I remember the first time I lost a well reasoned argument with our daughter. She was six. I was against whatever her request was, but I could not really justify my position. I ended the conversation by invoking the ever trusty, “Because I said so.” She was not happy. I was not happy for I realized that, if I was losing these arguments now, I would be in serious trouble by the time she was 13. So I began to listen to myself when our daughters asked permission about something. I discovered that most of the time I was saying “No” to them because it was not convenient for me. I was not really talking or listening to the girls. I was avoiding some subjects, and being totally inconsistent about others. I began to suspect that one day they just might quit asking my permission if I was not careful. A conversation involves honest, true and loving communication. “No” is not a conversation.
Are we losing our ability to hold honest conversations? In the aftermath of the massacre in Aurora, Colorado, the question was raised about addressing gun violence in America. The response seems to be, “No, now is not the time.” It is a calculated political response, because this is an election year, and besides, it’s too controversial. It is also a sobering moment for serious conversation. Could Christians honestly have this discussion in a church setting? Condemnation is not a conversation.
What about a conversation about sexuality? I dreaded those as a parent, but we needed to have those hard conversations, not just about the “facts of life,” but also about body image, integrity, self-worth, manipulation and abuse. In our sex-obsessed culture and fascination with other people’s sexual mores, can Christians honestly have this discussion in a church setting? Condemnation is not a conversation.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Start a true conversation. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.
A graphic showing traces of collision of particles at the Compact Muon Solenoid at Universe of Particles exhibition of the the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, where scientists believe they have identified the location of the Higgs boson, an elusive subatomic particle that is thought to be a basic building block of the universe. Source: AFP
With the recent announcement of its possible discovery, the scientific world has me trying to understand their search for “the God particle.” The Higgs boson particle is the hoped for answer to why there is mass and weight in the universe. The ultimate quest is to find an elegant mathematical equation that explains all of the components of our universe. It’s called the General Theory of Relativity. It was Albert Einstein’s life quest to complete the equation. The Higgs particle just may help do that, or not.
The implication of this is that all understanding of the substance of the universe can be reduced to mathematics. This universe is so intricately and delicately precise that it can be explained with a mathematical certainty like 2 + 2 always equals 4. This means that everything is running by means of a perfect mathematical formula. E=MC² is an elegant equation. Is the universe just a big computer program running its course? Are people just observers of their own mathematical destinies with pre-programmed lives without free choice or ultimate hope?
God is not a particle. God is the fabric of the universe. Colossians 1:16-17 says, “. . . all things were created by (Christ) and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” So ultimately this is a scientific and theological discussion about origins and “in the beginning.” God’s people do not need to fear science, mathematics or physics. Science is a quest for truth. Jesus once said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Are these scientists inadvertently trying to prove God? Are they ultimately searching for the tiniest piece of God that is woven into every single atom in all of creation?
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Glory in God’s creation. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.
For a deeper explanation view The God Particle Explained by physicist Brian Greene: http://www.aspenideas.org/session/god-particle
One Tuesday in April, 2004, Dorothy and I stood on a hill and gazed upon ancient Rome. There before us were the skeletal remains of Caesar’s capitol city, half buried in dirt and time. The Roman Coliseum loomed large in the background. The palace, market, temples, government buildings, monuments and statues rose unearthed and exposed to inspection by archeologists and tourists alike. It was amazing to me. So much more of me was invested in ancient Rome than had realized. I took four years of Latin as a student in high school and college. Words that I had only seen written in books were now before me written in stone—and I knew what they said!
Roman politicians, officials and soldiers are everywhere in the New Testament story. There we stood on the very streets where Augustus and Nero fretted about Judea and Jews, military alliances and taxes. Yet ancient Rome seemed so small laid out like a cemetery. I wondered if this might be what Washington DC would look like two thousand years from now. Dorothy and I ate lunch in a small restaurant, sharing a table with a lady who had graduated from my high school. Small world it seems. That afternoon we toured Roman Catholic Rome.
Catholic Rome is more preserved. St Peter’s Basilica with the Disciples standing watch from above, the Vatican buildings with the Pope’s window overlooking the Square, the Sistine Chapel with hundreds of people waiting in line, tourist shops, pilgrim shops, clergy clothing stores, it was all quite active and festive. In St Peter’s Basilica, Pope John XXIII lies under glass in an alcove Chapel near Michelangelo’s Pieta. A couple of miles away is St Paul’s Cathedral where official portraits of all of the popes are hung looking down on the believers at worship. The noise and busy-ness of Modern Rome intrudes often. We wander in Modern Rome then make our way back to the hotel, our day in Rome nearly complete.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Carpe diem. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.