Inappropriate Usage Of Question Mark Grows?

April hasn’t come yet but I feel like sharing with you the tremendous news that the little church I work for, along with great organisations like the Irish Bible Institute, Maynooth Christian Union and most importantly, Christians In Science, are holding a conference on Saturday April 21st in NUI Maynooth. Professor Alister McGrath and Dr. Denis Alexander, two supremely capable scientists who also happen to be evangelical Christians (McGrath being one of the foremost theologians alive today) will be coming to address the pressing issues of the day.

The pressing issue we are poking at, by the way, is God and science. The pressing issue we are have a google at is whether it is intellectual suicide for you to say “I believe in God”. The pressing issue we are going to sniff out is whether or not its true that you have to be either superstitious or reductionist, one or the other and no other way.

McGrath will be speaking on the ideas advanced by the likes of Richard Dawkins that somehow faith is negated by scientific progress. Alexander will address the thorny issue of “Intelligent Design” and show that this is not a scientific idea but an attempt to hijack the powerful idea of evolution to support a power-base. Both speakers will take questions. Registration forms and more information can be found at the Christians In Science website. It is €15 for students and €25 for everyone else. Let me urge you to come.

Go on, let me urge you.

These guys are fine speakers, world experts and we have designed this little get together so that it will approachable by Christians and non-Christians, scientists and non-scientists.

Come on down to leafy Maynooth. It will rock!

On Fantasy
I visited my brother in West Cork over St. Patricks’ weekend and I came home bearing a bounty of dramatic discs of plastic.

All the West Wing. In one box. Almost. Its so many hours worth of unrealistically fast-paced dialogue that even Alister McGrath would need a calculator to do the sums. But it is such a fantasy show that sometimes I am embarrassed by it. I mean, its a very well acted soap opera when you get right down to it. It is received as monumental drama, significant art and what-not because it appeals to the kind of folk who get to decide what art is.

I have simultaneously been reading (so slowly these days!) a book by a Scottish scholar called Jesus and the Eye-Witnesses. So often I have heard people assure me that we now know that the Gospels were formed in a process similar to say, a game of Chinese Whispers. It is such a pleasure to read actual experts in the area lay out in minute detail (this is a book that would only be good if you were a total nerdlinger) how the Gospels are certainly eye-witness accounts.

In the West Wing, the President of the USA is a Nobel-prize winning economist who oozes integrity out of his pimples. That is just how pure he is! It is sheer fantasy that suits perfectly the desires of me and the rest of the chattering classes. But the Gospels are not equivalent fantasies of how nice it would have been if the Messiah had actually arrived or overblown dramatisations of Jesus, turning a good teacher into the Son of God.

On Mission
I am a Missionary. In my hometown. But that doesn’t mean I hand you pieces of literature that explain that modern music with its “clashing and bashing” leads to “flesh fests” (if only!). Instead I try and help the folks I work with to live out their Christianity in all aspects of their life; work and play, church and the pub, PTA meetings and tutorials. The last few weeks I have been hugely enjoying pretty much everything that Scott McKnight has written but he wrote this great article I have to share.

On Genius
Via Byron and his always superb blog, “Nothing New Under The Sun”, here is a great quote from Karl Barth on the options open to God for communicating with us.

God may speak to us through Russian communism or a flute concerto, a blossoming shrub or a dead dog. We shall do well to listen to Him if He really does so.

My wife says that God only speaks to her through dead dogs. That’s her excuse anyway. Actually, now that I come to think of it, the neighbours’ new puppy has gone eerily silent. She must have needed a Word From The Lord.

On The Beatles And Jesus
Here is a great article for the many musos about there about John Lennon’s flirtation with Jesus via televangelists and how he was really pissed off at Bob Dylan’s conversion. Fascinating.

Of course, the greatest living example of how evangelism need not be a dirty word, can be intellectually viable, loving, winsome and gracious is the life and work of Mr. Billy Graham. Weirdness of all weirdness, he is featured on YouTube being interviewed by Woody Allen.

Woody Allen talking about parenting with Billy Graham! It is like a weird dream that comes true.
Your Correspondent, Will keep his fancy clothes on for you a little longer

One Response to “Inappropriate Usage Of Question Mark Grows?”

  1. Steven says:

    The other Corkonian waster and me are thinking of popping up for it. Will keep you informed.