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We don’t hold the truth; the Truth holds us. Founded 2007 | Issue 4, Spring 2010 University of Maine student publication

DOULOS Magazine: Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

can it coexist with christ? Also in this issue:

Oprahism Debunked

Find out what’s wrong logically with Winfrey’s idea of spiritual truth – p. 10

Darwin’s Faith

Do You See What We See?

Follow the icon on his journey from Christianity to agnosticism – p. 6

Interpreting Genesis

What has changed since 1910 in the way fundamentalists view the Bible? p. 8

Dr. Ken Miller

Interview with the eminent Christian biologist from Brown University – p. 22

And much more! We’re online! Visit us at www.doulosmagazine.org.

Artwork | Articles | Essays | Fiction | Memoir | Opinion | Poetry | Reviews


More than a theory? Thank you for picking up the fourth issue of DOULOS Magazine – the last for which I will have the privilege of serving as editor in chief. This has been one of the most challenging, enriching, and enjoyable endeavors of my college career, and I have never regretted founding this ministry to my beloved University of Maine campus. I will miss it, but my sadness is eased by my confidence in the staff that will carry on our mission, especially my successor, Scott DeLong. Readers, rest assured, you will be well served by Scott and his team in the years to come. Last year was the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin’s landmark work that theorized “evolution by natural selection” as the natural means through which life came to be as it is today. The university honored the occasion by putting together a lecture series discussing the applications of Darwin’s theory in many fields. I was able to attend the keynote lecture, given by prominent philosopher and secular humanist Daniel Dennett, and found it illuminating and logical, if a bit shallow in his critique of religious thought (not an oxymoron). Evolution, though almost unanimously accepted by scientists, remains controversial in the general public. In a 2007 Gallup poll, over 40 percent of American adults said they believe “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years,” effectively rejecting the foundation of modern biology. If you think that’s high, I bet the percentage would double if the sample were narrowed to believers, particularly Protestants. Many hold that Scripture renders Darwinism impossible, but is this true? Romans 1:20 clearly says that in the natural world, which is the only realm that can be explored scientifically, is found evidence of the qualities of its Creator. Christians should be enthusiastic supporters of science, eager to learn about the wonders of this universe and how our Father in Heaven made it. God’s work and His Word come from the One and the Same – the truth found in both therefore cannot be in conflict. We should not be afraid of scientific inquiry – it is no more capable of disproving God than a study of Romeo and Juliet could disprove Shakespeare. And yet, a shocking majority of the faithful continue to dismiss scientific discoveries and theories as little more than conjecture or outright lies. I don’t think any scientific tenet should be accepted based on its popularity, but a well-supported theory should not be discounted on the basis of biblical interpretation, provided another interpretation is just as valid. I am also disturbed by the growing population that believes Christianity and evolution are incompatible in the opposite direction, insisting that scientific discoveries deny the existence of free will, universal morality, souls, and even God. I believe this viewpoint, led by the likes of Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris, is misled, but we faithful will gain little ground if we aim to discredit proven science instead of the atheistic conclusions that do not necessarily follow. This issue of DOULOS confronts evolution and presents a variety of perspectives from those who see the Bible as God’s complete revelation of Himself. Perhaps you will not be persuaded in any direction by their arguments – that would be perfectly acceptable. But please read them with an open mind and engage in this important dialogue with your friends, pastors, and teachers. The implications are monumental; until the Christian community shows a greater willingness to explore the foundations of scientific thought, I fear we risk losing our credibility as a source of truth in the eyes of the world. Any viewpoint that dismisses another without reasonable justification will be deservedly marginalized in the marketplace of ideas. A servant of the God who made me and everything else that lives, has lived, or will live,

the check in Current staff: 16 Graduating staff: 4 Contributors for this issue: 21 Expositions: 5 Creative Works: 6 Perspectives: 10 Circulation: 1,000 Cover: The message that is so obvious on this cell by the magic of Photoshop is generally not as clear in real life. Still, we believe that the natural world does bear the fingerprints of the One who made it and can be seen by those who truly look for them. This is what we hoped to convey on our cover and in this issue.

Tyler J. Francke ’10, Journalism Outgoing Editor in Chief

our mission To create a high-quality Christian publication, grounded in biblical principles, that presents the true message of Christ and encourages spiritual growth through personal reflections and intelligent discourse.

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Romans 6:22, New International Version

Staff 2009-10 Editor in Chief Tyler Francke ’10 Asst. Editor in Chief Scott DeLong ’12 Production Manager Michael Arell ’12 Business Manager Travis Blackmer ’12 Web Manager Daniel Clark ’13 Artwork Editor Samantha Young ’10 Asst. Artwork Editor Alise Ranalli ’12 Head Copy Editor John Knight ’08 Creative Works Editor Michael O’Leary ’12 Asst. Creative Works Editor Katie Bartlett ’10 Design Editor Sean McKee ’13 Expositions Editor Alyssa McCluskey ’12 Asst. Expositions Editor Calvin Mako ’12 Perspectives Editor Krista Marsh ’10 Asst. Perspectives Editor Emily Pike ’12 Faculty/Staff Advisory Board Sue Hermansen Heather Stahley Michael A. Whitney MaryBeth Willett Daryl Witmer Most DOULOS staff, contributors, and Advisory Board members can be contacted by e-mail through FirstClass.

Thanks to your generous support, DOULOS Magazine is printed on the UMaine campus by University Printing Services.


Issue 4, Spring 2010

what do we believe? šš We believe in one God, the infinitely perfect and omnipotent creator of all things, who exists eternally as three persons (the Holy Trinity): Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. šš We believe Jesus Christ was true man and true God, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. As was prophesied, He died on the cross, accepting the punishment for our sins. He arose bodily from the dead, and ascended into Heaven where He is now our advocate at the right hand of the Father. We believe His shed blood and resurrection provide the only grounds for salvation. We believe He will return in glorious power to usher in the end of times and consummate the eternal plan of God. šš We believe that the present ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and make us aware of our need for God, restore the believing sinner, and indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for Godly living and service. šš We believe that mankind was created in God’s image but fell into sin and only through repentance and regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained. šš We believe in the free claim to eternal life in Heaven for all who believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God and in the judgment and eternal separation from all things good for those not abiding in Christ. šš We believe the Bible to be inspired and inerrant in the original writings, and that it is the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. šš We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

DOULOS Magazine is now online as well! Visit our website at www.doulosmagazine.org, where you can find additional content, discuss articles, receive news updates related to this publication, and learn more about the staff and our ministry! We hope to hear from you soon!

what’s in a name?

Background artwork by John Knight ‘08. Adapted from DOULOS Magazine cover. Page design by Tyler Francke ’10, Editor in Chief.

DOULOS Magazine is not bound to any one ministry, denomination, sect, creed, or point of view.  Our staff and contributors may be Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and anything in between. Some of us are liberal, some conservative. We are journalists, artists, engineers, scientists, writers, teachers, leaders, and more, all unified by our one Faith – that of the divine existence and supreme Lordship of Jesus of Nazareth. Together, we seek the Truth in our world, culture, university, each other, and in our own hearts, minds, and souls. We are a paradox; our lives are defined by our faith at the same time that our faith is still being defined in the search. Our differences may go deep, but these core tenets go deeper. The statement of faith that follows was written by the founders of DOULOS in 2007 and has held true for our editorial staff ever since.

E-mail us at umaine.doulos@gmail.com!

