In a biography of Charles Darwin I was struck by the fact that Darwin didn’t have a crisis of faith on the basis of his observations in The Origin of Species. His crisis of faith had to do with his inability to reconcile himself with the death of his children.
Darwin simply couldn’t fathom a God who would allow his children to die, for no good reason, before his eyes. How could a benevolent God allow this? Whenever I see a bumper sticker exaggerating the rift between Darwin and the so-called “Creationists,” I wonder how things would be different if Darwin hadn’t lost his children and thereby lost his faith in the God of Christianity? We can’t know the answer to this question, but I’m sure there would be less of a rift between science and religion today if Darwin’s children had lived.
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I too lament the death of Darwin’s children. I too don’t understand why they had to die young. I also don’t understand why religion and science has parted ways in so many people’s minds. As Teilhard de Chardin (d. 1955) and so many others have pointed out, science and religion have so much to offer each other.
 The “Intelligent design” debate is another example of the polarization between creationists and evolutionary biologists. It’s a more sophisticated polarization, yet a polarization none the less. The Intelligent design folks don’t give enough credence to the irrefutable basis of evolutionary science. And they don’t give credence to God’s ability to work within the parameters of evolutionary science. For me, this is where the juice is—the scientifically unexplainable series of catastrophic mutations which allowed complex life forms to evolve so quickly. What’s behind these quantum evolutionary leaps forward? My answer: The Holy Spirit!(See the reputable mathematician Fred Hoyle’s book, The 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..