Six Views on the Creation/Evolution Debate

For those of us who have learned that the Creation/Evolution debate is a swamp of options and details without clear channels, a post from Parchment and Pen gives the six basic options in the controversy and what is at stake.  This post might really be helpful to the person who has stayed away from the debate, intimidated by the sheer amount of material and the shrill voices that grind away at our sensibilities.

Let’s go to church, 150 AD style

St Justin in 155 wrote to the pagan emperor Aontonius Pius, describing Sunday worship as it was celebrated in Rome.

On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.

The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.

When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

The we all rise together and offer prayers for ourselves…and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.

When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.

Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.

He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: “Amen.”

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the “eucharisted” bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.

Church as attractional event? Not so sure. Church as teaching, prayer, eucharist? I am thinking so.

Being uptight with people sure can be a grind

Here are some comments below from the Naked Pastor. I am not sure about some of this, but at times it appears attractive. Let everything go, and let people be themselves without trying to herd them. Serve, love, be with, etc. Quit trying to control. I get it. I don’t always know what this means for leadership. My life is often going between the extremes of “I just want to be a good Christian” and the “Look, I have a responsibility here and things need to be the way I see it and everybody will be better off.” Luckily for me in this phase of my life (59), I don’t have a whole lot of trying to control people left in me. Not a bad place to be. If I could there would be many things I would now do differently, but I have no wish for a do-over. I’ve been done over and learned to let some things go.

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This last weekend I was at a conference. One day one of the speakers spoke on love. I was moved to desire to love more deeply. Here’s some of the commitments I made:

1. I relinquish all control of others, and commit to the liberation all people.
2. I choose to be kind, even to the meanest.
3. I celebrate the success of others, even my enemies.
4. I refuse to protect, secure or improve my reputation.
5. I renounce pride, and consider others as better than I.
6. I decline making demands, even when it would be expected and accepted.
7. I forsake irritation, even with the most irritating.
8. I quit resentment, and keep no record of any wrongs done against me.
9. I work for and celebrate justice for others.
10. I propagate the truth of unconditional love, confident that it will win the day.
11. I will not give up on, lose faith in, or cease hoping for anyone.
12. I choose a love that endures through all circumstances.

That should keep me occupied. At least for today.

They don’t make atheists like they used to

This is a quote from David Bentley Hart’s Atheist Delusions. One of Hart’s chief contentions is that they just don’t make atheists like they used to. Nietzsche was an author who knew what atheism would mean, and followed the arrow where it was shot.  But the atheists of today have no stomach for what a robust atheism really means, those such as Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris.

As I have already complained, the tribe of the New Atheists is something of a disappointment. It probably says more than it is comfortable to know about the relative vapidity of our culture that we have lost the capacity to produce profound unbelief. The best we can now hope for are arguments pursued at only the most vulgar of intellectual levels, couched in an infantile and carpingly pompous tone, and lacking all but the meagerest traces of historical erudition or syllogistic rigor… . Sam Harris shrieking and holding his breath and flinging his toys about in the expectation that the adults in the room will be cowed. Christopher Hitchens bellowing at the drapes and potted plants while hoping no one notices the failure of any of his assertions to coalesce with any other into anything like a coherent argument. (Hart, 220)

See Whatever Happened to Profound Unbelief.

I expected the doctrinal statement for NiceneCreed.com to be, uh, well, the Nicene Creed

Protestants just can’t do it. That is, an ancient creed cannot be left to stand on its own, whether it be the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, or the Athanasian Creed. I expected this organization to do just that, but alas…. Oh well, the site seems to merit inquiry… But maybe not. On second look their burden seems more antidispensationalism than anything else. I thought that battle was pretty much over, at least in theological circles.