Doulos (doo-lŏs) is a Greek word that literally means “slave,” but it can imply voluntary servitude. Used about 30 times in the New Testament, the word is often translated “servant,” “bondman,” or “bond-servant.” We picked this name because, at some point in our lives, we willingly chose to become Christ’s servants. This tradition has ancient roots. In the Old Testament, if a Hebrew servant chose, out of love, to not leave his master when the terms of bondage were up, the master would bore his ear with an awl and he would serve the master the rest of his life. Fortunately, ear piercing is no longer required. But the question remains: If we have the choice to be free, then why would we want to be slaves? Unfortunately, there is no choice to be free. The Bible teaches that we were created to live abundantly, in the joy of communion with God, but we have all turned our backs on Him and chose to go our own way. And seeking the “freedom” of our own will, we became slaves to our pride, selfishness, addictions, and sin. Only by accepting Christ’s atonement and returning to the Father can we be restored to the liberty He originally intended. Spiritually, freedom is not an option. The only choice is who you want to be your master: God or sin. This publication is a part of our service to God, trusting that it is a good thing for us, our peers, and our university. We strive to bridge gaps, to break down barriers, to help create a more open, united campus. We seek to find a voice that neither coerces nor compromises the beliefs that make us who we are. We believe the message of Jesus Christ is as powerful and necessary now as it was 2,000 years ago, and we can’t help but embrace it and share with others what we’ve found. As we continue to seek and learn, we are grateful to be a part of your journey. Thanks for reading! DOULOS MAGAZINE staff

The opinions expressed in this publication are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial staff or the University of Maine.


letters to the editor Dear DOULOS Magazine, I have just finished reading through your third issue, and I think it is fantastic. I am impressed at the maturity of your writers, especially their spiritual discernment. A lot of Christians have been taken in by The Shack, but not you guys.  I love the emphasis on the arts and creative gifts, which are so important. And, of course, I read with special appreciation the article entitled “God’s Confidence Course.”  I had exactly the same experiences as Jeremy Parker, and I’ve often said that the Marine Corps was the second most formative experience in my life – Christ being the first, obviously. This publication is every bit as good as most of the mainline evangelical publications and in some ways maybe better in terms of content. This really is an impressive piece of work.  I really salute you young men and women from the University of Maine, and I hope there are students like you on campuses across New England and the rest of the country. If you’re ever in need of material, you’ll find a rich treasury of stuff on ColsonCenter.org.  God bless you, Chuck Colson Founder, Prison Fellowship Former Special Counsel to President Nixon Editor’s Note: Members of the editorial staff attended an apologetics conference in November 2009 at the New Life Worship Center in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Chuck Colson was one of the keynote speakers, and we were able to meet and give him a copy of our third issue thanks to our long-time supporters and mutual friends at the Cecil B. Day Foundation.

JOIN THE TEAM!

Due to the graduation of some of our dedicated editors, DOULOS Magazine is in need of new staff members who are passionate about spreading the message of Christ. Working for this publication is much more than just extra homework you don’t get paid for – it’s a chance to glorify God using the gifts He gave you. If you are interested in editing, magazine layout, Web site design, fundraising, or advertising, there is a spot for you on our team! Experience is a plus, but a willing heart is the only requirement. If you would like more information, please contact Scott Delong on FirstClass!

DOULOS Magazine will consider printing any letters to the editor that are serious in nature and express a thoughtful or meaningful opinion about an article or the magazine in general. Submissions must be less than 350 words and can be e-mailed to umaine.doulos@gmail.com or sent through standard mail to the above address. Dear DOULOS Magazine, I just wanted to let you know that I read the fall issue of DOULOS and it was just as awesome as the first issue. I especially liked Tyler Francke’s poem “Relief.” It made me remember that I can still breathe – even when my life is really busy and stressful. Your brother in Christ, Jessie Daniels ’10, Business Administration: Accounting Resident Assistant, Oak Hall Dear DOULOS Magazine, A student taking one of my classes handed me the latest copy of your magazine.  You are to be commended for putting DOULOS together.  I started to read some of the articles but realized that this is something I need time to absorb, so once my kids go to bed tonight, I will sit in my chair beside the pellet stove, cup of hot decaf in one hand (or maybe a cold beer based on Seth’s article!), and your magazine in the other. I know the focus of the magazine is for UMaine students, but your words, articles, and commentaries are also encouraging to “professors who profess to believe.”  We are all connected through Christ, but sometimes it is hard to find the connection.  You have found a great way to help me stay connected with you.  Well done! Jeff Benjamin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Forest Operations Science

$ $ $?

Every issue of DOULOS Magazine costs over $2 to print, and we are able to give them away for free to our fellow students, thanks to reader donations. We are a non-profit ministry. If you would like to support us, you may send your check or money order to the above address. Thank you for your kind consideration! Subscriptions: Additionally, we are now offering one-year (2 issues) subscriptions to interested readers. The cost would be $10 and would cover printing and mailing expenses. Please contact us at umaine.doulos@gmail.com for more information!

Want to write for DOULOS?

DOULOS Magazine is a forum for UMaine students to voice their opinions on topics that typically aren’t discussed often enough. We encourage any student to submit an article, essay, short story, poem, photograph, or piece of artwork to be considered for publication in a future issue. Submissions should seek to promote discussion on spiritual matters and encourage introspection. All work should be respectful and thoughtful. If interested, please contact Scott Delong on FirstClass for more information. Next issue’s cover story: The purpose of life


This issue’s cover story:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Founded 2007 | Issue 4, Spring 2010

expositions 4

Is God a material God? | There are many reasons to be concerned about the state of the American Church, but one of the most dangerous false teachings is the prosperity gospel. Find out what it is and why it’s so far off from Christ’s true teachings. By Arlen Faloon ’11 6 cover story Evolution of faith |Misconceptions and falsities persist in the discussion of Charles Darwin’s religious views. Darwin is an icon for skeptics, but it was much more than scientific inquiry that led him to abandon his faith. By Emily Pike ’12 8 cover story Fundamentally unclear | The writers of The Fundamentals, a volume of books intended to present the essential tenets of Christianity, did not view Genesis as black and white as many fundamentalist Christians do today. By Scott DeLong ’12 10 Debunking Oprahism | Oprah Winfrey and many others often declare “there is more than one way to God.” The author attempts to dispel this view logically, arguing Christianity must either be the only way to God or not a way there at all. By Tyler Francke ’10 35 cover story Questioning evolution: The search for truth | A graduate from the biology program at UMaine discusses some of his ideas and experiences that have led him to question the viability of an unguided evolutionary process. By John Knight ’08

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perspectives 15 Album Reviews | Switchfoot’s Hello Hurricane and Flyleaf ’s Memento Mori. By Wayne D. Clarke ’07 and Samantha Young ’10 16 cover story DOULOS Survey | UMaine speaks on: “Does evolution have a place in Christianity or any religion?” See selected responses from our survey of UMaine students. By DOULOS staff. 17 cover story Point/Counterpoint | “Is evolution compatible with biblical Christianity?” By David Hunter ’10 and Peter Fitzgerald ’12 21 Book Reviews | “Men are from God, women are from God” Reviews of Wild at Heart and Captivating. By Jason Deering ’10 and Samantha Young ’10. 22 cover story DOULOS Interview | “Beyond science” Ken Miller, a Christian biologist, discusses the facts of evolution and how it can be compatible with biblical faith. 25 Film Review | “The truth about The Invention of Lying” By Samantha Young ’10 26 Bible Study | Ezekiel 1:4-28. “Things unseen: The glory of God” By Todd Conner ’12 and Jessica Baughman ’12. 28 Testimony | “Speeding to nowhere” By George Miaoulis, Professor of Marketing.

