worth checking out

A couple of blog items worth checking out

Here’s one for anybody who is, or knows anybody that is, depressed.
http://trevinwax.com/2009/01/22/losing-god-a-book-about-doubt-depression/

I’ve always said the Creation verses Evolution debate is a waste of time since they are compatible.  “When Darwin published his work on evolution, the American biologist Asa Gray wrote Darwin to say that his book had shown God’s ingenious way of ensuring the unity and diversity of life. From Gray’s point of view, Darwin had deepened man’s understanding of divine teleology. Darwin praised Gray for seeing a point that no one else had noticed. In later editions of his books, Darwin went out of his way to cite the English writer Charles Kingsley, who described evolution as compatible with religious belief. To the end of his life, Darwin insisted that one could be “an ardent theist and an evolutionist…They are under the illusion that to be an evolutionist is essentially to be an atheist. Darwin, to his credit, rejected the equation of these two stances as illogical…”

From http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/january/24.67.html

For those who, like me, haven’t seen this word before here’s a definition: teleology – The study of design or purpose in natural phenomena.

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One Response to “worth checking out”

  1. You sure don’t mind bringing up hot button topics. You picked two doozies in just this one post. I have an unpleasant knack for holding views that aren’t mainstream. I tend to avoid both these topics because because I don’t have very thick skin and would rather not get into heated discussions that bring out the uglier sides of others, or get me insulted, or cause unnecessary division. That said, I don’t mind discussing them occasionally with folks who seem interested in congenial discussion.

    Having suffered from depression myself, I found the first link a very good read, and may choose to pick up the book at some point. Since becoming a Christian, and doing some self-examination, I’ve given up anti-depressants and been able to live an emotionally stable life for the last 4 years. I’m still more prone to “the blues” than some, but it’s no longer debilitating, I no longer feel like life is meaningless or fantasize about dying; and I know Who my helper is.

    I haven’t had a problem with reading the Puritans, mainly because the ones I’ve read so often refer to “melancholy” as an actual infirmity, rather like an illness, that some folks are predisposed to. They legitimize it without making it an excuse. I find their approach (at least the ones I’ve read) wholesome. The one I’ve had problems with from time to time is Spurgeon. Though I appreciate his gifts and his doctrine, I won’t listen to, or read, more than one of his sermons in a row. He overwhelms me. (Funny thing, he suffered from depression, too.) The other ones that can cause trouble for me are the Andrew Murray types, the perfectionists. But then, I’m in good company since J.I. Packer had trouble with them too.

    The CT article was interesting. Whenever I hear folks talking about evolution, which is a lot, I rarely find it conflicting with my faith. To me the basic drive of living beings to keep on living makes little sense apart from some outside directing force. Physicists as well, keep on finding things that to me point to the eternal power of God (like that holograph theory). If I was absolutely married to a literal 6 (24 hour) days of creation motif I would feel, like many do, that this is a satanic attack designed to destroy faith. I’ve no doubt that God could have created in a literal 6 day period, but I also don’t believe God built tricks into His creation. On the contrary, Romans 1 says that creation provides a faithful testimony, but that folks will refuse to believe what God has plainly shown to them. (Dawkins is a prime example.) Though I do believe evolution occurs – all we have to do is look at bacteria and viruses to see it happen before our eyes – I don’t feel the fossil record accounts for all the different species (macro-evolution). The record would be innundated with “missing links” were that the case. So, I hold to an old-earth creationist position, mainly from the testimony of the light from planets m/billions of light years away, the fact that the cosmological necessities for our literal 24 hour days did not come about until Day 4 of creation, and the fact that the language of Genesis “let the earth bring forth”, in my opinion, seems to speak to a process (though I’m not resolved on the issue of whether animal death before the fall of man is Biblically acceptable or not). I also believe the Scripture is clear that mankind was a special creation, formed separately from other species by God’s own hand. All that said, I remain unmarried to any of these ideas, since I was not there in the beginning and am relying on a spare & stylized Biblical record clearly intended to tell us that God is responsible for the whole thing, that He did it in distinct stages, and that He created man in His own image, which I believe with all my heart.

    Thanks for that thought provoking post.

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