Thursday, May 28, 2009

Episode XIII


I'm reading a book right now called "The Reason for God" by Timothy Keller and it's blowing my mind. I have read several chapters more than once. After I read something profound, I have to go try and explain to my Return of the Jedi poster what I just read. After this, I usually go back and try to read it again. After all, hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster.

I'm in a section that Keller discusses the miracles that are proposed by the Bible and I hit something that I found very interesting. Now, I know that regardless of your religious belief, the miracles of the Bible sound more like Return of the Jedi than Dallas Morning News to even some of the most devout Christians. Most would say that Science has or can disprove the plausibility of miracles such as healing, rising from the dead, water parting for a nation to cross a river, etc. But of course, we all thought the world was flat until someone crazy enough to challenge the cultural norms went to the "ends of the earth," only to find that we were all wrong. That scientific discovery started with a belief, not a fact. Interesting.

However, the point isn't to debate the validity of miracles, but of science's authority to write them off. Here's a quote from the book:

"It is one thing to say that science is only equipped to test for natural causes and cannot to speak to any others. It is quite another to insist that science proves that no other causes could possibly exist."

He also says that "...when studying a phenomenon, the scientist must always assume there is a natural cause. That is because natural causes are the only kind its methodology can address."

"There would be no experimental model for testing the statement: 'No supernatural cause for any natural phenomenon is possible.' It is therefore a philosophical presupposition and not a scientific finding."

I believe in miracles. Not because I don't believe in science, but because I believe that by the very nature of miracles being supernatural (i.e. foreign to the natural realm) that science (the testing of the natural realm) cannot presume to test their validity. Yes, we can deduce from our past experience and knowledge, but when something new happens, then something new happens! Just like Columbus.

So all that to say this: Science and Miracles are like apples and oranges in a sense. You can squeeze them for all they are worth, but they will always be full of different sorts of juice.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Episode XII


Over the past few days, it seems like I have had no time. It all started the day that I posted and titled it "time." Ironic.

At my job, we are preparing for a huge event coming up and there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day. Usually I stay up late so that I can get some time to relax, watch TV, play video games, write, read, whatever. Although, lately it just seems that all I want to do is go to bed. That's not very much like me.

However, it does seem to make the little time that I have with my family a little more special though. Kya (my 3 year old daughter) and I have a nightly tradition now that she simply calls "the carriage."

We sit on our fireplace and pretend that I am driving a horse-drawn carriage and am taking her to a ball. We wave at townspeople along the way, look at the trees on the road, and try to see the dragon cave in the mountains. When we arrive at the (pink) castle, we dance together while she and I sing "So This is Love" from Cinderella. Then we get back in the carriage and go home.

It's my favorite part of the day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Episode XI


I am watching a documentary on time travel. Apparently, there's an Asian scientist who sounds like he's from Texas who believes he's getting close to creating wormholes big enough to pass things through. I hope he figures it out. Hey look! It's Jackie Chan!

Then he can go back in time and tell himself, "Later in life you'll shoot a documentary about time travel. So let someone else dress you!"

No, but seriously, what would you do if you were able to travel in time to any place any time?

I would go to the 40's and help operation Valkyrie succeed. I'd probably also want to meet Jesus, of course, face to face. That would be cool. I'd also take a camera and go shoot video of the stuff that he did and bring it back and make it into a DVD. Everybody loves DVD's. Even Lazer Seals.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Episode X


At first, I thought that this post would be about Wolverine, since it is Episode X, and he was Weapon X and he is definitely a berserker of aggression. But I haven't even seen the new movie and my mind is elsewhere anyway.

I feel like the world has taken an aggressive tone with Christians. Many are going to read this and wonder what the heck I'm talking about, but, nonetheless, it's out there.

I don't know why it's ok for Christians be be called names or have harsh language used to describe them. Here are some examples: Intolerant, Backwards, Stupid, Ignorant, Evil, The cause of injustice. Those are just a few I've heard lately.

I know that there are examples of people who are these things and that some happen to be Christians. I know for sure that the media really enjoys a good Christian scandal or screw up. Yes, it seems that the worst examples of us are the ones who are on TV the most, but surely you all realize that these are the minorities. Most of us are good people, trying to live out what the Bible teaches and to love the people around us. Why do Muslims get to call their crazies "extremists" and everyone writes them off while Christians are all lumped into the same category as our most recent embarrassment?

Maybe I'm hyper sensitive to the subject. Or maybe when you call one of these people stupid, ignorant, backwards, or evil simply because they are a Christian, you are calling me these things.

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.
C.S. Lewis

Is someone trying to pick a fight? I love you anyway. But I don't get the aggression.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Episode IX


I was out on my deck tonight. I live near the DFW airport, so I see a lot of planes fly over and at night, it's quite impressive.