creative works 29 30 30 31 31 32 34

Essay | “Why art matters” By Michael O’Leary ’12 Poem | “A fisherman’s dream” By Sean McKee ’13 Poem | “Wounded liberty” By Life Support Poem | “My cries” By Jason Deering ’10 Poem | “The One who loves me best” By Katie Bartlett ’10 Short Story | “The Creature” By Sean McKee ’13 Poem | “tird of mdiocrty” By Tyler Francke ’10

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featured artists 6

Samantha Young ’10, artist - 7, 27, 29, 32 Wade Schwanda ’10, cartoonist - 24, 36 Elizabeth Sturm ’09, photographer - 30


Expositions: Theology

Prosperity gospel preaching gives new meaning to the “riches” of God’s love

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with Christ makes life easier, and he is not the only one preaching this message. Televangelists and church leaders everywhere are peddling what is known as the prosperity gospel, and many Christians are being taken in by it. The basic idea behind the prosperity gospel is that Christ Jesus did not die on the cross just to pay for our sins and offer the world everlasting life, but also to reward His followers with a rich, prosperous life here on earth, provided that we have enough faith. The Bible does not condemn wealth outright, and neither do I. There are many successful Christians who do great things with the wealth they earn. Solomon, the king of Israel, was extremely wealthy and dedicated to God at the same time. However, many places in the Bible warn against greed – the love of money. Saying one should follow Christ so they can live a better life is not just blasphemy, it also has no biblical foundation to back it up. Coming to know Christ and starting a relationship with Him is the most important decision someone can make, and it is both uplifting and rewarding. Many Christians feel like they are taken care of. It is a feeling that is difficult to describe, but warmth, joy, and comfort are a few consequences of a fruitful Christian life. However, Jesus teaches us there is another side to being one of His followers. There is a price – a price that those who follow the prosperity gospel contradict with their teachings. Jesus tells us if we follow Him, we could lose everything and everyone we have ever loved; we might even lose our lives. He says: “If the world hates you keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” 2 And again: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.” 3 These verses let Christians know what we may experience in life. We may be persecuted to the point of death, but we can take comfort in Jesus’ words, even as gloomy as they seem. Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Background photo: Stock.xchng | HAAP Media Ltd.

et me start with a disclaimer: i don’t pretend to be a biblical scholar. I’ve been a Christian almost my entire life, but I still have a lifelong journey to grow in the understanding of my faith. I am not writing this to condemn or judge anyone. You may not have the same thoughts I have, but this topic is an important one to think about. I am just a regular dude with a lot of concerns about the American Church, and I want to continue a discussion that greater men than I have started. Last but not least, I pray that God guides me and uses me in a way beneficial to Him, and that I can seek the truth and avoid my negative biases. Amen. Romans 16:17-18 says: “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them, for those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” 1 This passage is one of many warnings in the New Testament about false teachings and teachers. False teachings are preached as if they were scriptural truths, when they are actually far from anything in the Bible. The worst part is they come from those who purport to speak for God. They pose a major threat to the Church, because they can do a lot of damage. Can you think of anyone in America that could be considered a false teacher? Are there people in today using the message of Christ to “serve their own belly”? A few years ago, I tuned to a Christian television channel broadcasting a church service in Texas. The pastor had a soft voice with a Southern accent, a great smile, and he seemed confident in what he was preaching. He talked about a college student who was having a tough time financially, like many of us are. The student cried out to God and was rewarded with a new job or scholarship not long after. The pastor then gave an uplifting message of how we can turn to God in times of need. All we have to do is call out His name, and He is there for us, especially in times of financial strain. I later found that most, if not all of this pastor’s preaching is centered around the principle that having a relationship

Spring


Expositions: Theology

Arlen Faloon ’11 English Not one of us is better than Jesus, so why should we get away from this world unscathed when He suffered for our sins? If we are truly to be His followers, we must be ready for the consequences that accompany this choice. The least we can do is to stand in the face of persecution and stay strong in our faith. However, the prosperity gospel teaches Christians that they can enjoy the good life here on earth, ignoring the needs of those around them, and later enter eternal bliss without ever having to suffer the way Jesus did. It’s like having your cake and eating it too. One of the reasons I oppose the prosperity gospel is because I fear what could happen to a person who believes the Christian life is all sunshine and happiness, only to find out the hard way that it is not. I am concerned about what type of damage could be done to someone’s relationship with Christ if they believe He wants to make them rich. What happens to a person during a difficult financial time when they pray to God for help and no help comes? What happens when someone is persecuted for their beliefs, and they are not prepared because they have heard a sugarcoated gospel? Their faith may be so damaged that they abandon it. Christianity in America is being marketed as the new get-rich-quick scheme. The pastor I mentioned before has said that he likes to stick to the goodness of God rather than the sin part. However, the “sin part” is an important aspect of our faith – without it, we never would have fallen from God’s grace. Without sin, there is no need for a messiah whose blood washes it away and brings us into good standing with God. With no doctrine of sin, there is no reason to teach repentance – turning away from the sins we once loved – which is a vital aspect of our salvation. The prosperity gospel

does not teach Christian principles; it contra­dicts them. We are extremely lucky to live in the United States. Having the freedoms we do would probably seem like a dream come true for those persecuted for their faith in oppressed nations. As much as I feel sorry for and pray for them, I am also a little envious. Not of their pain and suffering, which I know God must feel as well, but rather of the way the trials and persecutions they endure must strengthen their faith like tempering strengthens steel. I’m not saying Americans don’t know what faith means, but people living in hellish conditions are tested differently than Americans, and they know the true meaning of persecution. Paul Washer, a Baptist preacher who was interviewed about one of his missions trips to South America, told the story of a Christian caught by four armed attackers. The young man pleaded for his life but said he would not turn his back on Christ in exchange for his release. The men shot him five times in the stomach, and he died in a pool of blood.4 There are times when I think about this story or others that I have heard, and I wonder if I would be as brave as the young man was when he stood by his faith in the face of death. Could I look at a gun and stand for what I believe, or would I deny Him like the Apostle Peter did? I fear that the American Church is wasting the freedom we have been given and turning the message of Christ into “Do whatever you want, and you can go to heaven too.”We shouldn’t be afraid to stand up against messages we disagree with. If anyone is preaching something as the Word of God that we don’t believe is scriptural, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask them about it. Also, we must read and know the Bible as

Not one of us is better than Jesus, so why should we get away from this world unscathed when He suffered for our sins? If we are truly to be His followers, we must be ready for the consequences that accompany this choice.

2010

Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

thoroughly as we can. How else will we know if we are being led astray by someone preaching with their belly instead of their heart? Remember, God loves us all forever. Even though times might get tough, He is still there to help us overcome our tribulations in this world. Just don’t expect Him to spot you for your rent payment; that’s not what He’s there for. 1. Romans 16: 17-18, New King James Version. 2. John 15:18-19, New International Version. 3. Matthew 5:11-12, NIV. 4. Washer, Paul. Interview conducted by Kirk Cameron. Published by Way of the Master. Bellflower, Calif.: Nov. 28, 2007

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Expositions: Biography

Correcting common misconceptions about Charles Darwin’s descent from faith Emily Pike ’12 English Assistant Perspectives Editor

