Monday, August 8, 2011
Theology 101: Creation
Last night I caught Richard Dawkins’ commentary on the existence of God on the Green Channel. He was showing how with the ‘Big Bang Theory’ there is no room for God. He has proven with math and logics that it didn’t take God to be creator of the Universe.
Now, I am no physicist. I do not know the mechanics of how the natural world works. I am so math-challenged that I can’t balance my check book. But I do know that natural law is not the only thing that makes the world go round. I do know that there is something that somehow not only caused the Big Bang that led to billions of years of evolving and transformation and it continues to be a part of that ever-expanding creation.
What I call God or the Holy is not something that I can even begin to describe. I can only point to the effects in life. Professor Hawkings is an amazing scientist. And I am sure he is sure of his facts. But the Holy is not about facts. The Holy includes all of that which cannot be explained in natural law. I am sure the good professor would say that there IS nothing outside natural law. But I have experienced that Holy and it is not something I have manufactured. I am not smart enough to manufacture that presence that goes beyond time, matter and space.
I have been preaching about the Indefinable for 40 years now and I am no closer to describing the Holy than before I went to seminary. I can only speak in metaphors and use words allegorically to explain that Presence that has been there all my life even though I may have not known it. I use the metaphoric language that those who have gone before me and who have known that Presence too. I use technical terms such salvation, redemption, belief, faith and even God the way my predecessors used them, but I am beginning to find that those words do not convey the awe, the kinship, the call to be in that Presence.
Marcus Borg has tried to reclaim some of those words in his “Speaking Christianity”. And I too believe it is time to redefine some of those words that have become ‘definitions’ of how that Holy acts in creation. It will require a willingness to unhinge ourselves from those nice neat compartments that we can put God so that we do not have to be present to that Presence.
I choose to call it God. I choose to personalize it because it is easier for me to understand how this Presence functions in my life if I do. But that too is not necessary. God does not demand it of me. That Holy Presence is just part of my life. It is in me and around me. I claim it and hold it for all to see. But that Holy One is the beginning for me. It is the Big Bang of my life if not creation.