Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sun. Jan. 8, 2012 (Don Teichroeb)

Last Sunday, Don Teichroeb spoke on the Old Testament lectionary reading, Genesis 1.1-5 (and John 1.1-5). This wonderful creation story, however interpreted, places God at the center of everything. But that is where agreement often stops. Over the centuries, and increasingly so as our era approaches, there have been widespread debates about Genesis 1 and science generally. Francis Collins discusses this in some detail in his book, The Language of God. For centuries, people assumed the earth was flat, likely square with four corners, and that the heavens revolved around the earth, for that was what people could observe throughout the years. But when this understanding was challenged, people of faith did not understand, and lashed out, fearing that the very pillars of faith were being denied. When Galileo's telescope revealed that four moons circled around Jupiter and not the earth, again many Christians were aggressively defensive, largely because of misunderstandings and inadequate assumptions. Don then asked, "How will we be judged by history concerning things we believe about the world, largely because we do not yet understand?" Augustine argued that God is outside the boundaries of time, a view that is too often forgotten. The poetic account in Genesis says, so very wonderfully, "In the beginning", but we no longer even know whether there ever was a beginning, or what there was before there was a beginning! When did space appear? No matter where we turn, all known theories seem to require assumptions (faith). During discussion it was noted that the less we understand things, the more we speak about them with unshakable conviction, whereas, in all of this talk, we ought to see ourselves standing in the center of these questions--in awe and wonder. And someone once said, "I am not here to answer questions, only to arouse curiosity." [JEK]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, January 8th, 2012 using your browser's preferred media player.



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