Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You Will Love this Blog or Hate It

This blog is an on-line journal of a minister's attempt to make sense of Christian theology in the 21st century. My blog is viewed as a breath of fresh air by some, and breath of demon fire by others. The reason for that is becoming more and more clear to me.

I begin as a given with the modern scientific view of cosmology and anthropology.

1) The Universe is 14 billion years old. Earth is a small planet in the arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, 30,000 light years from the galaxy's center, and there are millions, perhaps billions, of galaxies. In other words Earth is not the center or focal point of the universe.

2) Human beings are a product of four billion years of evolution on planet Earth, evolving from earlier life forms. Human beings are therefore more connected to than different from other living things.

If you do not affirm those two basic observations of modern science, this blog will do nothing but frustrate you. I urge you to go somewhere else. For example, if you wish to get your religion from a theologian who believes Earth is 10,000 years old, I suggest you go here. He'll fix you right up. There are plenty of options.

These observations regarding cosmology and evolution are quite recent. At the time of the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Hebrews, Jesus, and the authors of the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds were around, the universe was imagined somewhat like this:

1) Earth was the center of the universe. The sky or heaven was the abode of the gods and the stars. The idea that the Earth was the center of the universe didn't get changed until the Copernican Revolution in the 16th century.

2) Human beings were considered the highest life forms, different from other creatures, just a little lower than the angels, and created in the form they are now.

The Bible and the creeds which the church affirms were developed in a pre-Copernican, pre-Darwinian, pre-Modern time. They made sense. One could imagine Jesus ascending to Heaven and descending from Heaven. The early Christian creeds, in a literal form, are too small for the Universe. They are no longer credible. This is from Roy Hoover, regarding the Bible and the Modern World.

Again, if you do not affirm modern cosmology and evolution, you will get very little from me. What I have to say will be nonsense and unimportant and wrong. However, for those of you who do affirm modern cosmology and evolution, this discussion may prove very fruitful. It is an attempt to understand the convictions of the early creeds, what they meant when they affirmed that Jesus rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, will return again, and whether or not we can transpose the meaning of those affirmations into our world. More than that, it is an attempt to understand what it means to be human today, what is our great work and our hope.