Certainty

God’s laws are perfect. They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light.                                                                                                                                                                                 Psalm 19:7-8 (Living Bible) 

Recently I have been thinking about our notions of “certainty” and how that affects our world view. What are the things of which we are certain?  For example, I am a person of faith, and as such, I have my own notions of security, my own certainty, based upon a relationship with God who loves me. I think that the world God created is amazing, and to think it randomly evolved to this level of exquisite complexity would, in my mind, be ludicrous.

At the same time, I do not think that the world was created in 7 days about 7,000 years ago, although there are some Christians who do. I do not know the processes that God used to bring  this world, this universe, into existence- that is a mystery to me. I am perfectly comfortable stating that position. I can live in some ambiguity quite nicely, without a need to have precise explanation of how the world came into being. There is a level of uncertainty in that.

For centuries the organized Church had “certainty” about how the universe works. The sun and other planets revolved around the earth. It must be that way. It was certainty. Anyone who taught otherwise (Galileo, for example) faced the considerable wrath of the Church. Gradually, science facts became irresistible, and the Church acknowledged that particular scientific certainty.

Unfortunately, the Church’s need for certainty about the physical composition of the universe led to a wholesale departure from the Church as a source of truth, as science gradually became the accepted standard for determining all truth.

The Age of Enlightenment came to be and gradually, the spiritual truths of which the Church was guardian, became hopelessly entangled in science, politics and governance. The role of faith was now labeled as an anachronism, an old remnant of a long-abandoned way of seeing the world.

Scientific truth and spiritual truths exist at the same time. One does not need to abandon the pursuit of scientific truth in the expression of spiritual truth. God is the author of all truth.

Holding two ideas at the same time, which appear to be contradictory, is hard. We like to label things and put them into easily understandable boxes- worldviews if you will.

In the coming days, I want  to explore this idea a little further if you are up for it. I call it the Sacred vs. Profane theory. I hope you join me in it.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the freedoms you give us to think and explore your creation. Help us to trust the things we do not understand, and to continue to seek your truth, Amen.

 

 

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