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Cover Story |

Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

n 1915, the “Lady Hope Story” was published planned a trip to the tropics before settling into the life in a Baptist newspaper called the Watchman Examiner. of a clergyman. At this point, he had studied the ideas of This story claimed Charles Darwin recanted the Herschel, Paley, and his grandfather Erasmus Darwin. theory of evolution and accepted Jesus Christ as his He had also studied geology, taxonomy, and Lamarckian savior on his deathbed. evolution theory. Darwin’s children and various historians have vocally Aboard the HMS Beagle, he initially described himself opposed the story, and it certainly seems far-fetched. as “quite orthodox” and looked to the story of Creation However, it does raise the question: What did Darwin to explain the distribution of species; however he found believe? little or no real evidence to support the biblical account. Darwin is held by many to be an icon of skepticism, one He became critical of the Bible as history and began to of the first prominent scientific naturalists who consider the validity of other religions. When openly abandoned irrational religious thinking he returned in 1836, he developed his ideas on in the light of scientific discoveries. But it is very geology and some ideas on the transmutation interesting to study his true faith journey, and of species.4 to see that it was not science alone that pushed A few years after his return on the Beagle, the biologist from Christianity. Clarification he married Emma Wedgwood. Prior to their of his true beliefs and how he came to them can marriage, they exchanged letters that disclosed be found in compilations of letters between some of Darwin’s skepticism of Christianity.5 1 Darwin and his friends and loved ones. He continued to play a role in the local parish In 1825, Darwin was apprenticed to his church in Downe, Kent, but by 1849 he started father for medical studies and later went to the to go for walks while his family attended University of Edinburgh Medical School to church. pursue a career with his brother, Erasmus Alvey The primary reason Darwin ceased Darwin. He became disinterested in medicine, attending church was the parish’s failure to but learned taxidermy from John Edmonstone, hire a quality clergyman. Darwin and other a freed black slave, which led him to join the parishioners had numerous problems with Charles Darwin published Plinian Society, a student naturalist group. the priests being lax in their duties, pursuing On the Origin in the midst of This involvement frustrated his father, who his spiritual journey. women, upsetting the church order, and proceeded to send Darwin to Christ’s College pushing distasteful ideas on the congregation at the University of Cambridge to become an Anglican in their sermons.6 parson.2 One of the most significant blows to Darwin’s faith came Darwin was very interested in natural history and was in 1851, when his beloved daughter, Anne, was weakened excited about the science of Christian apologist William by scarlet fever and died of tuberculosis. Darwin wrote Paley, who described nature as designed by God acting letters to friends, expressing his anger towards the “clumsy, through the laws of nature to produce adaptation. Darwin wasteful, blundering low and horridly cruel works of nature.” later wrote in his autobiography, “I do not think I hardly Darwin started to doubt the existence of a benevolent God. ever admired a book more than Paley’s Natural Theology: I To him, either nature was the work of a cruel God (entirely could almost formerly have said it by heart.” 3 powerful, but not all-good), or everything was just nature.7 As his studies at Christ’s College finished, Darwin Darwin ultimately rejected Christianity outright

Spring


Expositions: Biography

Science has nothing to do with Christ; except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. – Charles Darwin letter to a Russian diplomat why there is no reason for that bitterness: when he found he couldn’t accept the doctrine of Hell. He wrote: I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my father, brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.8

Darwin asked, how could a loving God condemn these wonderful individuals? He continued his research, but held back the publication of his theory to avoid public controversy until naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace informed Darwin that he was researching a similar theory. In 1859, Darwin published On the Origin of Species. According to Darwin’s autobiography, he was still shaken by Anne’s death and skeptical of Christianity, reflecting:

Art credit: Samantha Young ’10, Artwork Editor. Pencil on paper.

The clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become. … I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine religion. … Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can hardly be denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories. 9

He also wrote that his “old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley … fails, now that the law of natural selection has been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being.”10 According to a letter written in 1879 to his friend, John Fordyce, Darwin was never an atheist: “Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.” 11 Despite his disbelief, Darwin again wrote to another friend, J.B. Innes in 1878 to complain, “Why the disciples of either school should attack each other with bitterness.” 12

2010

A few years before his death, Darwin describes in a Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Science has nothing to do with Christ; except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any Revelation. As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities. 13

Clearly, Darwin was not a Christian. He did not become one on his deathbed, despite what “Lady Hope” claimed. What is true is that Darwin initially considered himself a theist14 and slowly moved away from Christianity as he faced struggles with his scientific conclusions, his daughter’s untimely death, increasing frustration with his local church, and finally, an inability to accept a distasteful but important Christian doctrine. Perhaps now the question of Darwin’s faith can be laid to rest once and for all­.

1. Darwin, Charles. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin. Edited by Nora Barlow. London: Collins, 1958. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. Charles Darwin. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin. Edited by Nora Barlow. London: Collins, 1958. 5. Wedgwood, Emma. “Letter 441.” Darwin Correspondence Project. November 22, 1838. http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-441 (accessed Feb. 10, 2010). 6. Darwin, Charles. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin. Edited by Nora Barlow. London: Collins, 1958. 7. Ibid. 8. Ibid. 9. Ibid. 10. Ibid. 11. Darwin, Charles. “Letter 12041.” Darwin Correspondence Project. May 7, 1879. http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-12041 (accessed Feb. 10, 2010). 12. Darwin, Charles. “Letter 11763.” Darwin Correspondence Project. November 27, 1878. http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-11763 (accessed Feb. 10, 2010). 13. Darwin, Charles. “Darwin, C.R. 1882.” The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. June 5, 1879. http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?v iewtype=text&itemID=F1998&pageseq=1 (accessed Feb. 10, 2010). 14. Darwin, Charles. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin. Edited by Nora Barlow. London: Collins, 1958.

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Expositions: Christian History

The original fundamentalist writers’ interpretations of the Genesis Creation story may not be as clear as you think

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Scott DeLong ’12 Secondary Education Assistant Editor in Chief

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them into volumes and distributed them from 1910 to 1915. The end result, titled The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth, covered topics ranging from the deity of Christ to the nature of sin. Most Christians have largely forgotten the essays over time, yet they remain relevant to our generation which is wrestling with the same questions. The Fundamentals are somewhat paradoxical when it comes to the biblical story of Creation – for a document aimed at unification, there are essays defending different interpretations of Genesis. It seems the editors of The Fundamentals believed that multiple viewpoints were theologically sound enough to be included in a collection of the basic tenets of the Christian faith. A 2007 Gallup poll showed that 31 percent, of Americans today believe the Bible is absolutely accurate and should be taken literally.4 Commonly called “creationists,” these people believe that the earth was created less than 10,000 years ago, and that man was created in his present form on the sixth 24-hour day. In volume two of The Fundamentals, the Rev. Dyson Hague presents his case for a young earth. Instead of examining his scientific arguments, which are nearly a century old, it would be more revealing to read his reasons for defending the literal Genesis position: If the first chapters of Genesis are unreliable, the revelation of the beginning of the universe, the origin of the race, and the reason of its redemption are gone. … [T]he beginning of Genesis, therefore, is a divinely inspired narrative of the events deemed necessary by God to establish the foundations for the divine law in the sphere of human life, and to set forth the relation between the omnipotent Creator and the man who fell, and the race that was to be redeemed by the incarnation of His Son.5

Here lies the crux of the argument against an allegorical or figurative Genesis interpretation: If Genesis is cultural fabrications, then the core themes of the Bible unravel. If men and women did not rebel against God, the concept of sin crumbles. The resulting moral relativism eliminates the need for Christ’s death as a payment for sin Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

cadia National Park on Mount Desert Island has undergone many changes in recent decades because of increased tourism, but oceanfront estates and parking lots are not the only transformations the island has seen. Plaques around the park inform visitors how the iconic pink granite formed 360-380 million years ago. Ages passed, and black diabase rock oozed up through the granite to form coastal dikes. 20,000 years ago – recently in geologic time – an ice sheet transformed the gulf of Maine by gouging mountains, moving rock, and scooping out lakes. Mount Desert Island continues to be transformed every year as sea stacks and ocean cliffs erode.1 Mainstream scientists accept the above statements as fact, but they are not consistent with the Creation story the Bible gives. Genesis explains that God separated land from water on the second day of Creation.2 Generations later, a global flood covered the earth – an event many Christians believe created major geologic features.3 Today, a ridiculously large number of sources feed the conflict between religion and science, which echoes from the U.S. Supreme Court to the opinion section of The Maine Campus. Since it appears that people have already chosen sides for this bitter battle of beginnings, one question rises to paramount importance for believers: Is a literal view of Genesis necessary for a fruitful Christian life and an honest reading of the Holy Scriptures? It may surprise you, but the answer is no. It is not a surrender of biblical fundamentalism; rather, it is a sign of respect for it. The beginning of the 20th century was a turbulent time for Christianity in the United States. A wave of liberal theology emerged that was disregarded essential components of the Christian doctrine. To counter this trend and unify Christian principles, two American evangelists, A. C. Dixon and R. A. Torrey, collected 90 essays on the basics of Protestant Christian faith, bound

