Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Walking in the Way

Okay, I'll start with a bit of a declaration, then you can ignore this post if it makes you uncomfortable. I plan to talk about religion or faith, tonight. So if you don't want to read about that or pretend that I never said any of this, come back tomorrow and see if I've talked about something else in the meantime.

It seems to be a bad week for being a Christian, this week. I've no idea why this might be the case, but I'm beginning to feel that way.

So as a starting point, I'd better put my cards on the table. I'm a Christian. There, I've said it. I don't see myself as being a red hot Christian. I'm not a fundamentalist. I don't even have a fish on the back of my car. I go to Church most weeks and I love the feeling of reverence that I get when I'm in Church. I'm not good at praying so I usually end up having a chat with God when I get the chance. I just hope that He is listening, and I'm assured that He is.

I sometimes lie there in those bleak, lonely hours in the middle of the night and wonder if I've got it wrong. Maybe there is no God, maybe the whole thing is one huge cosmic joke. But I just don't believe that at all. I really do believe in God and, with a bit of luck, s(he) believes in me. I also rather like the reassurance that while I am not that clever, there have been, and are, a whole host of very much cleverer people than me who also believe(d) in God, so I guess I'm not in bad company. I'll cite people like Miles Coverdale, Desmond Tutu, Thomas More, Thomas Cranmer, Bishops Latimer and Ridley, Archbishop John Sentamu and Martin Luther. So if I have got it wrong, then I'm not on my own.

But it isn't cool to be a Christian is it. You hear Meeja People on the Babble Box sniggering about people who are Christians. I rather object to that, after all, I don't snigger about them!

Somehow, my bad week for being a Christian seemed to start on Sunday when I was watching Andrew Marr's political show. I usually like him as he talks sense most of the time. On Sunday he was talking to Sir David Attenborough about Darwin and Natural Selection. At one point he asked Attenborough if Natural Selection finally disproved the existence of God and then, in a sort of throw away remark, he said something like "or perhaps it allows for wormholes to faith." I won't pretend to understand the point that the pair of them were making, but I rather resent the implication that all truly clever people don't believe in God, but worms might.

Okay, I'm a worm! Proud of it by the way!

Tonight I was watching "The One Show" which for those of you French People who aren't reading this, is a lightweight magazine program which is on at 7pm on weekday nights. Tonight the guest was Robert Winston who is a well known scientist working in the fields of Gynaecology and such like things.

At one point in the programme they ran a piece about declining Church Attendance in the UK and made a point that lots of people seem to be embarrassed to admit to being Christian, or believing in God. They did a VoxPop and seemed to decide that there were a lot of people who admitted to believing in God but not wanting to go to Church. Fair Dos - it's a free Universe. Anyway, back in the studio the conversation got around to Richard Dawkins, the Scientist who pours scorn of anyone with faith. He wrote a book called "The God Delusion". A best seller.

I thought that Winston might agree with Dawkins, but he didn't. He said that Science was really only one interpretation of life, the universe and everything. He also said that he was pretty sure that scientists were beginning to admit that religion or faith might well be "hardwired into our genes" and had been for hundreds of thousands of years. Doesn't mean that I'm in any better position vis a vis Dawkins, but it made me feel a touch better.

I'm not any sort of scientist but I do quite like reading scientisty books, as long as they are not too technical. I read the description of The Big Bang in Bill Bryson's Short History of Nearly Everything - which is based on more technical sciencey books. I really don't see a lot od difference between the creation story in Genesis and the description of the Big Bang in Bryson.

Is anyone absolutely certain that God did not "push the button" that started the Big Bang.

I'm not a creationist. I do not deny Darwin or Natural Selection. But I am yet to be convinced that God does not have a hand in the way that the world works.

Okay, you canlaugh at me, but to quote the original Martin Luther, "Here I stand, I can do no other!"

Except, of course, that he said it in German.

Nighty Night.

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