Monday, June 04, 2007

Phickle Thoughts

If Yogi Berra weren't still alive, I'd think he might have been reincarnated as one of my clients, who, last week said, "I didn't even know I was in a coma until I woke up two weeks later."

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We got interns at work. It's awesome. The intern who I work most closely with is actually 6 years older than I am, which makes for an interesting dynamic. He's a great guy so far, and seems extremely eager to learn. I'm still in that process myself, so I'm more inclined to see myself as a partner in figuring things out, rather than a teacher/boss. But I do get to give him work, which is really nice. I've been having him do research, which gives me a lot more time to actually deal directly with clients/adverse parties. It's been a very productive first week with the intern, and it should be an awesome summer.

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Don't you hate it when you wake up before the plot of your dream reaches its resolution?

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If you haven't heard about it, there's a new, terrifying, museum that just opened up: The Creation Museum. From the sounds of it, it's a mix between Bible stories, propaganda "debunking" evolution, scientific observations that "prove" creationism, and a bunch of cool animatronics and special effects.

Now, I'm not nearly as anti-creationism as some, but this still scares me. Yes, I accept that there may be some spiritual truth to the Bible's creation stories. I accept that God intended for human kind to exist as we do, and that humans in some ways reflect God's "image". But we're not talking about the "light" version of creationism, that sees a way that God's Divine Will can coexist with the scientific truth of evolution. We're talking about full-out Creationism, that rejects the theory of evolution, and that takes as a starting point a literal interpretation of the Bible. In my mind, that's an extremely flawed view, both scientifically and theologically.

And, I think that is the view that so many atheistic authors have been railing against lately. Folks like Dawkins with his book The God Delusion, have an extremely easy target in literal interpretation-ers. When some Christians believe ridiculous things because of their faith, that makes it easy to point to the faith as the source of problems, which causes difficulties for Christians more generally, and not just for those who accept this particular, limited flawed view. Things like this Creation museum scream the folly that some have fallen into. Despite what are probably noble (though severely misguided) intentions on the part of the museum's supporters, I fear this will do significantly more damage to Christianity than good.

Hopefully, if nothing else, this post shows that not all Christians found their scientific beliefs on the Bible. It's an obvious fact, but one that's easily overlooked by critics of religion. I think it's important for those who criticize Christianity from the outside to know that we Christians can truly be some of our own biggest critics.

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I'll be back in Minny starting Friday, for a little over a week. I'm free most of the time, with the exception of that first Friday/Saturday and the second Saturday. If you want to get together, drop me a line.

Come on shake your monkey hips
My pretty little creationist

5 comments:

joel. said...

Matt, I think we need to get together while you're here. Unfortunately, the only time I see that working is Saturday the 16th. Think you can squeeze me in?

rads said...

I'll see you in Gibbon.

emnovak said...

Oooh, I just had to explain to Jephtha the other night about not reading the Bible too literally-he was reading the Cain and Abel story and had some questions. I had to explain to him that it is extremely important to keep in mind the entire context of the story-who wrote it, when they wrote it, what was happening when it was written, and what their purpose was in writing it. That's one of the main reasons why taking the Bible literally is a huge problem-not just because there is wide contradiction throughout (at least seemingly, if you take it all at face value or a literal interpretation) but the style of literature and the purpose of writing makes it even harder to understand and often ends up having a different conclusion than what literal interpretation-ers (as I believed you called them, although I think interpretationists is a better word)find when they read most of the Bible. Especially in the Old Testament-there are so many language barriers, from translations from the original language to English, from the fact that the story was most likely passed down orally before being written, and the different "slang" terms and metaphors that were used way back when that are definitely not used now. Also, the Bible was of course written over such a long period of time that that needs to be taken into account as well. So, as you already made clear, it is not just dangerous but not altogether intelligent to take scientific truths from the Bible. In fact, it can be dangerous to take any biblical literature completely at face value for all of those reasons, as I explained to Jeph. Finally, it is impossible, as I have learned through my limited study of biblical literature (3 college classes and a church Bible study is basically it) it is nearly impossible to take the Bible literally without adding some sort of interpretation. Ok, that's my two cents. Well, it's probably closer to 12 but whatever.

Matthew B. Novak said...

And how did Jephy react to that?

emnovak said...

well I think I said it a little simpler, I hope anyway, and he thought it was really interesting. I felt bad because I didn't have a real answer to his question and probably most of what I said went over his head but he acted like he thought it was interesting. You'd have to ask him.