Thursday, March 18, 2010

What does it mean? God the Creator.

I was impressed with Karl Giberson's book Saving Darwin. As a non-scientist, I appreciated the care with which he handled Darwin's own struggle with matters of science and faith, how he came to his theories, and what that means for us as Christians. (My review can be found here). 

I came across today an interesting video-clip, in which Giberson, a physics professor at Eastern Nazerene College, helps us understand what it means for God to be creator.  He speaks here in terms not of fabricating something, but in terms of sustaining that which exists.  It offers a sense of God's ongoing participation in the act of creation, that I find appealing.




H/T to Fred Anderson

12 comments:

Gary said...

Christianity and evolution are utterly, completely, absolutely incompatible. One wonders why Giberson, and others who claim to be Christians, fail to understand the obvious. Or, maybe they do understand the obvious, and are just dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Because he's an educated Christian and not blind to facts and the wisdom of intelligent thoughtful persons and the honest discoveries of mankind. Ostriches aren't very Christian. Are you an ostrich Gary? David Mc

Gary said...

No, I'm not an ostrich. But I understand that there is no way to reconcile Genesis with evolution and still consider Genesis to be history. All of the Biblical believers, from Moses through the Apostles, considered Genesis to be history, not myth.

Once you look at the first chapters of Genesis as myth, you destroy the foundation for the rest of the Bible. You might as well throw it in the trash.

Anonymous said...

Trashing bibles again? Are you a flag burner too? All history is ~68% made up. David Mc

Gary said...

David,

You should trash your Bible, if you have one. If most of it is made up, it can't be trusted. And, neither do you have the ability to decide what parts are made up, and what parts are not.

Anonymous said...

I do have the ability to hold suspect all things. What a boring, static world it would be if we didn't. We shouldn't want to bore our creator, that's probably worse than tempting mother-nature. Maybe I'm bold since I'm convinced God is all loving and forgiving. David Mc

John said...

skinessDavid,

It's always so much fun when Gary enters the discussion. I always have this internal battle about whether to speak gently with compassion or to just let loose with what I really think. Today I'm feeling rather unrestrained.

It seems that Gary thinks God is incapable of employing a biological systems such as evolution to further divine purposes. God's powers are limited to the 'abracadabra finger snap' and poof, all is here, the magic complete. Or perhaps Gary thinks complex systems are just too complex for God to imagine and employ.

But it seems clear that Gary shudders at the possibility that God could employ science which humans could one day investigate.

I think Gary assumes that human thought could never advance beyond where it was three thousand years ago and because of that God was constrained either to employ only devices (magic) or language which (no vowels) which could be comprehended by people three thousand years ago. (I'm sure Gary was relived when Pluto was de-certified as a planet - because it wasn't thought to be one three thousand years ago.)

Anyway you look at it, Gary's idea of God seems to fit very neatly in a three thousand year old box. But of course the only kind of box which lasts for three thousand years is a sarcophagus.

John

Anonymous said...

skiness? I don't ski since both my brother and sister broke their legs within a couple weeks of each other skiing.

Good point John, I like to think that the study of nature is the study God's handiwork. Why wouldn't it be more than a "finger snap". I bet he enjoyed(s) putting these puzzles together and that he pondered a bit about it.

One needs to have good faith in God's goodness when persuading greater knowledge and discovery. A slippery slope to one person is an inspiring ride to others.

Here's the secret o' life Gary-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6akPDuDL2JY

David Mc

Gary said...

John,

God could have used evolution if He had wanted to, but He did not. Had God chosen to use an evolutionary process, the creation story in Genesis would have reflected that, but it does not.

Each of us has to make up his mind whether he will believe God, or not. Clearly, you have chosen not to.

John said...

Gary,

Actually, the issue for you and I is not whether we believe, but how we will perceive God we believe in. No one can perceive God in God's wholeness, but we all have an occasional glimpse. And I think God will continue to love us both for straining through the fog.

John

Gary said...

John,

That sounds very religious, but most of it is unbiblical.

John said...

unfacGary,

I don't think Jesus judges as harshly as you do. Consider the story of the woman caught in adultery. We can agree that the story is not a metaphor but an incident witnessed in Jesus life and ministry.

We know that according to the Scriptures a Jewish woman caught in adultery, witnessed by two people, was compelled to be executed. The Law permitted no loopholes.

The people who brought her to Jesus are said to have intended to catch Jesus himself in a capital crime (because they anticipated that Jesus would show her mercy, more mercy than was permitted under the clear and inflexible requirement of Scripture, and thereby himself become liable to execution).

The woman's guilt was never doubted. The existence of two witnesses was never in question. Not by Jesus and not by the teller of the story. Yet Jesus manages to find a merciful result and after that he releases her, without a confession of faith by her or an indication from her of any measure of repentance.

Jesus doesn't call into question hr guilt nor the veracity of the witnesses. She was guilty and there were two witnesses. Jesus implies that the witnesses themselves were sinners (not without sin). Whatever personal sins the witnesses were guilty of, they probably weren't capital offenses such as adultery or Jesus and the story teller would have pointed out the irony. Nevertheless, the guilt of the witnesses was not legally relevant to their testimony.

After Jesus shames the witnesses into walking away, Jesus sends her away as well, saying that he will not accuse even though he most certainly knows she is guilty of a capital offense. "Go and sin no more," is all Jesus has to say to her!!

I am always struck by the mercy of Jesus. For me there is a profound message about judging others, even if we know they are guilty.

God's standard of judgment/mercy is confounding to humans. Perhaps that is sufficient justification for avoiding judgments. But we each have to come to terms with that for ourselves.

John