Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's Sunday. Let's pray for the church.

Something in me cries out for change. "There must be more than this" is a phrase in a current worship song. Maybe it should be "There must something different than this." What will it take to actually be agents of the kingdom of God? What will it take for us to 1) Walk in the power and presence of Jesus all the time, producing fruit in season (i.e. results!) and 2) be solid, trustworthy, dependable people. Why do I list these separately? Because there's a perception out there that if you seek after 1) you will probably not qualify for 2).

There are, I'm certain, other dichotomies out there. "If you want this, you can't have that." But I reject them. I want the whole enchilada (as the saying goes.)  I want a church filled with thousands of people, all disciples of the Messiah, (not of anyone else!) in proper, healthy, relationships with each other, worshipping God in his fullness with all their hearts, producing fruit in all areas of ministry through the power of Him who dwells with us, walking in love for each other and all around them, with leaders who are not the focal point or the motivation of the church's activity, but rather who faithfully keep the whole already moving entity from straying from God's path which is clear to all. This is my prayer for my church. Pray it for yours, too.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Utility

In the previous post, admittedly in a very oblique way, I touch on an idea that has been becoming more and more clear to me. It's something I've used in the past but not really given a name. But I have one now and that name is utility.

Utility as a principle is a criterion for judging any theory, theological, philosophical or otherwise. I've used it in the past to choose open theism over classic theism, because one of the problems I have with the idea that every bit of minutia about my life is foreknown and therefore (people who ignore this 'therefore' are just being dishonest, in my books) predetermined is that it's no damn use to me. Such a view precludes prayer or any effort at all. Why would I involve my heart or passion in anything I do under such a scheme? Indeed most devout classic theists live like thoroughgoing open theists, praying to move the heart of a God that technically they believe to have already been in the future and decided it by knowing it, but willing to dichotomize and follow their hearts. Thus partly based on the non-utility of the theory of God existing outside a time that also already exists, I find I can't espouse it.

The post 'in other news' pokes fun at the atheistic religionists that I frequently encounter on my favourite tech news site, Slashdot. They pillory ad infinitum, at nauseam, all who refuse to espouse the idea that the complexity of life we see every day as merely a product of chance. Intelligent Design for them is an epithet, synonymous with stupidity. And yet, when we encounter complexity, as the character, Alison Blake, did in Eureka, (Series finale is next Monday!) it's of no use at all (no utility) to assume that it's a mere product of chance, and we just don't. The researchers who discovered Flame and Stuxnet, based on their findings of complexity, did not immediately assume that the right combination of operating system, hardware and atmospheric conditions had caused these targeted malware attacks to simply evolve. Rather, they theorized a concerted effort by technologically enabled government departments. And it appears they were right.

So also every investigative agency on the planet. Nothing complex and seemingly concerted can be viewed as random coincidence. CIA or NSA analysts would lose their jobs if they started with the assumption of randomness. So also everyone else. The most thoroughgoing (I love that word) atheistic evolutionist would not assume that time and chance produced a nasty prank against his daughter in school. And yet we are told, against all that we intuitively know, that underlying all of the universe there is a phenomenon of chance producing the complexity of life we see around us. Can it be? Written into the fabric of the universe is a basic principle -- evolution caused by chance alone -- that runs counter to all our method of living? Nuts. So I reject the idea. It has no utility. Oh wait, I forgot. It does have a use! It's a handy-dandy way of ignoring and helping others to ignore the uncomfortable idea that Someone might have caused me!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In other news...

The slashdot council on doctrinal purity (SCDP) has threatened to subject itself to a taste of its own medicine and resign en masse over failing to censure 'Eureka' writer Bruce Miller for an apparent 'Intelligent Design' slip of the pen. In episode S05E11, 'Eureka' character Dr. Alison Blake, observing the effects of a mysterious computer glitch was made to utter the blasphemous words, "it can't be an accident -- it's too complex!" When asked why there was not an immediate and caustic post on slashdot on the night of the show's airing SCDP members admitted that they had been too interested in the plot to notice and, in an unguarded moment, one even guessed that the story might have been less interesting should the glitch have been of completely random origin.

It was only later, after extensive reprogramming, that SCDPers have turned their usual inquisitional fervour on themselves and threatened to resign because of their failure to shield young minds from the pernicious idea that one can infer design from complexity. Earlier today, the SCDP released a statement admitting that its formerly unimpeachably pure scientific outlook had become tainted with mere common sense and begging, on behalf of all members, to be released from their essential slashdot duties. The release explained that although the members knew that slashdot could not function without their input, they would rather see it temporarily crippled rather than 'endanger the minds of the impressionable.' Faced with this crisis, the slashdot high directorate (SHD) has not accepted the resignation of the SCDP but has instead instituted regular beatings for SCDP members. We are assured from inside sources that SCDPers have found this quite acceptable and that in future, no such further slip-ups will occur.