After Atheism: New Perspectives on God and Religion

When I work from home I often listen to podcasts and I’ve been listening to CBC Radio Ideas’ After Atheism this week. This is what I’d call a post-post-modern look at religion and materialism over the past few thousand years. This is a compliment as they recognize things like the resurgence of spiritual interest, the myth of religious violence, the actual (not supposed) factors at play in the separation of church and state. They even recognize Christianity specifically has been behind many social change movements and demonstrably not just an ‘internal, private spirituality’ thing.

The episodes are long and in-depth but, for the first time in a long time, CBC is giving as fair a shake as can be expected to faith in general and, in places, to Christianity in particular.

It’s by no means pro-Christian but it’s decent place for open discussion.

The foundations of the Building are only as strong as the foundations of the Builders

My mother past away last month and since then we’ve had a number of occasions to reflect on her passion for creation – the literal intepretation of the Book of Genesis as it relates the six-day creation of the heavens and the earth.

My mother past away last month and since then we’ve had a number of occasions to reflect on her passion for creation – the literal intepretation of the Book of Genesis as it relates to the six-day creation of the heavens and the earth.

All her stuff in the basement which she’d gather together to put on exhibits at churches or in classes. At her funeral where we setup these things so that visitors could know about her passion. And a creation seminar weekend at Cannington Baptist Church where gifted speaker Calvin Smith taught us many fascinating truths of science regarding the history of the earth. The weekend was lovingly dedicated to Donna in light of her passion for creation. We wholeheartedly thank them for their thoughtfulness and kindness towards us.

Because of all this exposure, though, I’ve really been hit a number of times just how serious it is for believers to doubt the creation account in Genesis. Doubt and skepticism are healthy but only when they lead to uncovering the truth.

Each creation organization that I’m aware of has the same reason for doing what they do: They believe that to contradict Genesis, being the inspired Word of God, is to erode the very foundation of the totality of the faith. Creation Ministries International, for example, entitle their writing on this issue “Genesis—the seedbed of all Christian doctrine.”

According to stats, most Christian youth who go to secular post-secondary institutions will lose their faith because of the onslaught of ideas contradictory to their faith. If their faith can’t stand against apparent flaws, then what good is the faith? Who can blame them for leaving their faith behind. At best, who can blame them for compartmentalizing or halfheartedly living out their faith.

But there are answers. Answers In Genesis is another organization dedicated to teaching the truths of the creation account. Their article regarding the need for teaching creation is entitled “Creation: Why it matters.

Creation absolutely matters. God has Genesis right. He really did create the heavens and the earth in six days. If he said so and he really didn’t, then what else is really true in the bible? Your entire faith’s foundation begins at Genesis 1:1:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

This is not Religion versus Science

My recent and, likely, typical posts on this blog have obviously been with a bias toward Christianity. As to this blatant bias I hold no shame. The requirement I hold up for myself is truth. Bias may sway to one end or another, but bias is altogether a wholly different thing than truth, and the man who holds a bias and yet holds truth, that man is to be envied. I may not be that man but that is my goal.

My recent and, likely, typical posts on this blog have obviously been with a bias toward Christianity. As to this blatant bias I hold no shame. The requirement I hold up for myself is truth. Bias may sway to one end or another, but bias is altogether a wholly different thing than truth, and the man who holds a bias and yet holds truth, that man is to be envied. I may not be that man but that is my goal.

As to the bent of writing, the astute mind will immediately recognize that these things we speak on are not about sides. There is no us and them. There is no religion/faith/belief on one side and science/reason/logic on another. The intelligent individual will realize that the Christian is not anti-science, as I have been labeled in the past and will certainly be labeled in the future. Christianity is not anti-science. Nothing could be further from the truth.

That truth is this: The Christian has learned that, as Chesterton put it, God is a truth teller and we have learned to give him the benefit of the doubt. As we grow in the faith we see that God tells us the truth of things. Not because he says so and that’s that, but because he says so and, behold, we find it out to have been true. This benefit of the doubt is key. We give God the benefit of the doubt. We see His Word say one thing and creation tell us another. Yet time and again, given time, we see that He was right all along and it just took some time for modern research to see it.

I will take one example. In the story of Jonah and his preaching to Ninevah, the Bible makes the city sound great. In the past hundred years scholars have said it couldn’t possibly have been very big at all. Yet archaeologists come along and find the foundations of that city and see that it was easily as big as written about. This is just one example and there are more, some larger and some smaller.

This, though, is the crux of the resistance of Christianity to modern thought that contradicts what we know the bible to say. We know the track record of the bible is to come out right in the end. Therefore we resist. We do not resist beyond all reason, though. Prove something, such as the earth orbiting around the sun, and it will be considered and we will understand our own misunderstanding of the bible and we will correct ourselves.

Christianity has, time and again, resisted and then accepted new ideas but there are some ideas which, no matter how much time passes, can not be proven and can not be accepted. I write on a number of these, including creation and evolution, origins, and more. It is critical to understand than when an idea is resisted and then later accepted it is not because it still contradicts the bible yet we accept it because it is the “truth.” In actuality, we realize our own misunderstanding of what the bible was saying and come to see the truth in light of another truth. This has not occurred with evolution, however. We do not yet see that evolution is proven nor that there is any possibility of the scriptures writing it and we simply lacked the understanding before. We also do not foresee this changing. Evolution is not proven and, as much as we look, the scriptures do not speak to it. In fact, the scriptures speak to the opposite of it. That is why it is resisted.

I  hope it is clear to all that religion and science are not adverse. Science has its tools of proof. So too does religion. Each requires that a thing pass the test before it is accepted as truth. We must all hold up rationality instead of dogmas. We must all bridge divides instead of creating them. Any given side can be accused of these things.