Re: [asa] NY Times: Darwin's God

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Date: Sat Mar 10 2007 - 23:33:42 EST

David O wrote:

> I have to reference again Stephen Baxter's atrocious sci-fi novel
> "Transcendent," which plays out this panentheistic-emergence position very well. In
> Baxter's novel, the god-emergence is a post-human hive mind. Baxter's
> Catholic priest character waxes on about "Marxist historical determinism, socialist
> utopianism, and deeper wells of Slavic theology and nationalism [and] a
> 'Cosmism,' which [involves] ultimate unity between man and the universe." This,
> IMHO, is the theological trajectory of most of these strong evolutionary
> theories of religious belief.

I know there are reasonable concerns that turning the evolutionary
model onto religion can lead some people to assert that
"belief in God is a cheap survivalist trick --- nothing more".

There is nothing we can do to stop people who want to think that
way. It is hardly something new. In biblical times, people said
"where is your god?". If a person wants excuses to ignore or
reject religion, they have plenty there from the time of Adam and
Eve (regardless of how exactly you read and interpret that part
of Gen 1-11).

We cannot prove that faith is from a genuine manifestation of
God's personal relationship with us any more than we can prove
that truth is something worth fighting for. The unrighteous and
wicked go free and are blessed beyond measure in many places,
so why even fuss about truth and justice?

I only wish to raise this point: if there is a God, and
surely if Christ really did come to redeem us from our sins, we
can be sure that God (through whatever means God used to bring
this universe about), would also provide a way to have a personal
relationship with him. It would come out as a manifestation of
evolution because it is true. Now, one can of course explain it
all away as some cheap comfort or contrive some probabilities that
persistence pays off. They can claim it is all illusion and it
is all form some simple little payoff scheme. But if truth and
justice are nothing more than a payoff scheme, with a little
thought, you can beat the odds. And why not? There is no real
teeth in a payoff scheme. You play the game to beat the odds
if that's all it is. But a personal relationship with God, and
redemption that comes through the blood of Christ that we owe
our Lord, now that has some teeth. The choice is always yours
how you want to see all this, and indeed, it always has been.
If it is all vanity and striving after wind, then it will all
start to evaporate into the vast oblivion in another 10^19
years anyway and we can do nothing about it. All will be
forgotten. But you can choose to search for the substance
if you think that life is more than a cheap game and that
the reasons for having faith are substantial in nature.

I think when it comes down to a hard moment, that is what
we all must decide: honor God or play the game. It's a
terrifying thought indeed and we can only know for sure if
it is true if we stand before heaven's gates. Otherwise, we
will know nothing.

by Grace we proceed,

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Received on Sat Mar 10 23:34:55 2007

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