Every time I think that I'm looking at a star, it blinks or it moves.

Sometimes, it's hard to tell which ones are real.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Episode VIII


In other parts of the world, hospitality is one of the most central values. I say "in other parts of the world" because I am starting to wonder if our country has begun to forget what this value really is.

In the Bible, you see many stories about hospitality being offered to traveling disciples or apostles. You even see prostitutes who would rather face death than turn over spies and their reputation of hospitality become tarnished.

I believe that we are forgetting that hospitality is more than simply welcoming others into your home. Hospitality is something that you take with you. It is a central part of who you are even though it's almost always inconvenient. But what part of accommodating others and putting your own comfort and convenience aside isn't?

It's like when someone breaks something valuable of yours. When they say they are sorry, you tell them, "it's ok," even if it's really not. It's also when someone is talking, you don't interrupt them until they have conceded the floor. You certainly do not correct or mock every word they say. That's just sheer rudeness, the opposite of being hospitable.

Hospitality is a lost art. For all of you who I know, I hope that whatever your socio-economic class, faith worldview, or opinion of Star Wars, you have found me respectful, kind, and hospitable.

Feel free to drop by my house anytime...but please don't break my things.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Episode VII


There is no religion that is the "true" religion. All of the major religions have a bit of truth, but not the whole truth. It's like this:

There were 3 blind men. They were each placed next to an elephant and asked to describe it. One grasped the leg of the elephant and said, "The elephant is like a large tree." The second pressed against the elephant's side and said, "No, the elephant is like a great wall, tall and vast." Still, the third man ran his hand along the trunk of the elephant and said, "No, the elephant is long and flexible like a snake." All of them had truth about the elephant, just not all the truth. That is what all the major religions are like. They all have some good things to say and they have a little truth, but there is no one true religion that can see the whole elephant.

I've heard this a lot, but this logic does not stand up, and here is why:

This line of thinking ignores the fourth person in the story: The Storyteller. Apparently, the Storyteller has reached an enlightenment unlike any other. The Storyteller has surpassed all great thinkers, philosophers, and scientists because of this one insight:

The Storyteller can see the whole elephant.

How would he know that the 3 blind men got it wrong if the Storyteller himself had only the same partial truth? He assumes superiority by claiming to have absolute truth about the elephant.

No respectable thinker or rational philosopher would claim to be able to see the whole elephant. Only the one who can see the whole elephant for what it truly is can be the one to say things like "there are no absolute truths." or that "all religions are valid and have partial truth, but no one true religion exists."

It is blind arrogance to claim these things, yet so many do. Why?

I believe that when we remove God from the position of the Storyteller, we put ourselves there. This is the problem with Humanism. It relies on our very small and untapped brain to rationalize the universe. It is like asking a steam engine to travel across the U.S. in an hour. And what are we but a passing vapor on this earth?

Maybe we should spend more time wrestling with the fact that we probably don't know what the elephant looks like either.

However, if I put Jesus in the position of the Storyteller, then I place my hope in Him that he is telling me the truth. That's what Christianity is all about: Faith in Christ. Faith that he has told us the Truth. He's the only one who can see the whole elephant. We either believe him or not.

This is the meaning of peace: If He is wrong about the elephant, what do I have to lose?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Episode VI


As long as I can remember I've been fascinated by water. I don't really know why. It just seems there is something different about it, yet, familiar at the same time. I know over 70% of our planet is covered by it. Over 70% of our body is made up of it. It's one of the few substances on Earth that can hold 3 different phases of matter: solid, liquid, and gas (not sure about plasma, that's a new one. I mean, come on, in my day, Pluto was a planet).

The thing that struck me the most was in my reading of Genesis 1. The first two verses go like this in the NIV:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Since this is Hebrew poetry, it's assumed that there will be illustrative language to convey the general idea of what is happening, but it seems to me that water was here before God started to create anything. Is it a companion to God? Did God NOT create water? Or was it the paint sitting on a pallet waiting for the artist to create His masterpiece? It seems to be linked with an idea mankind has yet to understand called "Spirit."

There is a Japanese scientist who takes pictures of frozen water crystals after they have been exposed to certain things. His name is Dr. Masaru Emoto, and he's probably crazy. He literally used a computer to print out phrases on paper such as "Thank You" and "I hate you and will kill you," taped it to a glass of water, and photographed the effect on the molecular structure of the water hours later.

I know the site looks a little shady, but after surfing a bit, I've found that this information is legit.

Go see for yourself.

Have you ever "sensed" that something is wrong? Have you ever "felt" the love of an embrace from a loved one? These are just words to describe something that we honestly do not understand. Maybe it's not a secret unlocked by the mind.

Maybe the science will one day catch up with Faith (or as some call it, Theory). I can feel it in my Spirit.

Or maybe there is just something in the Water...