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amentally to make humankind right with God. A mythical Genesis maims Christian faith and reduces the living Word of God to folktales sprinkled with moral lessons. Hague is justified in his motivations – the authority and truth of the Bible is the foundation of Christianity – but it is incorrect to say that because something is not literal means it is not true. A non-literal interpretation of the Bible is not a new idea. Since the dawn of Christianity, believers have wrestled with serious questions regarding the interpretation of the biblical Creation account. How is there light on the first three days before the creation of the sun on day four? What does God mean when He said, “let the earth bring forth”? In what ways did God make men and women “in His image”? While some positions taken by past theologians are now considered flawed, they serve as a reminder that biblical literalism hasn’t always been viewed as a crucial trait of Christianity. The Bible is full of stories and parables that use figurative language to communicate truth. Of course, this doesn’t mean that Genesis, which bears marks of historical narrative, should automatically be taken as a divinely inspired allegory, but in light of overwhelming scientific evidence and the convictions held by many educated people, the non-literal interpretation remains a popular stance. The Rev. James Orr, in his essays on Genesis, has a much more open view than Hague. Orr argues that Genesis can be left open to a reasonable interpretation without any harm done to the underlying truth. He says it’s important to realize that: Creation, the Fall, the Flood, are not myths, but narratives enshrining the knowledge or memory of real transactions. The creation of the world was certainly not a myth, but a fact, and the representation of the stages of Creation dealt likewise with facts. The language used was not that of modern science, but, under divine guidance, the sacred writer gives a broad, general picture which conveys a true idea of the order of the divine working in Creation. 6

Orr argues that accepting a non-literal interpretation doesn’t instantly make Genesis folklore; the underlying truths are the same. He argues that as science progresses, we should not dismiss discovery if it appears to contradict our interpretations, since: “the Bible clearly does not profess to anticipate the scientific discoveries of the 19th and 20th centuries. Its design is very different; namely, to reveal God, His will, and His purposes of grace to men.” 7

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Orr does reject Darwinian evolution, criticizing the lack of apparent transitional fossils – a strong argument in his day. He considers that God may have created new kinds of organisms at strategic points in the history of life to separate simple organisms from conscious animals and to separate again those with self-conscious humans.8 Still, his views are far from Young Earth creationism. For example, he suggests that biblical genealogies (used to date the earth at roughly 6,000 years), “might not refer to individuals.” 9 In addition, he understands that the days in the Creation account could be “aeonic days,” representing long ages instead of 24-hour blocks of time.10 These stances do not negatively effect his faith; he, like many Intelligent Design advocates and theistic evolutionists today, is more in awed of God when he surveys the discoveries of modern science. Just as someone is not a Christian simply because they attend a certain church, a Christian’s identity and salvation is not defined by their position on non-essential issues like the interpretation of Genesis. A Christian is one who believes and responds to the free gift of redemption that God has offered through the death of Jesus. As Paul explained to the Corinthian Church, “[Christ] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” 11 Unfortunately, those who remain in the minority about these issues may wonder where they fit in the Church. The truth is that the restoring blood of Jesus Christ is for everyone, Young Earth creationists and evolutionary biologists alike. This is why open, respectful discussion is important. Two opposing beliefs cannot both be true, but a differing viewpoint should never be dismissed before listening thoughtfully, thinking objectively, and seriously researching an answer. Evolutionary theory has been accepted by some devout Christians, who can reconcile modern scientific discoveries with their uncompromising faith in Christ and the Bible. Many of the writers of The Fundamentals were distrustful of evolution, but if it did in fact occur, the Rev. George Wright who argued for intelligent design principles in his essay for the volumes, says it best: “The mechanism of the universe is so complicated that no man can say that it is closed to divine interference.” 12 1. Maine Department of Conservation. Maine Geological Survey. “The Geology of Mount Desert Island.” Augusta, Maine: 2008. http://www.maine.gov/doc/nrimc/mgs/ explore/bedrock/acadia/igneous.htm (accessed Feb. 16, 2010). 2. Genesis 1:9. 3. Genesis 7:6-24. 4. Newport, Frank. “One-third of Americans believe the Bible is literally true.” Gallup News Service, May 25, 2007. http://www.gallup.com. 5. Hague, Dyson. “The doctrinal value of the first chapters of Genesis.” In The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth, edited by A. C. Dixon, vol. 8, 74-89. Chicago, Ill: Testimony Pub Company, 1913. 6. Orr, James. “Science and Christian faith.” In The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth, edited by A. C. Dixon, vol. 4, 91-104. Chicago, Ill: Testimony Pub Company, 1911. 7. Ibid. 8. Ibid. 9. Ibid. 10. Orr, James. “The early narratives of Genesis.” In The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth, edited by A. C. Dixon, vol. 6, 85-97. Chicago, Ill.: Testimony Pub Company, 1912. 11. 2 Corinthians 5:15, English Standard Version. 12. Wright, George. “The passing of evolution.” In The Fundamentals: a Testimony to the Truth, edited by A. C. Dixon, vol. 7, 5-20. Chicago, Ill.: Testimony Pub Company, 1913.

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Expositions: Religion & Philosophy

What spiritual relativism is, why it’s illogical, and how it cripples Christianity “The wayfarer, perceiving the pathway to truth, was struck with astonishment. It was thickly grown with weeds. ‘Ha,’ he said, ‘I see that none has passed here in a long time.’ Later he saw that each weed was a singular knife. ‘Well,’ he mumbled at last, ‘Doubtless there are other roads.’” Stephen Crane (1871-1900), American writer

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order. I hope to challenge you, in the same way I challenge myself, to make a fearless and searching intellectual inventory of your understanding of reality, asking one question: “Does what I believe make sense?” Or do you follow the warm and fuzzy doctrine of the Church of Oprah, which makes claims that shatter into nothingness under the weight of logic? Not sure? Keep reading. You’ll know soon enough.

