What I Love Hearing Most When It Comes to the Science & Faith Conversation

Recently, I was interviewed for a project that focused on the relationship between faith and science. I answered questions based on what I’ve observed from fellow pastors, young people, those who love science, faith and from my own vantage point. I was honored to have participated.

As one who takes Scriptures seriously (yes, I mean Genesis 1-3) and as one who thinks science has something to say about origins and life in general (yes, I mean the theory of evolution), I’ve always been bothered by the strenuous relationship between the two. Now we know this is not exhaustive as there are many people who have found a wonderful balance between science and faith but we have seen too much unnecessary tension between the discipline of science and the pursuit of faith.

I was asked during the interview what was my favorite part of the faith and science conversation from a pastoral perspective. Well, [Read more…]

“You know I didn’t like you too much at first.”

Maybe it’s the way I make a first impression, maybe it’s my air of arrogance, maybe it’s my aurora of awesomeness, but I am often the recipient of the phrase, “You know I didn’t like you too much at first.”

I once mentioned this to someone I trusted and they politely said, “Yeah I can see that.”
“Do people say that to you too?” I asked.
“Is it because all people instantly like you or is it that those who don’t like you continue not liking you?”
Silence accompanied by an eye roll that I think meant, “I don’t like you anymore.”

Now, when someone finally admits this to you, there’s a comical sense of validation. It’s like, “I finally won you over with my charm” or “I knew you’d come around. I told you I was awesome!” If that arrogance didn’t get them to realize they were right the first time, you may end up with a lifelong friendship.

But do you know what’s worse than this? It’s when you have to admit to someone, “You know I didn’t really like you too much at first.” [Read more…]

“The Evangelical Left Oxymoron or Opportunity?” Lectured by David Swartz

Last week I attended a lecture at Gordon College given by David Swartz entitled, “”The Evangelical Left Oxymoron or Opportunity?”
He just released a book called, Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism.
Here are some of the notes I took – below is the accompanying reflection:

Limits of evangelical politics
1. Acting out culture war scripts
2. Preaching real politick
James Davidson Hunter’s idea of both sides can be manipulative and jockey for power.
3. Proclaiming Nationalism
4. Consuming stuff –
Unintended reformation: What unites the West is no longer Christianity but consumption.
We traded the “pursuit of good” for the pursuit of goods.

In light of all this, the evangelical left (and right) can come across as an oxymoron.

[Read more…]

Reflecting on the Government Shutdown

Despite reading various links from my Google Search, “What the government shutdown means for me” I’m still not sure how it dramatically affects many of us in the short-term who are not relying on governmental provisions in the forms of food or seniors’ or veterans’ services. From what I can see, teaching hospitals, medical research facilities, and other related companies/facilities are affected while social security, counter-terrorism, air-traffic controllers and of course, the Post Office are all still running. (I do realize some of these are furloughed and unpaid but many will be reimbursed as today’s news indicates.)

In one sense I am relieved that a short-term government shutdown does not dramatically disrupt many of our lives. I’m grateful this is not a green light for rioters and home invasions because law enforcement is suspended. I’m also grateful for things like our power grid, sanitation and the internet not being shutdown. This of course, would be political suicide for anyone who pushed those buttons but again, what does a government shutdown actually mean?

Still I can’t help but think what this mess is really costing. We’re told it’s costing the economy billions. Further, I am still trying to [Read more…]