christianity philosophy science theology

same as always

It’s 12-12-12 today ((or was exactly 2,000 years ago to be pedantic)), and we are nearing the day (21-12-2012) which is heralded by some as something of an apocalypse and an end-of-the-world event.

Among other things, this highlights to me the reality that scientific discovery does not wipe out superstition.  People have always been superstitious and will always be.  Conversely, people have always denied any inherent purpose or meaning to the world – and they always will.

Science is great and helpful.  But I think Dallas Willard is spot on when he says “you can be very sure that nothing fundamental has changed in our knowledge of ultimate reality and the human self since the time of Jesus.” (The Divine Conspiracy, 106; emphasis original)

People wrongly think and speak as though at some point in history we learned some fact that forever sealed off the cosmos from any and all miracles; whereas the ancients, blissfully ignorant of this elusive fact we now know, had no other option.

In addition to ignoring the reality of ancient unbelief and scepticism, this way of thinking also misses the blindingly obvious truth that it’s psychologically and linguistically impossible to think or speak of a ‘super’-natural event if one has no idea of what a natural event is.  As Lewis said, when Joseph learned of Mary being pregnant, he was startled – not because he didn’t know how babies were conceived, but precisely because he did.

philosophy science theology

weird or what?

Gotta love ole Bill Shatner‘s hosting – cheesy as ever – for this new show.

An interesting mix of stories tonight.  A surfer saved from a shark attack by dolphins – dogs and cats that seem to know people are dying – a scrawny boy who picked up a car that had fallen on his uncle.  ((Incidentally, my Dad lifted a very heavy bundle of boards after it had been dropped onto the foot of one of his workers!))

Interestingly, the show speculated about whether or not the abilities of the dogs, cats and the boy had supernatural help.  Now, I’ve no problem with either the possibility or fitting-ness (propriety) of miracles, but suffice to say that I think just as much credit (‘glory’ in doxological terminology) goes to God if this stuff is ‘merely’ natural.  It reminds me of the question I once saw placed on the lips of Aristotle (or was it Aquinas?), if he could have known about modern ‘god of the gaps’ tendencies of some: “Couldn’t God make a nature that could actually do stuff on its own!?”