Spiritual relativism defined

“All religions are basically the same.” “I believe in God, I just don’t follow a particular faith.” “There can’t be just one way.” “I think that your faith is true for you, but it’s not my truth.” “God is too big for one religion.” “I’m glad you found something you can believe in, but it’s not for me.” 3 Ever heard statements like this before? Do they frustrate you, too? They are all testimonies to what I call “spiritual relativism.” Basically, it’s the notion that other people’s religious beliefs that directly contradict one’s own may nevertheless be equally true. Spiritual relativism is the hole in the ozone layer of our current spiritual climate, and for too long now it has hindered the search for Truth and muddied the discussions with incoherence and irrationality. I’m surprised Al Gore hasn’t written a book about it yet. In the philosophical realm, relativism is most often discussed as applying to morality, such as in the case of cultural relativism – the idea that morality is not universal, but is instead defined by one’s culture. And moral relativism is much more than an abstract philosophical idea – it is the prevailing ideology among Americans today. According to a 2002 study by the Barna Group, 63 percent of American adults said that truth is always relative to the person and the situation. The numbers among teenagers were even more surprising, as only a dismal six percent of respondents – many of whom could be in college today – said that moral truth is absolute.4 Statistics on spiritual relativism aren’t easy to find,

OPRAHism

Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Design by Tyler Francke ’10, Editor in Chief.

prah Winfrey, American talk show host and prophetess of New Age spiritualism, has good news for you: The way to God is much wider than you thought. As a teenager, Winfrey could bring her church congregation to tears with the testimony of her personal Savior, but she seems to have strayed from her more orthodox beliefs in recent decades.1 “One of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe there is only one way,” Winfrey said on her popular talk show, recently announced to be in its final season. “Actually, there are many diverse paths leading to what you call God.” 2 Oh, really? And how do you know that, Oprah? Snarky comments aside, I do admire this woman. She is a generous philanthropist, a positive and uplifting role model, and the founder of one of the most influential media empires in the country. If I sat down with the mogul for a chat, I’m sure we would agree on many things, and I would probably like her a lot. But we would part ways when it came to religion and philosophy, and I can’t, on both biblical and intellectual grounds, follow her to the “new earth” she thinks she’s headed to. Winfrey and her followers may think Christianity can be one of many ways to God, but she is wrong – Christianity is absolutely exclusive. This isn’t unique, as almost all religions make claims to universal truth – that’s Truth with a capital “T.” But because of what the Gospel says, Christianity is distinctive in its inability to coexist with any other belief system. My point is simple: Either Christianity is the only way to God, or it isn’t a way to God at all. As a Christian, I will be writing from that perspective, but my goal is not to prove my religion is true or convert anyone. Instead of proselytizing, I am preaching the gospel of coherent thought: If there is any kind of spiritual truth, then it is absolute. Something can’t be both straight and round at the same time. Our generation’s ideas of truth have been bloated with complacency and cynicism; I say it’s high time for a stomach stapling surgery to get our ways of thinking back into logical

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Expositions: Religion & Philosophy

Art credit: “Bust of Aristotle.” Marble copy of bronze original by Lysippus from 330 BC. Public doma

Tyler Francke ’10 Journalism Editor in Chief

sides right in any disagreement would fail in every other aspect of life. Take classes, for example: Two lab partners work on the same math problem and come out with different results. Can they both be correct? Of course not. The answer to an equation could not be 74.32 and -29.548 at the same time, and no teacher would hesitate in marking the incorrect answer as such. Now imagine an argument with a friend. You thought you had agreed to meet at 7:00 p.m. – she was sure it was 5:00. Now she’s upset, and you have to defend your honor. Would you try suggesting that you’re both right? It doesn’t make enough sense to be considered. Two contradictory statements about the reality of something can’t both be true; at least one of them is simply wrong. Most religions contain some truths. There are threads of truth everywhere, but I believe that they lead somewhere – to an absolute truth, which is the nature of the metaphysical reality. Most viewpoints contain elements of this Truth, but they also necessarily contradict it in some ways, and the contradictions must be sorted out and denied. Only in matters of opinion can conflicting arguments both be correct. For example, two people could have very different views about the deliciousness of chocolate ice cream and both be completely right. But too many place the spiritual questions into a similarly subjective category, when in actuality, religions have always been in the realm of the objective, universal, and absolute. It is indeed a distasteful proposition to tell someone you think their fundamental beliefs about reality are wrong, not just for you, but for them as well. Yet, to do so would be an act of dignity and respect, acknowledging you understand their views are just as universal as they believe them to be, but that you find valid reasons to disagree. Kindness, acceptance and open-mindedness are important, as long as they don’t compromise one’s intellectual honesty. There are valid ways to deal with religious disagreements, like finding a way to reconcile the two views or withholding judgment until further exploring the topic. Accepting two contradictory statements as the ultimate truth, however, is foolish.

but we can assume that it would be about as prevalent as moral relativism. The sources for relativism are fairly obvious, and I must admit on some levels, it is a highly appealing perspective. Pluralism is a fact of today’s world, especially in America. It can even be seen in our consumer products: There’s no clear “best” of anything anymore. What’s better – Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Unix? Coke or Pepsi? Chunky peanut butter or smooth? Who knows! We have thousands of clothing and retail companies making essentially the same products, and if you stop in at a Starbucks, you’ll find that there is a limitless amount of variations of how to drink a cup of coffee. Most of the time, we are drowning in a sea of equally valid options, and when confronted with religion, why wouldn’t we follow the same principle? Why would one person being a Christian and another being a Muslim be any different than one guy being a Budweiser drinker and another loyal to Coors? My Muslim friends and I may argue it out every now and then, just like the beer Beaten and burned by logic drinkers, but in the end, we all know we’re There may be some who disagree; perhaps pretty much getting the same thing, right? Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) devised the you don’t think that religions are as absolute law of non-contradiction and probably Wrong, because religions are not products, but would not have been an Oprah fan. and exclusive as I claim. For that reason, I’ve rather ways to understand reality. included a chart on the next page that lists some Pluralism, of course, goes beyond consumer choices. There of the oldest, largest, and most revered faiths in the world and a are a lot of different spiritual beliefs in this world, and we college brief statement of their core beliefs.5 As anyone can plainly see, students, both by nature and conditioning, value kindness, it is the universal claims religions make – not my interpretation acceptance, and open-mindedness, especially regarding topics of them – that render spiritual relativism impossible. It is a futile we don’t know much about – like religion. It makes sense task to fit them together without watering the doctrines down to that tolerance and political correctness, coupled with a lack where most of their adherents would object. of knowledge of or interest in religion, would lead to spiritual Important to philosophers are the three classic laws of relativism. I’ve been there myself, in fact. It’s far easier to gloss thought, the second of which is known as the “principle of over the inconsistencies and presume that everybody’s basically contradiction,” or the “law of non-contradiction.” Essentially, it right. states that if the proposition A is B is true, then A is not B cannot But the problems are obvious. A policy that declared both also be true. A may be B at one time, and not at another; A may be

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Expositions: Religion & Philosophy partly B and partly not B at the same time; but it is impossible to display the presence and absence of the same quality at the same time, and in the same sense.6 Note that this law is not a means of discerning which proposition is true – it merely shows that both can’t be; one is true, the other is false. The principle of contradiction is attributed to Aristotle, and it has been accepted as an un-falsifiable axiom by most philosophers over the past 2,000 years. My favorite all-time proof for it was given by the prominent Persian logician Avicenna: “Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned.” 7 I would never advocate beating or burning someone to prove a point – not even Oprah – but the fact is religions, whether you like it or not, claim to be laws, not principles. There have been few devout believers in the history of the world who thought they were just following “good values” – they believed they were following the Truth. And if there is spiritual truth, then it can not be true for one person and not true for another at the same time. It either is true, or it isn’t.

I would never advocate beating someone to prove a point, not even Oprah, but the fact is religions claim to be universal laws, not ‘good principles.’ The principle of contradiction makes short work of one of the foundational principles of spiritual relativism, that something could be true for one person and not for another. The fact is that no idealogy could pull off the trick of being both true and not true simultaneously; the laws of logic render it impossible.

