Monday, July 28, 2014

Abi and the Great Library....

Well, I was trying to post a comment to RJS's wonderful post over at Jesus Creed today...but it got lost.  Sigh.  So, I decided to write it all down here instead and just link back to it in the comment.

The gist of the post, which you really should go and read first...go ahead, I'll be here when you get the unfortunate tendency to put God and Science in different rooms, or viewed wearing a different pair of glasses.

RJS introduced an interesting project:
My job (or one of my jobs) at the workshop both this year and last was to moderate a group where grantees discussed their projects and the progress made to date. The creative effort involved in the broad range of projects underway is impressive.  In one project The Author of Life now nearing completion Diane Sweeney (a high school biology teacher) and Joshua Hayashi (a school chaplain) are producing a multimedia curricula with seven short videos (about 6-7 minutes) to encourage high school students (and others) to think deeply about God’s role as Creator. Their collective experience as chaplain and teacher shapes the approach they take to reach students, either Christian or non-Christian who have questions and concerns about the relationship between science and faith.
I am going to watch all the videos soon....

Anyway, in the comment section, someone said this:
"How and when does the scientific narrative go off track?"

When it exits the room labeled "science" and walks across the hall to the room labeled "philosophy" and tries to take over.
To which someone replied:
But I would add a caveat.
We don't want the image of two totally isolated rooms, where never the twain shall meet. That doesn't work in either direction -- if our metaphysics talks about the real world it can't isolate itself from science, and science doesn't operate in a metaphysical vacuum (not to mention the need to bring meaning and values to science).
So maybe not two separate rooms across the hall, but two adjacent rooms with windows and doors which are not meant as conduits for conquest but rather for respectful and constructive dialogue. And each of us (and our communities) walking between the rooms and listening and doing our best to integrate the contents of the rooms into a coherent view of all of reality.
And it went to to this comment:

Yes, thank you, the game is played both ways. Agree with your caveat as well. Each professor must know the other and the others material well.
And here's where my mind's eye saw a vision that I tried to capture in a comment...which got lost.  It's a vision inspired by C. Baxter Kruger's hope that Theology will one day reclaim her place as the Queen of the Sciences -- which she lost during the Enlightenment period.

Here's the vision:

I see one beautiful home, built and in-dwelt by the Triune God. The centerpiece of this home in an enormous library with a domed ceiling of beautiful stained glass, portraying some beautiful scene--perhaps the one of the Tree of Life. (Maybe it looks something like this!) Anyway you know the type...with books from floor to ceiling--and even a balcony, because the ceiling is so tall--with ladders on railings that you can slide back and forth in order to get to the book that's out of reach.

Okay...maybe only those of us who love books and reading and learning would see this, but bear with me!

In this beautiful library there would be sections containing all the various arts and sciences, including the earth sciences,the mathematical sciences, the biological sciences, the life sciences, the literary sciences, the healing arts...including philosophy, sociology, ecology, psychology, philology, nutrition, gardening, sewing, woodworking, metallurgy--all the crafts--well, you get the picture.

All this material--forms and evidence of what J.R.R. Tolkien calls our acts of sub-creation--would be found in this great library, gathered and hosted by the Eternal Father, Son and Spirit who first created the universe in order to build this home where we would dwell together in Perichoretic cHesed.

When RJS asks the question about whether we tend to see life through two different sets of glasses, I immediately think of the importance it has been to me over the years to recognize that each of us do, in fact, wear glasses...even if we don't know it.  Many of us have more than two pair!

I have decided that there is just one pair that I need.  They are a very special pair, but I think they do the trick! I call them my Perichoretic cHesed Glasses.  (Some of these posts are older and my thinking has grown, but they are still good background.)

I yearn for the day when we look up and around and notice the incredible diversity found in this very special library.  There is room for everyone here because the Queen of the Sciences is Queen over all--even those who do not recognize Her--and all are welcome to dwell in her home and learn.

Actually...this is facilitated by two other important rooms in the house:  a room that looks quite a bit like the One T Saloon, where folks come to relax and have fun and talk over their favorite forms of refreshment. (One where I no longer need to be a Deputy.)  There would also be a Cafe.

Conversation is important in God's universe. Everything communicates -- just in different ways. The more fluent we become in these different forms of communication, but better we will understand each other -- and the better we will understand God and Their amazing creation.

This is the foundation of civil communication, something that has become less and less easy to find in the Internet Age.

So, there you have it.  Reminds me a bit of this other virtual house I built.

May we so yearn for lives of true hospitality that we are driven home to the Kingdom of God...the one that is all around us as well as within us...the Already / Not Yet reality we are to find in the local outposts of the Kingdom which are called the Local Church. (And they aren't necessarily all found in buildings with services 2 or 3 times a week, either.)

Be blessed....