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Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

This week is the week for the Beebe church of Christ VBS.  So if you’re looking to pack the kids off somewhere for an hour and a half or so, we start at 7:00 pm.  It’s a fun superhero theme this year.  Of course it isn’t just for kids.  One neat thing that we do is offer some really interesting classes for adults.  Tonight’s was a great talk on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  Although, if you can’t make it to the live version, we will have the lessons posted on our website.  Look under sermons.

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We’re doing something a little different at church this summer.  Every Sunday night of June and July, we’ll have a different guest speaker.  They’ll be mostly preachers from the surrounding area, but I noticed at least one Harding professor on there.  Here’s a link to all of the info on our church website.  I also thought it would be a good idea to post the flyer here.  Our Sunday night worship begins at 5:00.  This is something that’s a little different from anything we’ve done in the past.  If it interests you, we’d love for you to come.  If it interests you, but you can’t feasibly make it to Beebe, Arkansas (I’m looking at my two views from Iceland here!), you’ll be able to stream the talks from the ‘Sermons’ tab on the church website.

Summer Lecture Series Flier

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I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I recently became a deacon at church.  Thirteen others were appointed along with me, and we were all put in charge of various areas of work – missions, benevolence, fellowship, etc.  I was put in charge of technology.  If you’ve searched for the Beebe Church of Christ in the last few years, you may have found our old website full of outdated information.  I’m not even sure we had the correct times on there for services.  If you tried to visit our site more recently, you may have found it linking to a Russian car advertisement.  If afterwards you received a car with the title in Russian, I apologize for the confusion.

But now we have an updated website!

Beebe Church of Christ.

No Russian cars here.  Just sermons, bulletins, and information.  Well, some information.  It’s still a work in progress.  If you’re interested, we’re going to do our best to keep it updated.  Although I’m already behind on sermons.  I missed church Sunday night and didn’t get a chance to pick up the files.

I know, I know.  Just made a deacon and here I am skipping church.

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Here’s another passage from David Bentley Hart’s Atheist Delusions.  His language can be inflammatory at times, although, like a joke that has to be explained, it loses some impact when I have to look up every third word in the dictionary.  Despite that he does build a strong case for Christianity being the major driving force for the goodness, charity, mercy, and compassion in the Western world as opposed to the war, violence, and death that it generally gets credited with by its opponents.  The passage is a little long, but I didn’t feel like I could cut it off anywhere and retain the impact.

In the light of Christianity’s absolute law of charity, we came to see what formerly we could not: the autistic or Down syndrome or otherwise disabled child, for instance, for whom the world can remain a perpetual perplexity, which can too often cause pain but perhaps only vaguely and fleetingly charm or delight; the derelict or wretched or broken man or woman who has wasted his or her life away; the homeless, the utterly impoverished, the diseased, the mentally ill, the physically disabled; exiles, refugees, fugitives; even criminals and reprobates.  To reject, turn away from, or kill any or all of them would be, in a very real sense, the most purely practical of impulses.  To be able, however, to see in them not only something of worth but indeed something potentially godlike, to be cherished and adored, is the rarest and most ennoblingly unrealistic capacity ever bred within human souls.  To look on the child whom our ancient ancestors would have seen as somehow unwholesome or as a worthless burden, and would have abandoned to fate, and to see in him or her instead a person worthy of all affection – resplendent with divine glory, ominous with and absolute demand upon our consciences, evoking our love and our reverence – is to be set free from mere elemental existence, and from those natural limitations that pre-Christian persons took to be the very definition of reality.  And only someone profoundly ignorant of history and of native human inclinations could doubt that it is only as a consequence of the revolutionary force of Christianity within our history, within the very heart of our shared nature, that any of us can experience this freedom.  We deceive ourselves also, however, if we doubt how very fragile this vision of things truly is:  how elusive this truth that only charity can know, how easily forgotten this mystery that only charity can penetrate.

 

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Cover of "Atheist Delusions: The Christia...

Cover via Amazon

I’m reading an interesting book right now called Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies by David Bentley Hart.  It’s a look at mostly historical arguments that people tend to use against Christianity – it a major cause of war and death, it’s unthinking dogmatism led to the Dark Ages, it’s oppression of science, etc. – and how those arguments are grounded in myths that can be dispelled by a careful look at the actual history.  It’s pretty fascinating, but it’s also fairly slow reading because the author really loves words, especially long ones I’ve never seen before like ‘farraginous’.

I’m in the section now dealing with science and Christianity throughout history, and how the conflict between the two is a modern day invention, and not something that’s been going on for hundreds of years despite what some people may think about the Galileo incident.  I came across this quote, and thought it was worth sharing.   Incidentally, the ’embarrassing case’ he mentions at the beginning is Galileo vs. the Church, which could more accurately be described as Galileo vs. the Pope, since the problem came more from a disagreement between the two of them than any Catholic church-wide hatred of science and reason.

Rather, the case is an embarrassment because, in serving for some as a convenient epitome of some supposedly larger truth about Catholicism or Christianity (despite its being the only noteworthy example of that truth they can adduce), it has tended to obscure the rather significant reality that, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Christian scientists educated in Christian universities and following a Christian tradition of scientific and mathematical speculation overturned a pagan cosmology and physics, and arrived at conclusions that would have been unimaginable within the confines of the Hellenistic scientific traditions.   For, despite all of our vague talk of ancient or medieval “science”, pagan, Muslim, or Christian, what we mean today by science – its methods, its controls and guiding principles, its desire to unite theory to empirical discover, its trust in a unified set of physical laws, and so on – came into existence, for whatever reasons, and for better or worse, only within Christendom, and under the hands of believing Christians.

 

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I found an interesting quote in Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, that I felt was worth sharing.  Just in case, the strong anthropic principle is the idea that there are

Cover of "A Brief History of Time"

Cover of A Brief History of Time

either a lot of different universes or at least different regions of a single universe all with their own set of configurations and constants, only some of which match up with the conditions needed to support life.

Here’s the quote:

Nevertheless, it seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers that would allow the development of any form of intelligent life.  Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty.  One can take this either as evidence of a divine purpose in Creation and the choice of the laws of science, or as support for the strong anthropic principle.

So there you go.  Something lite to ponder on a Monday afternoon.

I pick option A, by the way.

 

 

 

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Earlier tonight I was having a discussion in my head about something random from the Bible  (At the same time I realized that that’s the method I tend to use to work out what I think about something – a pretend discussion with another person.  Which I also found interesting, but not at all relevant).  As I was pretend-debating, I remembered this line from one of my books on science and theology by Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, and I thought it worth sharing.  Ponder it for a little bit, and even discuss it if you wish.

The Bible is not a book but a library…

 

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