Sunday, September 11, 2011

ESP or the Resurrection? Maybe Both

Being at a geek conference (LinuxCon 2011 N. America) has once again rubbed my nose in the spiritual divide between atheists and Christians. Several speakers made allusions to the what they see as the superiority of 'evolution' over 'intelligent design' using the Linux development model as a sort of showcase of what they believe about the cosmos. A cosmos that must not under any circumstances, contain God. You see, we're scientific, we're superior and since God can not be demonstrated empirically, he's out. It's the same kind of thing one gets on dear old slashdot. How they love to pillory anyone that gives any room at all for God or the Bible in his worldview.

So what's the problem? How can I 'foolishly' cling to my beliefs in the face of a culture that clearly 'knows' them to be false? I was discussing this with my brother (also a long time member of geek culture) and presenting what I thought to be the main issue. Christians, in their pursuit and experience of God, allow for, and even value highly information not blessed so to speak by the scientific method. God is a person and just like your friend or worse, your significant other, is not to be treated like a science project. The information about persons is intuitively understood through time spent with the person, not experimenting on them. And how do we know we are spending time with God? Call it ESP if you like. I am aware of him, I feel a pull in my heart when I think of him, and language fails me when I try to describe how I know that he's here. I think that if atheists could include that kind of ESP in their worldview, they would soon know what I know.

My brother put forward a different view. He said that the fact of the resurrection, easily the most documented, and theologically significant miracle ever, is the key to the whole thing. There is so much implied by that event that I can't even begin to fathom here. But suffice it to say, that as N.T. Wright has been so ably teaching (try Surprised By Hope some time. A great read) the full bodily resurrection of our Lord as first fruits for everything that can be hoped for both for us and for the renewal of all creation, is that which fired up the first Christians and it ought to fire us up too. So, touché, brother. That may  be the thing to emphasize. Once the fact of the resurrection is accepted, The worldview has to change. But it could be a chicken and egg scenario. God bless all the atheists and agnostics, too, with revelation! (or ESP.)

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