Re: [asa] Does nature leads you to believe or to reject God?

From: <>
Date: Sat Nov 28 2009 - 09:18:17 EST

Hi, Oscar. John W. is right that the experiences and thoughts of participants
in this list are quite varied, though generally from within a Christian framework.

While John sees theodicy and justification as a good starting point, I would
differ with him some on that. One can imagine that once a well-meaning
Christian begins to mount up the defense of why the world is like it is (an
activity we all seem to indulge in frequently) that it is an invitation for the
atheist to pick up the opposite end of the rope and begin that whirling dance of
tension with us yet again. It could well be that in imitation of the incarnated
Christ, our best & highest calling is to enter into that suffering with Him,
without trying to defend or justify the suffering itself. In relationship, the
finer intellectual points of theodicy seem to work themselves out as
after-thoughts. Devoid of that relationship, the finest crafted theodicies in
the world will blow away in the wind. So my advice is simply to be with your
adviser and friend. And if or when he picks up his end of the rope to give it a
few tugs, you might surprise or disarm him by getting on his same side,
scratching your head along with him, and saying "You know, that doesn't make any
sense to me either..." and sometimes you may be honestly forced to leave it at
that. Other times, maybe you will have an answer that the Spirit prompts you to

Just my two cents this morning. Wish I was good & experienced at following my
own advice above. Others can chime in with more knowledge.

--Merv Bitikofer

Quoting Oscar Gonzalez <>:

> Hello Asaers.
> I ask this question in this forum for this reason: I have started this year
> my PhD studies in Ecology; and this topic appeared while I was talking with
> my advisor. He is a well known ecologist with several years of experience in
> the Neotropics. Mean while I was discussing my research proposal, which is in
> the effects of climate change on birds, we swifted to social causes of
> environmental degradation and he expressed his interest in how religious
> communities impact the environment.
> I told him how I worked with a faith-based institution in my country to get
> christians towards nature conservation and the opennes that we found in poor
> rural communities; also explained him what is the responsible stewardship of
> creation and how to interpret the bible. He defined himself as a atheist but
> not a "hard-core" hater of religion. He was raised as a baptist, his parents
> are christian; but he lossed his faith while studying nature and as he told
> me, understood how cruel, irrational and  senseless the interactions of
> animals are.
> Then I felt free to share how I became a christian a year before I entered
> the University when I was 16, to study my bachelor's degree as a biologist. I
> did see Biology as the wonders of God's creation; also how I became a young
> earth creationist (It was impossible to be an evangelical christian and not
> be a creationist in the fundamentalist environmment where I lived) and later
> a Theistic evolutionist.
> The time for the interview reached an end, but he wants to talk more about
> this, I know that he has a strong spiritual need.
> I will not advocate intelligent design or something similar to convince him
> that God is present in nature, I know that ID is not science. But if he
> thinks that nature led him to reject God, what can I say? Any advice of how
> to preach to your advisor?
> Thanks,
> ˇObtén la mejor experiencia en la web!
> Descarga gratis el nuevo Internet Explorer 8.

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Received on Sat Nov 28 09:18:59 2009

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