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Big Universe - Uncaring God?

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It is true that the universe is huge. Staggeringly, vertigo-creatingly vast. But does it therefore follow that any hypothetical God would therefore not care about humans? Consider the question: which is more important to me - the external monitor I am looking at while type this, or the laptop which is plugged into it?

We then use ideas from Charles Taylor's book "A Secular Age" to try to move from "what's happening" to "what's really going on."

Published in: Spiritual
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Big Universe - Uncaring God?

  1. 1. Big Universe, Uncaring God? Luke 4:1-13
  2. 2. Gratitude For what are you grateful?
  3. 3. The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; Psalm 19:1-4, 7-8a
  4. 4. The Psalm • What strikes you about the psalm? • What sort of world does the psalmist inhabit? • Would you be able to say the same things (if I wasn’t literally making you do it)?
  5. 5. Personal Universe • There is a unity between human life, the universe, and God • God (and other spiritual influences) are very present to people • Enchanted universe
  6. 6. Impersonal Cosmos • The universe of objects and impersonal laws • Human “values” have no obvious relationship to natural “laws”
  7. 7. Our Cultural Story We have a strong cultural story that explains how we got from the personal, “enchanted” universe to the impersonal “disenchanted” cosmos
  8. 8. The Subtraction Story In the "olden days" (or perhaps "days of yore", which might have come even earlier) humanity laboured under gross superstition. The rise of Christianity might have helped (or, depending on who is telling the story, clearly made everything worse), but certainly by the Middle Ages, where those naughty Catholics persecuted that nice Galileo, Progress was being prevented by the superstitious pieties of Catholicism. Then came the Reformation, helping us escape (yay!), but followed by the wars of religion (boo!). However, this opened the door to the Enlightenment (yay!) where a complete break with the past was finally made (double yay!) All the superstition and bad faith thinking was finally scraped away, and what was left, which had been there all along waiting to be discovered, not unlike gravity, was the Progressive Person, empowered by Reason and Empirical Science and motivated by Rational Self Interest.
  9. 9. The Short Version • The claim: the rise of Science inevitably = the fall of Faith. • But is it true? Are there properly scientific reasons to abandon religious faith? • And what does that mean about the “inevitability” idea?
  10. 10. One Take The universe is enormous, and crazily old. It simply doesn’t make sense that God (if such a being existed) would care about humanity
  11. 11. Size Which is more important to me – my laptop or the screen?
  12. 12. The Sublime Human beings are inveterate mythmakers. At a certain point size moves from mere quantity to a quality – the sublime Paraphrasing C.S. Lewis
  13. 13. Prior Assumptions Just because the universe is big it does not necessarily follow that God does not care about us. It all depends on the vision of reality you bring to the question. Perhaps this is the smallest possible universe required to create humans. In any event there is no scientific proof which one can point to.
  14. 14. Escaping One’s Childhood • Growing up means abandoning childish beliefs • But one can abandon childish beliefs without abandoning faith in God
  15. 15. Adulting? I think that the notion that we are all in the bosom of Abraham or are in God's embracing love is - look, it's a tough life and if you can delude yourself into thinking that there's all some warm fuzzy meaning to it all, it's enormously comforting. But I do think that it's just a story we tell ourselves. Steven Gould
  16. 16. What is Going On? • There is a strong sense at work in our culture that an impersonal system is more adult than a personal one. • It’s a sense of fit, or lack of fit, rather than any particular theory that is at issue • The Modern Social Imaginary
  17. 17. The Subtraction Story • Claims that Science inevitably replaces Faith. • But that is not the case • The Modern Moral Order • Not waiting to be “discovered” like gravity • One Social Imaginary among others
  18. 18. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
  19. 19. Go in peace; may you carry God’s Wisdom, speak forth God’s Word, and embody God’s Presence wherever you are. In the name of Christ. Amen.

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