Rational faith in a reasonable God

So why use logic in a spiritual discussion? After all, “Isn’t that what faith is for?” Absolutely not – this is a misrepresentation of true faith. The Bible describes faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” 8 What it doesn’t say, and what you won’t find anywhere in Scripture, is this statement: “Faith is believing things that don’t make any sense and contradict other things you believe.” I worship a supremely reasonable God, who constructed a universe operating according to precise physical laws. I am inclined to agree with the astronomer Galileo Galilei, who in a 1615 letter to the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, said, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use.” 9 As C.S. Lewis pointed out in Mere Christianity, the Lord exhorted His followers to have childlike faith, but never did He

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champion the virtue of childlike intellect. In fact, His instructions for the Apostles were that they be “as gentle as doves, but as wise as serpents.” 10 Similarly, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.” 11 The nature of faith will necessitate that we believe certain things without definitive proof, such as the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ. However, there is similarly no reason to disbelieve God is capable of this miracle. Some say it is illogical to believe in miracles because they’ve never been observed, but all that really means is something I would agree with – miracles don’t happen

WORLD RELIGIONS: CAN This is a list of twelve of the largest organized religions in the world, included with a brief summation of the fundamental tenets that most adherents would agree with. Individual beliefs beyond these core doctrines will, of course, vary widely, and it is only for the sake of brevity that such broad generalizations are made here. Not acknowledged in this list are various pagan belief systems, primal-indigenous and polytheistic faiths, African traditions, and similar perspectives,

Hinduism: Humans’ purpose is to draw closer to and eventually become one with the divine reality – Brahman – through repeated reincarnations and good and selfless acts; karma dictates whether one will be reborn into a higher or lower caste. Judaism: Humanity is the creation of a single, transcendent Almighty Creator God, who chose the nation of Israel and its patriarch, Abraham, to be His Chosen People and bestowed upon them a Law, through which peace and holiness can be obtained. Zoroastrianism: Humans are the creation of a universal and completely benevolent God, called Ahura Mazda, who has called all humanity to world order, social justice, worship, and the individual choice between good and evil, Angra Mainyu. Buddhism: Humans are meant to follow the teachings of the first Buddha and through repeated reincarnations and meditation, release their attachments to desire and self, eventually obtaining Nirvana – the state of being free from suffering. Shinto: Humans are the children of Kami, nature deities who created and sustain the material world; sin does not separate one from these gods and after death, a person’s spirit lives on with a connection to this world.

on a material basis, nor do they come about very often. They could only occur with divine intervention – in rare cases, for important reasons. Believing something is possible, even if you’ve never seen it, is not necessarily irrational.

The reality of Hell

As I said earlier, the claims of Christianity make it more exclusive than any other religion. It is ironic then that it is so often commandeered by relativists who insist the Gospel is compatible with many other faiths, but it’s easy to see why: After all, Christianity is only about God’s love, right?

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Expositions: Religion & Philosophy Not exactly. God does love us all; in fact, the Bible says God is love.12 But Bible-based doctrine traditionally maintains that non-believers are damned by God to spend an eternity in Hell, and I admit that doesn’t sound particularly loving of Him. It’s no surprise that most would want to believe this is overly extreme – God can’t really care that much about a person’s religious beliefs. I disagree. I believe in a perfect God, who made man in His own image, for the sole purpose of sharing His glory with them. I believe God breathed His own breath into man and gave them dominion over all of creation, and He heaped honor and privilege onto them and gave them one restriction: Eat from any tree in the

AN THEY ALL BE TRUE? because though they can often claim rich histories and a large number of followers, their general beliefs can contain so much variance that it is impossible to even pull together an abstract as broad and succinct as what it contained below. Furthermore, if included, these other worldviews would only serve to further illustrate the point that is already resoundingly clear. The religions are listed in order of their age, from oldest to youngest tradition.

Taoism: Humans, who are inherently good, have the purpose bestowed upon them of becoming one with the Tao, roughly translated as the “path” or “way,” a force which flows through all life and is the first cause of everything. Christianity: Humans are created in the image of a loving and perfect God, but through their own free will have fallen into sin and separation, and only through faith in the sacrifice of the Son of God is salvation possible. Islam: Humans were created to serve an awesomely powerful, strictly monotheistic Deity, who sent the Prophet Muhammad to preach His message of submission through the Five Pillars, the obeying of which is the only way to avoid an eternity in Hell. Sikhism: Humans can attain enlightenment and knowledge of the One Immortal Being (God) by following the path prescribed by 10 ancient Gurus and through meditation, karma, prayer, and repeated reincarnation. Bahá’í: Humans were created equal by an omnipotent, monotheistic God, who has revealed Himself in history through different prophets, including Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and of course Bahá’u’lláh – the founder of Baha’i.

Garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.13 It should have been an easy rule to follow, but man broke it, seeking equality with their creator and finding only guilt. I think God, who needs nothing from us, would’ve been perfectly justified in wiping the human race out then and there, but instead, out of pure patience and love, He covered the shame of their sin and promised to send a savior to rescue them from their desperate condition.14 And God watched and grieved as men became increasingly evil and violent and rebellious, and repeatedly ignored His laws, killed His prophets, corrupted His festivals, and broke His

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covenants. I believe God finally sent the savior He promised – His only Son – who would take all the sins of humanity on His shoulders and teach them the ways of the kingdom of God, and man rejected this Savior, beat Him, tortured Him, and subjected Him to the most horrible death imaginable. And I believe God was willing to forgive man even then, giving one final plea to His fallen creation: “Remember my Son, who has made the way for you. Honor Him. Trust Him. Follow Him.” This is the gospel message. What God has offered is not a “Get Out of Hell Free” card, but an invitation back to the Garden, a chance to be restored to the place of honor in His sight that we forsook by choosing our own way instead of His. The consequence of sin is separation from our source of life, and if we die in that state, our soul stays separated from Him for eternity – what we call hell. We choose our eternal fate, not Him. God’s aim is for us to turn from our ways and submit to His.15 This brings Him glory – that we would freely give our wills, the one thing He refuses to take.

What God has offered is not a ‘Get Out of Hell Free’ card, but a chance to be restored to the place of honor we have forsaken by going our own way. I don’t know that Christianity is the Truth – I won’t know for sure until I die. But I understand the implications if it is. And if so, considering our above track record, I couldn’t imagine a fairer proposal than the free gift of life offered in Jesus Christ. I, for one, wouldn’t dare to look God in the face on the day of judgment, and tell Him, “Sorry, but one way was not enough.”

The weight of the gospel

The claims of Christianity carry more weight than any other doctrine. Most religions claim God sent prophets and holy books, but Christianity claims God sent His only Son. The scales don’t balance. I can’t say it any clearer: If Jesus Christ was the Son of God as He claimed to be, then all other ways of understanding spiritual truth are false. If the Son of God came into the world and died for its salvation, then any faith that says He didn’t or that it doesn’t matter may very well be a path to somewhere, but certainly not to God. To believe that Christianity is just “one of the many ways,” as Winfrey asserts, means to believe the Almighty is OK with a person rejecting the price His Son paid to set them free from their sins as long as they believe in something and they’re sincere about it. Not only is this illogical, it would also be a very un-loving thing for God to do. Don’t believe me? Consider the words of Christ on the night before He was killed. Found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark,

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Expositions: Religion & Philosophy and Luke, the passionate account of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane is one of the most powerful ever recorded. The day the Church remembers as Good Friday was surely anything but for the man who experienced it firsthand. We can’t forget the physical agony He endured, the floggings, the beatings, the nails, the slow suffocation of crucifixion, but we must also think of the emotions of the day, as Jesus felt the sting of betrayal again and again – by Judas, by His chosen people choosing Barabbas, by His disciples who denied Him. He even felt forsaken by His own Father – God, not Joseph.16 He would be humiliated, hanging naked on a cross like a common criminal. He would be torn apart inside as the guilt of the world’s sin was placed on His shoulders, and His spirit would suffer the wrath of God. I don’t know how much of the details Jesus was aware of in the Garden. But I know God knew everything, and God was watching and listening as His beloved Son, sorrowful to the point of death, so anguished blood came through His pores, prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” 17 In other words, “If there is any other way, please don’t make me do this.” But God did. The cup didn’t pass, and Jesus was brutally murdered just as history remembers. This puts all of us in a tough situation: If the death of Jesus served no necessary atonement purpose for humanity, if there are other ways to heaven, then there was no reason for Him to come to earth in the first place and endure what He did. Either God callously ignored Christ’s desperate pleas – not a very loving thing to do – or God denied His Son’s prayer only because His death was absolutely necessary, and there is no other way. Which kind of God would you believe in?

