Yesterday’s ruling in Dover is pretty interesting. The whole separation of Church and State thing keeps bogging people down with a poor understanding of the US Constitution. Before you go assuming you think you know what I believe, let me say that I do not and will not want a state-run church. The goal of the Christian life is not to rule top-down in matters of faith, but to work in and through structures to make plain what is true.

Anyway, as found on Kantor.com the ruling contains this phrase: [W]e conclude that the religious nature of ID would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child.

What is interesting about this whole mess is that opponents of Intelligent Design are asserting that it is a religious system that explains Creation. First of all, by saying Creation, it is implied that there is a Creator. So the opponents mustn’t argue with these words! So (modified complaint): ID is a religious explanation as to how matter and the world came to be.

A desire to separate Church and State is going to force people to re-define “religion”. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary defines religion this way: 1) a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe…2) a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a numbers of persons or sects…3) the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices…6) something someone believes in and follows devotedly.Call me naive, but where exactly does Darwinism not fit? Could it be that “religion” is merely whether someone wants to attribute something to a Creator? By the way Darwinists argue from lack of evidence, it seems like a religion to me. It has its preachers and prophets. It has its curriculum pushing everyone into a single-file line. It catechizes people into a certain way of speech and belief.

ID is not considered science. Webster’s again: 1) a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws…5) knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.

My contention is not that we make everyone Christian. That’s ridiculous…God must do this. What I am aiming to show is that there is plenty of facts and truths that have been systematically arranged so as to show a coherent and meaningful interpretation of general laws we observe in nature. ID is not closing one’s eyes and saying, “Go away. I believe in God and you Darwinists can’t make me think otherwise.” Rather, with eyes wide open, we declare that it is folly to deny God’s existence. And we plead with people that they open theirs as well. We ask people to quit being closed-minded and begin vocalizing the questions they have, without sarcasm and spite.

Still my question stands: Where did the molecules come from? If you tell me that we just haven’t figured that one out, then how are you any different than the naive theist who closes their eyes and says they just believe?

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  1. I hope my new post answers what empirical science cannot. You’re right. Science evaluates what can be measured and tested. This means things must already exist. It cannot explain why’s…especially for Something that cannot be measured!

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Less Hype. More Humility.

Please. Embedded in our consumeristic culture, there is the assumption that newer is better than older–though I prefer aged beef and cheddar to new. There is the assumption that grand and renovated and powerful is preferable to meek and lowly and weak.

The church often adopts this form of communicating in an effort to gather people into its doors. “God is doing awesome things here at Church _______.” The fact is that God is doing awesome things everyday and everywhere. He’s sustained your life. He’s given you sight and hearing and legs. And if you have none or only one of these, he’s still given you life and a mind to engage the world around you. Truly miraculous. What is more, is God not also doing something in the old, decrepit church that meets faithfully every Sunday? Is God not at work in the mundane? Is the changing of laundry and washing of dishes and working through an argument devoid of God’s presence?

I see so many churches trying to drum up excitement about the latest outreach or project, when what our culture needs is the staying power and sobriety of faithfulness in the ho-hum drudgery of going to a job you hate or a marriage that is contentious. What we need is not more hype, but more humility. More service and less heavy-handedness. We need more gentleness and less power grabs.

If we don’t, what then becomes of the senior citizen who is tired? What becomes of the baby who is sleeping? What becomes of the unemployed and outcast and burdened? They are forgotten. They are seen as less valuable because they aren’t producing the kind of energy requisite for assumed faithfulness to the disciples’ call.

In reality, we need less loud voices and red faces and sweaty brows and more silence and calmness and a deep well of contentment.

The New Economics Will Be People

So I went to a coffee shop this morning and was struck by the utter efficiency they were churning out drinks. In fact the team lead said this much as encouragement to the six other workers behind the counter.

I walked in. Smiled at the barista. Was greeted with a blank stare as he continued to froth the milk and deliver the piping hot skinny latte with extra foam to the drive-thru. I walked to the register and was passed with nary a glance…even when the team lead said “Hello.” No she didn’t look at me, but made sure that her metric of greeting a guest in the first ten seconds was met. A box that is checked. That’s what I was. A large dark roast with no room for cream and sugar. And surely there was no saccharin here. There was utility and efficiency.

In all our pandering for growth our marketing of environment is nothing more than a marketing tool. The timers and grids for efficiency have crowded out the thing that matters. The only thing that matters in products.

You see, the products that are pushed are labeled as though they were made for you. In reality, the products being sold to you have (for the most part) been made for the manufacturer. People have merely become a means to the end of bigger, faster, better.

In the new economy, people will matter more.

They won’t matter because they need to matter to grow the business. Too often companies tell you that you’re important because they want your money. They don’t want to make a difference as much as they want their new car or luxury vacation.

I want to say this loud and clear. In the new economy, people will be the end in themselves. They will no longer be viewed as a metric or a number. In the new economy, mom and pop will be sought after. Because, after all, we all know that the verbiage of how you matter to company x is just verbiage. It’s merely eliciting a response for another end.

In the new economics, people will want to matter. They will flock to the place where they are known by name. And not just to tout the “community” of an establishment. Did you notice the subtlety of that one? No, people will know your name because they know you and you matter. Your name is not known just to brag that you matter and sell the belonging you too can have if you buy your next skinny latte with extra froth…hold the pandering.

We are not there yet because executives are still measuring. Measuring people. Yet, what the new economy will have to embrace is not a spreadsheet or a graph. They will be forced to embrace people. Not to grow their graph. But to grow their own soul.

On Conformity

As much as I hate to admit it, Christians push conformity. Conformity to the wrong things. Being shaped by a group and set of ideals is inherent to being part of a group–be it Christian, straight edge, atheist. But I am speaking about and to my tribe.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of being a part of several different denominations and have seen this shadow overtaking much of the piety of its adherents. It wasn’t meant to do so.

Do you homeschool? The correct answer depends on the group you’re talking to. Do you go on mission trips? Do you adopt? Do you run around incessantly from meeting to meeting showing how you are making an impact for the kingdom?

We have steered far off course when we get away from the simplicity of the Gospel. Of a life changed and being changed by the Gospel. That is, before Christ’s ascension, he said to merely teach all that he commanded. Yet. Yet, much of our passing on of information is not what Christ taught. They are various implications and applications of what he taught. And so,

Might I encourage you to be slow in conforming to the standards? Not just of popular culture, but of the popularity of whatever group you find yourself milling about. The shadow looms to block out the sun of joy and hope. It chokes out the simple call to humble obedience to Christ, changing out a yoke that not even the teachers can bear.