Saturday, August 28, 2010

what are you doing in another universe now?

Spirituality operates on a new cosmology that sees a "multiverse" rather than the universe. It attempts to redefine the practice and experienc of faith in a post-Newtonisn world. As Marshall McLuhan said, "The phrase 'God is dead' applies aptly, correctly, validly to the Newtonian universe which is dead. The ground rule of that universe, upon which so much of our Western world is built, has dissolved." Religion operates on premodern views of the owrld. Ever since man took pictures of the earth from the moon, our understanding about cosmology and the nature of being has evolved into a postmetaphysical understanding of life.
Burke and Taylor, A Heretic's Guide to Eternity, p. 60

If you read that, and are thinking "What does any of that mean?", join the club.

A few months ago, some big progressive type had a shindig about "Theology After Googles". I think I wrote a bit about some things he wrote about it. Pretty much, we are to think that, after the advent of the internet search engine Google (sorry, MSN and Yahoo and all you other search engines), we have to redefine and rethink and redo and rethis and rethat all things theology.

This is hardly new. Some took the true horrors and evil of the Nazi death camps and extermination chambers to tried to formulate a theology after Auschwitz, and some of them concluded that God is dead, though without consulting God, I would suppose. Burke and Taylor are trying to say that the lunar landing or the first photos from orbit somehow necessitates a need to rethink and all that in theology.

Sometimes, it seems like every new invention or big event has some people saying we need to rethink God because of it. Why? What does Google have that trumpts God? Why does even an ugly event like the killings in the Nazi camps mean we have to rethink God? Is this all not just ways so shifting blame and responsibility?

It strikes me that the ancients were made of much heartier stuff. Jeremiah walks among that ruins of Jerusalem, and cries out to God. Daniel gets carried off to a foreign country, and sticks true to his God and the true beliefs in Him. Nehemiah actually believes those old words of God concerning the return of His people from exile and so acts on them. Jesus actually tells the disciples that Jerusalem will be destroyed and the Temple torn down, and they don't try to redefine Him and rethink His words and try to explain away what He told them.

There are true contradictions that should be avoided. But there are also seemingly contradictions that are not really contradiction, but rather, like colors, enhance the overall picture. Gideon can say "The Lord is peace" and believe that that same God can tell him to raise an army and kill the people who have conquered them, and he can see no contradiction in those things. And there isn't a contradiction.

Emergents and progressives seem unable to comprehend that. McLaren posits that God in the Old Testament is at times "unchristlike", a blasphemy if I've read one. His god is a small, weak thing, a creature made in McLaren's own image, not the great, grand, at times frightening God we see throughout the Bible.

Man can make whatever technological advances they want. They still haven't surprised or surpassed God. If anything, man's tech advances have only made us worse. The person who could at one time have only killed a few people with bare hands or knives can now kill scores with guns, or even thousands with something as seemingly innocent as airplanes, not to mention nuclear weapons. Lies which would have not even been heard about in another country a few hundred years ago can reach the other side of the world in seconds now.

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