Sunday, February 28, 2010

Duszynski on Darwin

Bacon wrote in Advancement of Learning:

"To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavor an endless progress of proficience in both."

What is crazy about this quote is that it is printed in the first copies of the front pages of On The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. A book that really does not need any kind of introduction, but rather a hose to put out the flames that are arising from it. You might be asking yourself why I even care. Well, I did some research on Charles for a class that I had to teach recently and it seems that Darwin and his ideas are mistaken quite often. Darwin's book On The Origin of Species explains the concept of natural selection, or the process of how living things change over time due to this process called selection. Much like artificial selection that we see all the time in the breeding of dogs and horses to select specific traits (like brown spotted coat, or a labradoodle), except it occurs naturally rather being humanly controlled.

When I realized that we might have Darwin all wrong, I began to look at his life. I found that not only was he a respected member of the Anglican church but went to divinity school for a time (regardless of the fact that his father made him). Along with these things he studied multiple other fields of science, including geology, medicine, and botany. It has also been reported that on his trips around the world he ministered to crew member on his ship... Kinda interesting. He asked his wife not to publish On The Origin of Species until after his death for the fear of being exiled by the Anglican church and ruining his respected family name.

Before I get too off topic and begin a tangent on Darwinism I want to get back to the quotation by Bacon. I believe, especially when considering my studies and in my faith, that Bacon's words best describe the way that I feel. God created this world, and everything in it. There is no doubting that. But can we ever really be too well studied in it? In fact, is not the study of it a way of worshiping God in itself? Through the study of the sciences I do not find an alternative to God, but rather the proof of his almightyness, brilliance, and hand in all things.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Me in a nut shell

So I've decided to try out this fad known as blogging. I'm going to be honest, when people first started blogging I didn't think anyone really cared that much about what anyone thought. I was wrong. Somehow (don't ask me how), I have found that I love listening to what people have to say and reading their everyday thoughts. Over the past couple of years I have grown up quite a bit and I'm excited to start my blogging journey.

I believe that I am truly interested in blogging because it opens up the doors to have conversations with others about ideas and concepts that you cannot get from the typical day to day walk, mostly in my case because I am much too busy. So in some ways, at the moment, this blog is a way to communicate with people that are not only far away, but close too. Lame I know, but sometimes priorities and callings get in the way of socializing.

Some may think my interests are very weird, but I try not to think about it too much. I love learning about theology, science, theology & science together, poetry, literature (even though I haven't read near as much as I would have liked to), ministry, faith, and some psychology. I guess others see these as unique interests because some of them are so different. I mean... science and poetry? Science and literature? I'll be the first to say that science makes some great poetry and some great literature. But I love to read poetry, and sometimes create. Recently I have been getting into song lyrics and I have found some really great stuff.

I suppose the whole gist of my attempt to blogging is to bring to the surface things that I think about and analyze. Because I do that a lot. I'm a very busy person, but I spend most of my time alone in that busyness and in reflection. So sometimes I will share something amazing that happened in life, but most of the time I will be writing with a purpose or, I guess you could say, something to share.

Today I want to share this excerpt from a writing by Archbishop Oscar Romero, which is actually something I read on a local ministers blog today.

“The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us. No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection. No pastoral visit brings wholeness. No program accomplishes the church’s mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything. This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.”

I love this excerpt because of its honesty. I think that as people of the church, people that are followers of Jesus Christ, get so caught up in our own holiness that we begin to wander in the other direction. But if we choose to look at ourselves honestly, and see that we are human, it is then that we realize that it is not ourselves that accomplishes works, in this case of the church, but God through our hands. So for me, I analyze this and play devil's advocate with myself and say, then what is the point of even seeking holiness, and is it possible to find on this Earth. I would argue that this is answered by the end of Oscar Romero's statement. Our abilities and what we strive for may leave us incomplete or unfinished, but as Romero states, "it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest." This Earth that we have been given is unforgiving, but through God we have the ability to achieve. And whether someone believes or not, He is doing work everyday. Because I truly believe that all things are through Him and of Him. I pray that I can be more honest about my humanity and portray that to others. I believe that if the church becomes more honest about its humanity, then humanity would have no honest reason to fear the church.