A Discourse on Belief

Depositphotos Image ID: 140440702 Copyright: Marcinmaslowski

I recently read an editorial by Jerry Davich, a Tribune writer, focusing on a new book by Kurt Anderson, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire A 500-Year History. The book chronicles the history of the American psyche on belief. It sounds fascinating. Davich says it resonated with what he believes about “Americans’ beliefs”, but what Davich says doesn’t resonate with me.

Davich quotes Anderson’s observation that “this post-factual, ‘fake news ‘ moment we’re all living through … is not something new,  but rather the ultimate expression of our national character”. We are free to believe absolutely anything in this country, and so we do, “proudly so, ” says Davich!

I can see how the “wishful dreamers, magical thinkers and true believers” Anderson describes in his book could “be embedded in our DNA”. The United States of America was founded by dreamers and believers. And such wild thoughts of fancy as carried pioneers to our shores were likely fertile soil for the “hucksters and their suckers” who became a part of the American experience.

While these things do strike a chord and make some sense, the conclusions that Davich reaches about belief, itself, strike a discordant  note with me. They throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. While mixing metaphors may be bad literary taste, I think the shoe fits.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Has Science Discovered God?

Friends viewing the eclipse at a church in Missouri

Gerald Schroeder is a scientist with over thirty years of experience in research and reaching. He earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He spent the next five years on the staff of the MIT physics department prior to moving to Israel, where he joined the Weizmann Institute of Science and then the Volcani Research Institute, while also operating a laboratory at The Hebrew University. He has Doctorates in Earth sciences and physics.

In this video, he explains how science has discovered God.

Darwin’s Faith: The Religion of the New Atheism

Depositphotos Photography ID: 59162885 Copyright: irstone

The New Atheists today scoff at people of faith. Richard Dawkins has even urged his followers to mock people of faith. The same people bristle at the suggestion that they, themselves, have faith.

Dawkins is sweeping in his statements, defining faith for the masses and allowing no prisoners. But his definition of faith is loaded with his assumptions about what faith is, ignoring the evidence – even the evidence right in front of him when he debated John Lennox.

To this point, we might even say that Dawkins is guilty of the charge he levels against Christians and other people of faith. Let me explain.

Continue reading

Love is the Final Fight

From the Switchfoot YouTube video of The Sound (John Perkins’s Blues)

I have been struggling for the right words since I learned of the Charlottesville tragedy. Of course, I denounce the hate-filled act that took a life and put others in the hospital. I denounce racism in all its ugly forms. I joined in with other voices to acknowledge that this was an act of terrorism. Plain and simple.

But, when the dust settles and the loud cries for justice fade to a simmering  fury, it isn’t that plain and simple.

How did we get here? More importantly, how do we escape this rat trap that seems to have perpetually bound us to the doom of repeated history?

I listen to the clamor of voices, and I just want to weep – so much heat and very little light. More knee-jerk reactions are not sufficient to counter the forces that have lead us to this place and have entangled people in their grip since the first man clubbed his brother to death. We desperately need something more!

Continue reading

Don’t Confuse Racists with Christians

Depositphotos Vector ID: 155015578 Copyright: robzs

I was on vacation in the north woods last week, disconnected from the world at large and from the urgency of current events for the most part. Bits and pieces of the tragic violence that occurred in Charlottesville filtered through, and I came back to be confronted with the full on force of those events this week.

I still don’t know all the details, but I know that what happened is a product of racism at its worst. It is nothing short of domestic terrorism. I am left with a dull ache, a heavy sadness and a lot of pessimism about our future as a country.

These events aren’t as raw for me as they likely are for others. I was away when the full brunt of the violence took place. I am also a white man.

But, I am human. All people are brothers and sisters. I believe we were all made, male and female, Jew and Gentile, black and white, in God’s image. Therefore, we are one.[1] I believe every individual, therefore, of every tribe, nation and tongue has intrinsic value. Racism is not only senseless; it flies defiantly in the face of our Creator.

Continue reading

Is Free Speech In Jeopardy?

Depositphotos Image ID: 47468365 Copyright: AsierRomeroCarballo

The last presidential campaign was brutal and exposed a number of seeming violations of some of the most fundamental rights and the laws that protect them that we enjoy in the United States. For the first time in history, we witnessed a candidate that not only objectified women but boasted about sexual assault against women. But there were more subtle and, perhaps, more insidiously dangerous violations of fundamental rights and laws going on that have not drawn the visceral reactions they deserve.

The fundamental right to freedom of speech seemed to be in jeopardy, and we barely noticed. Continue reading