God is not that Vulnerable

I had a short conversation with a friend and client the other day and I thought I’d share the key point. This man is a professional with a substantial scientific education, and also a devout Christian. On his desk was the book The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. That got us chatting about evolution, and how so many people were bothered by it. He wasn’t even aware that Dawkins was an atheist, nor did he care.

He said something very interesting that would have taken me several convoluted paragraphs to get across. Referring to those who feel their faith threatened by evolution he said, “God is not that vulnerable.”

Hmmm! That works for me.

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  1. Yes, God is not so vulnerable as to be thwarted by an atheistic understanding of evolution, but is so vulnerable as to come in human flesh in order to suffer and die. Perhaps it isn’t that God is not vulnerable but that God is vulnerable–and in that vulnerability is most powerful.

  2. I would agree with the substance of your friends comment here, but the condition of God is not what is really at stake in the debate. It’s the condition of people and their faith.

    I disagree with much of Nietzsche’s views, but I have profound respect for his ability to succinctly communicate the rational and emotional content of his philosophies. In his parable of the madman, he communicates how aghast he is that “we” have killed god yet “we” know not what to do about this. He goes away angry because he seems to have come too early to be able to appreciate the full effect of god being killed.

    In the same (but different) way, I honestly feel that evolution for a lot of people has unmoored more than a few christians from their foundations. But some christians are more analagous to the people in the square whom the madman confronts as having killed god, yet not knowing what else to do but laugh at the madman for looking for god.

    We are in a bit of a mess theologically now with some groups clinging to unscientific young earth literalism and others taking the opportunity to use evolution as an excuse to bring eastern style mysticism into Christian understanding. Unless we can decide how this fits into our traditional theology as understood by the vast masses of christians who aren’t theological experts, we might end up being the madman’s listeners staring at him in astonishment with no answer to be had.

    (Okay upon reflection maybe that was a little too deep).

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