Understanding Genesis 1

images-4The proper interpretation of Genesis 1 fuels a lot of conflict these days in the so-called science vs. religion wars. Genesis 1 is controversial because it forces us to ask important questions with huge implications for how we understand God, our world, and ourselves. Questions typically asked include: Is it true? Does it give us history? How does Genesis related to what geologist tell us? Is it consistent with evolutionary theory and Darwinism? Do we have a right to question Darwinism because of what it says in Genesis?

Does Science disprove God?

images-3It has become commonplace to hear from atheists that science has or will soon disprove God’s existence. ‘The godly hypothesis is not necessary,” we are told. “All of reality can be explained by the deliverances of science.” Examples of this thinking are easy to find:

Plato, The End of Narnia, and Eternity

Unknown-4In The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis brings his Narnian tale to an end. The forces of good and evil come to a head, and Aslan ushers in the end of Narnia and the beginning of eternity. Toward the end of the book, the old Narnia has ended and the faithful have entered through a magical door into Aslan’s land. As they explore this new world, they notice that it looks a lot like the old Narnia, just better—richer, purer, more real, untainted by evil, eternal.

On the Life of Pi, story telling, and the truth

Unknown-3With one voice, philosophers and theologians throughout intellectual history have affirmed the fundamental religiosity of man. In Yann Martel’s book Life of Pie, the young boy, Piscine Molitor Patel, embraces this impulse in spades—becoming (unbeknownst to his parents) a follower of Christ, Krishna, and Allah. The first part of the book paints a portrait of “Pi” as a gentle, clean hearted, and wise worshipper of the divine as well as a contented zookeeper’s son.

The American Idol Audition, Ph.D. Dissertation Defense, and the Human Longing for Quest

Unknown-2My favorite part of American Idol is the first few weeks. The Idol Machine travels around the country and people come out by the thousands to stand before the judges and sing their heart out. The goal is the get the coveted yellow piece of paper and to be told “Your going to Hollywood.” As I watched the show these past few weeks (yes, I admit it), it dawned on me that there are a lot of similarities between an American Idol audition and a Ph.D. defense. I’ve been through one, and I’ve watched the other for a while now. As I watch Idol, a funny thing happens to me, I find emotions reminiscent of the day when I defended my dissertation arise within the contestants and sometimes within me. The audition and the defense are of the same piece: