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Free Will and Its Discontents

OK, so let’s talk about free will. I’ve had several people ask me to explain my understanding of it lately, so apparently it’s a subject of interest. As the conversation usually breaks out, you have free will on one side and determinism on the other. Free will says we make our own choices. Determinism says that everything is decided for us. Free will is a … Continue reading Free Will and Its Discontents

The Process is Life

Scriptures say that creation testifies to God. Science is simply the study of creation. It is the gathering and studying of the testimony of creation. Which is why I think that it is important for people of faith to be using science to deepen our understanding of God and his ways.

We see Jesus doing this, for example, in his teachings about seeds dying and bearing much fruit. It’s not just that Jesus was using a process which people were familiar with in order to explain something. It’s that this familiar process of creation is actually a living illustration of a much deeper, mysterious spiritual truth. It’s not just a coincidence that a seed works the same way that our spiritual life does. Rather, it’s reflects something purposeful in creation that testifies to God’s creation.

When you learn to see creation this way, all of life becomes imbued with deeper meaning. And it provides a corrective to our erroneous ideas. What we believe about God and his ways must be consistent with this universe he made.

That might seem to be a big claim to make, however, allow me to share something I read recently which illustrates just how deep this rabbit hole goes. I’m going to get all sciency with y’all for a bit. But I’ll make it simple and if you bear with me, I think you’ll see how taking creation’s testimony seriously can be a spiritually fruitful endeavor.

So, what I’m going to be talking about today has to do with the very origins of life. Not necessarily how life began – that’s a mystery we are rapidly closing in on. But the why. Why is there life at all? Continue reading “The Process is Life”

I think about weird things

. At the very end of my book The Upside Down World – A Book of Wisdom in Progress, I have a section which I called “Quantum Christianity”.  It consists of several pages of fairly random notes about a variety of subjects ranging from quantum physics to abortion.  I don’t usually makes notes, but I do usually think about a variety of odd things.  I … Continue reading I think about weird things

Wherefore art thou, authority?

Sorry for the long break in blogging.  I’ve been busy getting my gardens in order and just got back from a trip to Chicago.  Of course, not blogging isn’t the same as not obsessing over things, so I suppose I’ll just jump right back in with the latest fun item to be taking up brain space . . . the potential purpose and role of authority in our lives.  Sounds like a good time, eh? 🙂

I am a child of my age, and as such, I have always looked at authority as something to be handled cynically and derisively.  I recognize that certain authority, such as law enforcement needs to be obeyed if only to keep us all from crashing our cars into one another.  Much beyond that, any authority, be it parental, church, political or otherwise was held to a “prove it” standard.  And not just prove it to someone who would approve those in positions of authority, but prove it to me, the person you would have authority over.  Honestly, it’s hard for me to think of anyone whose instructions or thinking I would follow simply because they were “the authority”.  Question everything and everyone has been my MO.

Fear of or respect for authority were punch lines in my book, certainly not anything by which I would make decisions.  I would guess that a lot of people are like me in this regard.  However, I recently realized something which has made me re-examine my attitude towards authority.  You see, over the last 10-15 years, I have invested a lot of time and mental energy into constructing what you could call a philosophy of life.  It’s my understanding of the nature of life, the rules by which we ought to govern ourselves in order to live happy, productive lives which are a benefit to our families and communities.  I can provide detailed, well reasoned and thought-out explanations for what I believe.  You may disagree with my conclusions, but it would be hard to argue that I am simply making things up willy-nilly out of religious delusions or to justify my personal desires.

I have been compelled to do this, I think, precisely because I did not feel that there was a source of authority for how to live my life and think about the important questions of life which I could trust.  And now, at the age of 35, I have managed to construct a framework for living which I am pretty satisfied with.  The problem is that in the absence of authority, we’re all going to have to go through this process.  If we each need to figure out right and wrong and rules for relationships and all the important things in life for ourselves, we are leaving ourselves obscenely open to majorly screwing up our lives long before we have a chance to figure out what’s what.  Continue reading “Wherefore art thou, authority?”