Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's 4 am, I have a constitutional law exam in less then 12 hours, and I have a bone to pick with Creationists. If you are one, please respond to me. Dialogue is always great.

I don't quite see why we have this debate to start with, it has become quite passe. It must be the last vestiges of frustration I encountered a couple years back when in attempting to engage in a bible study on this topic. Frustration to no end. It's 4 am.

Anyway Creationism doesn't seem to serve any purpose in the Christian narrative. Science has pretty much debunked the allegation of God's hand molding us from clay, and history has reveal Genesis to be a rip-off (albeit a necessary act of plagiarism) from ancient Mesopotamian creation myths that pre-dated the Jewish race. Neither of which, of course are verifiably empirically true, we juggle ourselves from theory to theory. Some we take more seriously then others like, say, gravity. But there is a reasonable, rational basis for living by some and chuckling at others. And while God definitely transcends reason, it definitely isn't biblical to subvert it. He gave us faculties, he gave us gifts, he gave us capabilities of satient understanding out of utter respect for both our beings and His glory (I guess our existence is inextricably tied to his glory ala Westminister Confession of Faith). Besides, faith and science have never been mutually exclusive. If I believed in an all-powerful god, why should I be fearful of Newton? Afterall, there is plenty of evidence that God, while being the definition of goodness, is also, the God of evil. That would be the logical conclusion for a monotheistic faith in an All-Powerful being. While defining goodness, he is supreme over evil (or however else you want to define this).

The only response I remember receiving thus far is "do you believe that the Bible is God's word?"... "If you do not believe that the Creation story if fact, how can you believe the rest of the Bible?" And this is where it gets really messy.

Fact and Truth are, in my odd mind, altogether separate things. One precludes a empirical rendering of objective elements, and the other seems to encompass elements that go beyond what's lying in the petri dish. That my mother once hit me, is fact. But it does not follow that she ceased to love me (right mumsy?). Context context context. So the creation myth then, can very easily be truth without being factual. It all boils down to the realm beyond positivist fact and empiricism. The Genesis story is true - it doesn't tell us what happened (does it really matter? can we ever know?) it tells us why. Its purpose back when Israel was building its nation (by 'back' I mean 2000 BC not 1948), was to give her people an identity. Creation stories birth our ontologies and paradigms. Who we are is very much built on where we came from. And to have carved a chosen nation from scraggling nomads and the riff-raff of society calls for some extensive identity formation. To carve the Church from centuries of mistakes and myriad fragmentations also calls for some extensive identity formation. And herein lies where the Bible is truth - it's the story of who we are, not what happened to occur back when...

This interpretation of the creation story is, I think, the progeny of the modern age and all its epistemology. We see, numbers, facts, charts, graphs and empirical knowledge. I do not see how this alone is congruous to the Christian story. It has to be more then what is scientifically measurable. But this is what Creationism is built on, an attempt (a pretty good one) to build the warm flesh of truth onto the partial and incomplete skeleton of fact. If we take away our scientific reading of the creation story, would we come to the same conclusion? I don't see how. And yet insistance on this 'truth' leads to an ironic reality - When the gospel of love winds up being presented in forms that are instantaneously intellectually exclusive.

And if we are to stick to face-value factual renderings of the Bible, Mark 9:1 is going to pose us some serious issues: And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power (NIV). There aren't many people around from 33 AD who haven't yet 'tasted death' and a strict scientific rendering of the text "Kingdom of God" would, in Christianese, mean the second coming of Christ, all that Jazz in Revelations and what have you not. There is something (and that something is pretty big) that isn't consistent here. And if I remember correctly, consistency is a number one tenant of the scientific method.

So what really is going on? Are we so trapped within our arrogant paradigms that we can't see beyond ourselves, and our human accomplishments. The other gift of the modern age is the phenomena of individualism and a crippling toward respect for 'the other'. If we are going to restrict truth to a single interpretation of the Word of God, we might as well say that God is mono-lingual. And that just negates everything.

Why am I even doing this? I remember saying 3 years back, that this debate really didn't matter. Can we focus on other things that actually have weight? Like really loving our neighbours, really getting to know ourselves, and really studying for law school midterms?

[Edit 16:25]

I forgot, that God created us is a statement that speak to ontology, not methodology.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Teach me to delight in You, and in the work you give me. That it might be pleasing in your sight.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Post-modernity - theo-politics - theology and the state - theo-structuralism - identity - community - and a whole host of other disciplines I have yet to learn the names of...

Dear Curto. Thank you for the breath of fresh air and reminding me, again, of what I truly believe, what I want to be, and what I want to study. Will you academically marry me?