Wednesday, June 11, 2014

culture war

To answer a fair question, recently, from a friend...

As for the "creationism vs. evolution" debate...well, first, it's not even a debate because those are not apples/apples, but really two sides of the same coin.

Remember, science is only a few hundred years old, and the Creation account comes from prehistoric tradition and eventually borrowed from Babylonian literature when the OT was being written by Hebrews in captivity (but shaped in a monotheistic vantage of course). Back then you had oral traditions to tell the kids where we came from, it was a simpler time, a beautiful thing really - welcome to the Eastern mindset. They didn't have science to start explaining things, they had stories, and that was good enough for millennia. But the western mind came along and took a more factual and technical approach, seeking knowledge, sometimes through empirical proof, eventually leading to science. One way to look at it, our society is mired in a conflict between these two pragmas, but why?

Biblical teaching promises us a number of spiritual gifts, among them knowledge (akin to wisdom, both part of revelation) and also faith. Simply put, knowledge is what we do know (or theorize) and faith deals with what we don't know. Every person on this earth is tasked with coming to terms with those, the known and the unknown, being certain about one and finding courage in the face of the other. Science can't tell us everything, and so there's faith. Faith can also help us evaluate and accept new information and form a meaningful viewpoint, one that’s well thought out and hopefully not just inherited or assumed from childhood (ahem).

So...what drives me up the wall is how the vast vocal majority of Evangelical culture in this country can't seem to rationally handle challenge to their worldview, or even just a different way of looking at things and work toward that balance. The norm is that you have to get outraged, shoot first ask questions later, always react, make noise - that's no way to live, it's just sad. Far too long the church as taught people "what" to think instead of "how" to think, and we're paying for that.

So, it's largely a spiritual maturity issue.

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