On the Internet this morning was this piece about the opening of the $27 million Creation Museum in Kentucky, and below are a few quotes that caught my attention.
Ken Ham, the rugged-faced CEO and president of Answers in Genesis, the nonprofit ministry that built the museum explained why dinosaurs and man are displayed in the same time frame: “ They all had to exist at the same time because they were all made on the same day. There may not be any fossil evidence showing dinosaurs and people in the same place at the same time. But it is clearly written that they were alive at the same time.”
In Ham’s view, the great flood explains not only where scientists find fossils today but also the topography of the modern world. The Grand Canyon was made in a matter of days or weeks as the waters of the flood rushed away and the land was reclaimed.
Ham blames the notion that the Earth is quite a bit older than the Bible suggests for just about all the world’s problems. Evolution, which requires large amounts of time for small changes to accumulate into larger ones, makes it far too easy for people not to believe the Bible, he says. And that loss of belief “is at the root of modern evil.”
A visiting senior said, “It’s not how old it is that matters to me. What matters is being right with God. Darwin’s theory has no God. It can’t be right. I don’t know if this story is truer than Darwin’s theory, but I do know it’s better.”
To me this is a very clear picture of our age in transition. On the one hand you have a map of reality as drawn by the rational worldview born in the enlightenment that sees man as the objective observer outside of the phenomena he is observing. The universe this worldview created is a flat world made of things that bounce around obeying the commandments of natural law. The scientist is the priest who describes this world to us and saves our poor butts from the hell of not having AC through the communion of technology. This world has no depth.
On the other hand you have the map of reality created by a God who is an objective observer of things that bounce around according to the Ten Commandments or His whims. This is also a flat world in time that has a beginning and an end, as all good stories do, and man really has no say but to blindly conform to this world view as the priests of the Bible dictate. This world also has no depth.
But with both maps you have one thing in common: you and I are puppets, empty cups that must be filled at the altar of either the rational scientist who demeans faith, or the irrational priest who proudly substitutes reason with faith so that what he says is the only means to salvation and the way out of this imperfect and sinful world both worlds have created.
We need a new map. We need a map that puts God in our existence as the source of who we are, a God that can be experienced as who we are, and God that loves us as we are. We need a map that puts faith and reason together as partners in the same human being. We are really very tired of a God who only loves us if we are good—and being good for this God is a double-bind trap where we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. We need a map that doesn’t pit our natural urges against our spiritual longing, which create a civil war within and a war against nature without.
We need a new map that will lead us from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, and from fear to the knowledge of immortality. This map is out there, but you won’t find it in a science book or a church. And that is because this map has to be discovered by each of us, not given in a book.
Grace comes as the Holy Spirit to those who have faith in themselves and in the small voice within that says, “You need a new map.” When you throw out all the outdated maps with the contradictions and dead-ends, you must be willing to stand on the edge of the unknown with the known world behind you, without fear and in perfect trust in God.
Here is the real “cutting edge” where reason and faith hold hands. Our reason tells us the we are the mapmakers, and that all conceptual maps are of only limited value for a short time; our faith tells us the God has created a beautiful friendly place for us to live, right now and not in the future. Reason can show us what is unreal, but only faith in the unknown can lead us to the real. When we discover the real, it is very, very reasonable because everything fits.
Posted under General Observations
This post was written by ed on May 31, 2007