a Jesuit Priest on Evolution. Enjoy.

Is evolution a theory, a system or a hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, as systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforth if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow… There is an absolute direction of growth, to which both our duty and our happiness demand that we should conform. It is human function to complete cosmic evolution…. Christ is realized in evolution.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit Priest and trained paleontologist in “The Phenomenon of Man“, ca. 1930s

I’ll be writing more about this in my Advent reflection on Monday. [Read reflection 1]


On Darwinism vs. Design (a response to the Richmond Center for Christian Study) {pt.2}

Yesterday, I posted the first part of a reply to Chris Daniel, Executive Director of the Richmond Center for Christian Study, who wrote an article titled The Origin of Life: Darwinism vs. Design. Here is part 2.

Chris, you are right to attack Darwinism as a philosophy or worldview; just like it is also appropriate to attack humanism, hedonism, racism, sexism, bibliolatry, and “systematic theology-ism”. Any system that builds its existence and definition around a created thing rather than the Person of God Himself ought to be attacked and shown to be the inadequate system it is.

But just because those “isms” above shouldn’t define our worldviews, it does’t mean that there isn’t truth and goodness even in the the things they are tempted to define themselves by: humanity has worth, pleasure is good, races are beautiful, genders are different, the Bible is the primary revelation of God (we are not a people of the Book, but a people of the Word that is testified to by the Book), and systematic theology can be helpful as we interpret and apply the Scriptures.

And Darwinism as a philosophy is an improper elevation of a seemingly true process.

Continue reading

Weekly Must-Reads {03.21.11}

I will be spending most of this week at a conference in St. Louis (see below). Blogging might be a little light. I may try and sneak away at some point, but I can’t make any promises. For that reason, this week’s Weekly Must-Reads list is a little longer than usual. In it, we have articles about fat Christians, single Christians, disagreeing “liberal” Christians, and other writings about business and the media. People really seemed to enjoy the last list I posted. I hope this one also serves you all well. And remember: comment, comment, comment!

Liturgy, Music, & Space | Bifrost Arts

This is the conference that I will be attending this week (Facebook page). It’s being put on by an artist’s collective known as Bifrost Arts. They have some amazing music that you should all check out, including one of the most beautiful Christmas album I’ve ever heard. Also check out this video of some of the things they are doing.

Continue reading

I Am A Fearful Man (and i need to get over it) {pt1}

[Read Part 2 and Part 3 of this series]

Oh the perils of post-modernity.

There once was a time where I was arrogant in what I thought I knew. I know, I know, many of you are thinking “once”? Let me explain.

I grew up in the South; or at least (if you don’t believe Dallas is in the True South) the Bible Belt. I was raised in an atmosphere that choked with fundamentalism. What’s more, I was fully enveloped in this culture as a Southern Baptist, and all of the cultural retardation that accompanied it. Most everyone in my world was “religious”. Actors and “liberals” were the only ones that were “atheists”, and they were all in Hollywood, D.C., or Berekeley–far, far away. I lived my younger years not knowing even of the existence of other “denominations”. Everyone in Texas was either Catholic or Southern Baptist, and in Sunday School they taught me that Catholics believed in salvation by works and were therefore not going to heaven anyway. Only we Baptists were right. In short, I grew up with a sense that I was part of the cosmic “in” crowd: God’s One and Only Faithful.

Continue reading

Absolutism vs. Relativism: Is there Another Way?

Sorry.  I know this is lame.  But, I was organizing some of the files on my computer and I ran across this proposal I wrote last year to the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture for an article.  It didn’t get accepted, so I never wrote the article.  I thought I’d go ahead and put it up though to see if you all have any thoughts on this topic, or if you’d like to see this article written anyway.  Feel free to leave some comments at the bottom of the post.

In the midst of the culture wars, deep philosophical shifts are challenging old ways of thinking. As a culture of post-modernity encroaches upon ground that was previously held by religion, the presuppositions of all faiths are being challenged by new, competing ideas. Religion charges post-modern culture with Relativism — a tenet that religion claims is unsustainable. This critique is not without validity: no philosophy can stand for long that admits its lack of foundation, and does not recognize a need for such epistemological certainty. The relativizing of post-modernity will surely collapse under a generation of those disillusioned by its inability to deliver that which it has no principle nor authority to deliver.

Continue reading

Mark Nicks of Cool Hand Luke

Anyone that knows me well knows that my favorite band is Cool Hand Luke.  They have had this title since about my sophomore year of high school and it seems that their musical stylings have matured along with my musical tastes, leading me to love them all the more through the years.  Anyway, I saw them play a show in Newport News last night and it was absolutely incredible.  Mark Nicks, the lead singer/songwriter of the band stopped before the last song to talk for a bit and ended up preaching this seventeen minute-long sermonette that touches on everything from politics to current church trends.  Usually, bands talking for a while can get annoying, but this was awesome.  He’s so humble in what he says and so right at the same time.  So, I decided to post this up for everyone else to hear as well.

Click here for Mark’s “Sermon”