Archive for September, 2014

stupidYears ago, I would have blindly accepted this graphic, which was kindly supplied by an internet atheist community. It’s simple, right? “Religious” people hate science and scientists have no use for “religion”. End of story.

Well, not so fast. First of all, I follow Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is the Son of God) but I’m absolutely not “religious” (here’s why:  http://wp.me/p2wzRb-cP). That said, is faith really just for people who are too dumb to figure out science?

Let’s examine the evidence. I went to Wikipedia and found an entry called ‘List of Christian thinkers in science’. The list from the past is looooong, but I skipped that because people opposed to Jesus could claim science simply hadn’t advanced enough for these thinkers to toss God on the trash heap.

I jumped down to the bottom and found more than 60 (that’s correct; sixty) living thinkers in the fields of engineering, physics and astronomy, chemistry and biomedical sciences.

There are likely more, since Wikipedia notes “This list is non-exhaustive and is limited to those scientists whose Christian beliefs or thoughts, in writing or speaking, are relevant to their notability.”

Want a few names? How about:

  • Rosalind Picard, a Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of the Affective Computing Research Group at MIT.
  • Don Page, a Canadian theoretical physicist who focuses on quantum cosmology.
  • Karl Giberson, a Canadian physicist who has published several books on the relationship between science and religion, such as The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions.
  • Joseph Taylor, an American astrophysicist and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate for his discovery (with Russell Alan Hulse) of a new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation.
  • Ben Carson, an American neurosurgeon. He is credited with being the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head.

Is Wikipedia just a patsy for Jesus followers? Just in case someone out there is wondering, I investigated other sources.

The MIT site includes Rosalind Picard and her list of accomplishments is simply astonishing.  Don Page, Ph.D, is part of the physics faculty at the University of Alberta. Karl Giberson has a Ph.D from Rice University. The Nobel Prize website has an entry for 1993 winner Joseph Taylor. And the Academy of Achievement website inducted Dr. Ben Carson along with the likes of conservationist Jane Goodall, economist Milton Friedman and architect Frank Gehry.

All this leads to what I think is an obvious point: You absolutely do not have to be “stupid” to be a person of faith. In fact, I feel quite within my rights to leave you with this question: since following Jesus makes perfect sense to these brilliant people, shouldn’t it be worth your serious consideration? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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WhenLoveLeadsToLoveHmmm…before my wanderings into atheist internet communities, I’d never heard the notion that loving God means I have less love to give others.

Maybe that’s true for some unfortunate people, who are into “religion” and believe they should sit in judgement of others. But for most of the God-loving people I know, the reality goes something like this:

  • I love God, so I need to be more loving to homosexual people. That means speaking up whenever they are mocked, denigrated or unjustly criticized.
  • I love God, so I need to be more loving to homeless people.
  • I love God, so I need to be more loving to people who’ve been through the pain of abortion. (Ever met anyone who liked having an abortion? Me neither.)
  • I love God, so I need to be more loving to people who don’t care about the environment. (It’s God’s world, not mine, so I need to care about what we humans do to His planet.)
  • I love God, so I need to be more loving to people who are arrogant and pretentious.
  • I love God, so I need to be more loving toward people whose political views are diametrically opposite to mine. That means respecting and defending the values of democracy.
  • I love God, so I need to be more loving to Jewish people, Muslim people, Buddhist people and Hindu people. That means defending their right to worship without fear.
  • I love God, so I need to be more loving to atheist people. That means protecting their right to be atheists.
  • I love God, so I need to be more loving to people who oppose and mock or denigrate my faith.

People like me understand that we’ve been offered a great gift — Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is God’s son. Because we’ve accepted that gift, a perfect and holy God has hit the ‘delete’ key on all the wrong things we’ve done and the right things we’ve failed to do (like not loving others enough, for example).

Serious Jesus followers understand that the gift of Jesus is given out of unfathomable love. And that gift is offered to every person on this planet, no matter who they are, what they’ve done (or not done) and whatever faith they have (or don’t have).

How do I know this? Consider this excerpt from one of the four original source accounts of Jesus’s life: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life. God did not send him to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.”

That’s why I have more love to give. You can have more love to give, too. Interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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Logic 9.14If you know anything about following Jesus of Nazareth, then maybe you’ve thought the same thing as this graphic.

This position advanced here refers to something called the “Trinity”. It states that God, as He’s understood by serious Jesus followers, exists as three equal entities: God, Jesus (who many people believe is God’s divine Son) and the Holy Spirit.

If this leaves you scratching your head, you’re certainly not alone. It’s probably easier to explain nuclear fission.

But let’s think more about the “logic” of all this, since it’s the main point of the graphic. Just because it may not be logical doesn’t mean it can’t be true — especially when even the most logical people accept and live out all sorts of illogical things:

  • Many professional athletes receive millions and millions of dollars per year while social workers, commercial pilots and nurses (who, let’s face it, do far, FAR more important work) sometimes need second jobs just to pay their bills.
  • People still attempt to climb Mount Everest even though it’s long been proven to be enormously dangerous and there is no legitimate reason to bother trying.
  • In Canada, elected politicians who want the province of Quebec to separate receive pensions paid for by all Canadians.

None of these things — and I’m sure you can think of many more without a lot of effort — are even slightly logical, and yet they continue to happen every day. Often without a peep of protest.

So if you are willing to accept the rampant illogic of the world we human beings have created, why aren’t you willing to accept what might seem illogical about the creator of time, space and the universe?

There’s something else to keep in mind here: God will never fit into a tidy box of what you and I consider “logical”. Like it or not, God will always be beyond our full comprehension.

But here’s something that’s easier to understand:
1. God LOVES every person on this planet, no matter their age, gender, sexual preference, place of residence, religious belief (or lack thereof), and behaviour.
2. Because every human being has fallen short of who God designed us to be (through the wrong things we’ve done and the good things we’ve failed to do), we separate ourselves from our creator.
3. God does the heavy lifting to bridge that gap, offering the life, sacrificial death and resurrection of His son Jesus to every person on this planet.
4. Anyone who accepts this gift can find his/her life transformed in the here and now, and in the life to come when our time on this planet ends.

I accepted that gift in my 40s, after many years of reading, pondering and debating with Jesus followers. I certainly don’t understand everything about my faith, but I also know that when this life is finished, all my questions simply won’t matter anymore.

Despite any questions you have, the gift of Jesus is offered to you too. Will you accept it? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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