evolution by natural selection. Also, I am a crazy dorky scientist who enjoys many aspects of pop culture. I'm a Miley fan, and when I first saw 'Wrecking Ball' it was just irresistible for me to parody it! Here are the full lyrics." - Carin

They fought, they strained, their lives in vain,
They thought, always asking why,
Not blessed but shunned, the world was stunned,
But facts, no one could deny.

You might think you know, only just suppose,
What you're told isn't true,
Facts you can't deny, science doesn't lie,
There is actual proof.

That organisms do evolve,
That giant mystery's been solved,
Creationism's proven false,
Get familiar with our phylogeny.

Yes, our phylogeny.

There's A, there's C, there's T, there's G,
They're called nucleotides,
The helix turns with no concern,
For Gods, or religious lives.

Gene diversity, stochasticity,
Just the fittest survive,
Then they procreate, and some genes mutate,
Varied forms are derived.

Yes organisms do evolve,
The experts have worked hard to solve,
The complex processes involved,
In the earth's history.

Yes organisms do evolve,
There's no more mystery to solve,
Fundamental to life overall,
Get familiar with our biology.

Scholarship and science answer for,
Absolute complexities within,
Both extant and extinct creature forms,
Understanding that is not a sin.

Scholarship and science answer for,
Incidents where divergence begins,
Understanding that is not a sin,
You might think you know, only just suppose.

What you're told isn't true.
Cuz' organisms do evolve,
There's no more mystery to solve,
Creationism's proven false.

Get familiar with our phylogeny,
Yes organisms do evolve,
Such complex processes resolved,
Fundamental to life overall,
Aim to understand our biology.

It's our biology.

(click to enlarge)

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