Friday, July 11, 2008

A Heart Issue

I thought a lot about wonder and awe in Puerto Rico. The beaches of Vieques were truly beautiful, and each had a unique beauty that made them together almost a wonderland. Walking in the Il Yunque rainforest was just as amazing. The first picture here captures some of that majesty. Please don't miss the scale of these plants. They were huge! (The second picture may help you with the scale. If you look in the lower right hand corner, you'll see my wife just walking into view. And she wants to make sure that you all know she's not tall!)

Wonder and awe, for me, is a heart issue. The creation calls out to my heart, "There's a Creator." I know my Christian beliefs do impact what I hear, but it's really the other way around. One of my foundational reasons for being a Christian is because the wonder and awe of creation tells me that there must be a God. "He is here," as C.S. Lewis says. (The second part of Dr. Lewis's quote, the "and He has spoken" is something creation can't do fully.) 

I know, though, that many people who are not religious still sense the wonder and awe of creation. I hear it in things agonstic scientists write about the beauty of the world. I see it in the way non-religious people fight valiantly to preserve the environment. So many of us on both sides of the origins issue see the incredible beauty of this planet, and we're moved deeply by it.

To me, this is the problem with scientific materialism. Dawkins and others out on one end of the argument want to use evolution like a club to beat religion out of our brains. They talk about how science makes it perfectly obvious that the Earth evolved to its present state without a god intervening. But, scientific materialists are missing the heart issue of wonder and awe. Even many non-religious people lift their heads up, look at the beauty all around them, and think to themselves, "There's more." They may not be able to identify it, but they know there's something more than natural processes at work. This Earth is just too amazing! So, I think the question of "How?" just seamlessly morphs into "Who?" for many of us.


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Emily said...

I agree; it's in the heart, and it's the wonder and the awe. I have a problem with the scientific materialist position, because it seems to reflect the notion that there is nothing greater than human beings and their reason. Human beings and their reason are just so flawed. And I don't see evolutionary theory as proof at all that there is no God. As a matter of fact, Genesis 1 lays a fairly good foundation for evolution, especially with lines like "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures..." I've never been convinced that scientific materialists are really all that familiar with the Bible and what it actually says versus what most believe it says, because we've had bits and pieces of it quoted and misquoted to us over the years. I accept the scientific validity of evolution. That in no way has affected my belief in God. The scientific materialists will have to come up with a more convincing club if they are going to beat religion out of me. They haven't managed to do so yet.

Lee said...

I love how you said that, Emily, and it's good to hear you talk about your heart on these issues. What you said about accepting "the scientific validity of evolution" gives me something to chew on. It pushes me on in my thinking about facing the scientific evidence is something that religious people must do.