A Bible scholar in the seventeenth century calculated the beginning of time according to Biblical genealogies. He concluded the earth began at the year 4004 BCE. Well, we know it takes longer than six thousand years to explain seashells in mountaintops or the dynamics of Grand Canyon erosion. So, it’s impossible for a reasoning mind to maintain the medieval faith-fact that the earth began six thousand years ago.
Here, we come to an important question. Is the Bible a book of facts? Some would say, yes. But, I believe it’s a book of poetic truth, not facts and figures. Why else would the writer of Psalm 98 exclaim, “Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy.” Did the floods literally clap their hands or the hills actually sing together? Why does Jesus say in Matthew 18 “If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out?” Is this to be taken literally? If so, I’d expect to see more people with their eyes gouged in church!
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For me, science can answer questions of how and when well. But it can’t answer the question, “why?” Only religion can do that.
Back to evolutionary science… Currently, the field of evolutionary science is being blind-sided by one simple fact. If evolution followed laws of probability, we would still be at the amoeba stage now. In order for evolution to have taken place as fast as it did, there had to be numerous occurrences of up to seven catastrophic mutations in a single generation of species. The odds of one catastrophic mutation occurring in a single generation of a species’ development are one in over a hundred million. The odds of having three or more catastrophic mutations in a single generation defy all laws of probability.
Evolutionary scientists now realize there’s a mysterious principle beyond chance pushing species to transcend themselves—to make quantum evolutionary leaps forward on a regular basis. Many evolutionary scientists such as Fred Hoyle and F.B. Salisbury have shown that twelve billion years isn’t enough time to produce a single enzyme by chance, let alone our current world with all its diversity. People of faith call the self-transcending guiding principle of evolution/creation “God.”
 James Ussher, Archbishop of Amagh, Church of Ireland (d. 1656).
 Hoyle, Mathematics of Evolution.
Learn methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.
Enjoy Rich’s post: How I Use My Prayer Bracelet.
Check out Simply Good News by New Testament scholar and author N. T. Wright. It is based upon his book Simply Good News. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. It works well for group studies.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.