Friday, December 14, 2007

Open-ended creativity ...

... otherwise known as being: God debates.

I like this from John Polkinghorne: ". . . the order and disorder which intertwine in the process of the world show that the universe upheld by the divine Word is not a clear cold cosmos whose history is the inevitable unfolding of an invulnerable plan. It is a world kept in being by the divine Juggler rather than by the divine Structural Engineer ..." And having had the privilege of meeting and interviewing John Polkinghorne, I can attest to what Archbishop Hapgood says of him. A wonderful man.


  1. Shame He drops so many balls. Maybe He should take up knitting instead. At least then we might see some pattern to things.

  2. Anonymous6:27 AM

    Interesting article, but this sentence is one of those modern shibboleths everyone nods at but which doesn't hold up to scrutiny:

    In the twentieth century, faith in God became an impossibility for many people, not because science or reason had provided answers to the mystery of life, but because the scale of humanity’s suffering and capacity for violence had outstripped any possibility of believing in a just and loving god.

    I rather think pre-twentieth century man was more than familiar with violence and suffering and experienced it first hand much more than his progressive descendants. Indeed, his faith was built on and around it. It is the secure, safe, prosperous Westerner who mostly experiences suffering vicariously that seems to be turned off more and more by religion. It is interesting that the first natural disaster that spawned a bout of Paris salon intellectual atheism was the Lisbon earthquake in the 18th century. It was hardly a first in the annals of tragic natural history, but this was the Age of Rationalism and a growing belief in man's unlimted powers of design and improvement, and in the
    inevitable march of material progress. With that came a sense of historical entitlement and a visceral and not terribly coherent anger at natural or human-caused reversals. Reading Dawkins, Hitchens & co. one can't avoid the growing impression that whether God exists or not is actually a secondary matter and ultimately not all that interesting. The sub-text is the one Neil alludes to. If He does exist, He is incompetent and clever guys like they have no intention of letting Him off the hook. That is why it is still permissable to believe in Him as long as one doesn't have the bad taste to actually worship Him.