The simple Truth

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1. Taylor, LaTonya. “The Church of O.” Christianity Today, April 1, 2002. 2. Ibid. 3. All these statements are actual quotes from UMaine students heard by the author, most of them friends. 4. The Barna Group. “Americans are most likely to base truth on feelings.” February 12, 2002. http:// www.barna.org/ 5. All information on world religions taken from: Matthews, Warren. World Religions. Stamford, Conn.: Wadsworth Publishing, 2008. 6. Aristotle. W.D. Ross, trans. Metaphysics, Book IV. 7. Avicenna. Metaphysics, I. “Commenting on Aristotle, Topics I.” 8. Hebrews 11:1, New International Version. 9. Galilei, Galileo. Drake, Stillman, trans. “Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany: Concerning the use of biblical quotations in matters of science.” 1615. Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo. New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1957. 10. Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. New York: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1952. 11. 1 Corinthians, English Standard Version. 12. 1 John 4:8, NIV. 13. Genesis 1:26-29, 2:7-8, 15-22. 14. Genesis 3:6-7, 15, 22. 15. 2 Peter 3:9. 16. Matthew 27:46. 17. Matthew 26:39, King James Version. Also see Matthew 26:42, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:46. 18. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey | Religious affiliation: diverse and dynamic.” Washington, D.C.: The Pew Forum, 2008.

OPRAHism

Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Photo credit: Stock.xchng | HAAP Media Ltd.

Take a deep breath – see? The spiritual climate is already clearer. The problem with relativism – besides its logical fallacies – is that it so obscures spirituality with contradictions and countless options that it becomes impossible to make a real or meaningful decision. Though it might appear to simplify things by removing the significance of any particular path, it really just makes life more complicated. With Oprahism debunked, the choices are fewer, and they can – and should – be explored rationally just like anything else. In relation to Christianity, there are only three possible options, and I hope that by now you can see that “It’s just one of a bunch of different truths,” is not among them. The first option is there is no Truth, i.e. atheism. Atheists maintain there is nothing beyond the observable, material universe: no heaven, no souls, no spirits, no God. Very few Americans – only 10 percent according to the latest poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life18 – are willing to accept this, but it is a logically consistent worldview, far more coherent

and valid than spiritual relativism. If you are among the vast majority who do believe in some kind of higher power, there are only two remaining options regarding Christianity: Either it’s not true, and a different path is – such as Hinduism or Islam. If you choose one of these different paths, I would love to respectfully discuss your faith and how you came to it, as long as you agree to tell me you think I’m wrong, and not that I’ve just “found a different truth.” The final option is, obviously, that Christianity is the ultimate, universal truth, the one and only way to God. Regardless of which road you take, employ openmindedness when conversing with people who chose differently. In thoughtful, honest dialogue, both parties can come to a greater understanding of the Truth – not their truth. Humility is essential, because an understanding of the absolute truth would be nothing more than a gift from the being that created it, and no human can claim full, complete knowledge of spiritual truth – even if some happen to be closer to it than others. Whatever the Truth is, every one of us is subject to it, so we should work together to figure out what it is. Let us, as one, leave behind the shackles of political correctness, complacency, and tolerance and practice the real virtues of honesty, peaceful discussion, and love, and through them explore and ultimately discover more of the nature of our collective destiny. As long as we can ignore any selections from Oprah’s beloved book club, I’ll be happy to join you in the search.

Spring


15 Album Reviews A look at Switchfoot and Flyleaf. By Wayne Clarke, Samantha Young. | 16 Survey Results UMaine students comment on evolution’s place in Christianity. Survey by DOULOS Staff.

Regular Features – Testimony

17 Point/Counterpoint Students debate whether evolution can coexist with Christ. By David Hunter, Peter Fitzgerald. | 21 Book Reviews Exploring Christian masculinity, feminity. By Jason Deering, Sam Young. 22 DOULOS Interview Dr. Ken Miller explains how he found Darwin’s God. Conducted by Tyler Francke | 25 Film Review From creator of The Office comes disappointing comedy . By Samantha Young. 26 Bible Study Exploring the things unseen through Ezekiel’s vision. By Todd Conner, Jessica Baughman. | 28 Testimony How a UMaine professor heard his call outside I-95 rest stop. By George Miaoulis.

Say “goodbye” to musical mediocrity with Switchfoot’s latest release

Wayne D. Clarke ’07 Public Management

If you’re looking for a roller coaster ride of melody and lyrics, look no further than Switchfoot’s newest album, Hello Hurricane, which was released in November. Perhaps their strongest record yet, this album will leave no emotional stone unturned. Beginning with the driving beat of “Needle in a Haystack Life” and ending with the melodic “Red Eyes,” this record will, without a doubt, leave you begging for more. Lead singer Jon Foreman and company clearly had an agenda while writing the lyrics for this release. From start to finish, they deliver a message of hope, love, and purpose. Whether Foreman intended to or not, one could easily conclude that he is singing of God’s love for His people. The first radio release from the album, “Always,” is amazing. The lyrics, “Hallelujah, I’m a wretched man / Hallelujah, every breath is a second chance,” portray the significance of salvation. “Hello Hurricane,” the album’s title track, drives home the point that nothing can sway us or knock us down as long as we have faith. With its forceful tempo, underlying bass, and catchy intro, the tune easily gets stuck in your head. The lyrics in the second verse are the most powerful of the record. “Everything I have, I count as loss. / Everything I have is stripped away. / Before I started building, I counted up these costs. / There’s nothing left for you to take away.” Foreman makes a strong yet subtle declaration that nothing can overcome the power of God. Hello Hurricane is easily the best release of the season. While soaking up the eclectic melodies, closely listen to the lyrics – you won’t be disappointed. This record gets an A rating for lyrical content and an A+ rating for musical quality. It’s definitely worth purchasing if you have the funds.

Cover artwork from lowercase people records/Atlantic and A&M/Octone.

Flyleaf’s highly anticipated sophomore album rocks harder than their first

Sam Young ’10, Art Education Artwork Editor

Flyleaf released their sophomore album, Memento Mori, in November. Their self-titled debut record came out way back in 2005, but the long wait for their next compilation has proven to be well worth it. Memento Mori, which translated from Latin means “remember you will die,” is a passionate album about inner turmoil, spiritual warfare, and the redemptive power of Jesus. Although the lyrics are not like typical church worship music, they reach deep into the soul, effectively describing the struggles people go through in this world of trials, tribulations, and temptation. Memento Mori is powerful in its musical variety, including both pop and alternative rock sounds and a mix of smooth and edgy tempos. Lacey Mosely, the band’s lead singer, demonstrates an incredible range and ability in her vocals to convey strong emotions and experiences. The dark, heavy guitar and percussion in some tracks and the uplifting choruses of singers in others demonstrates the breadth of the human experience in search of purpose and healing. This album is all about the severity and seriousness of spiritual warfare and pleads its listeners to break the chains of bondage and train for battle by following Christ. Memento Mori includes more blatantly “Christian” lyrics than their debut album, with references to scriptural passages – for example, the track “Beautiful Bride” is taken from 1 Corinthians 12. Overall, Flyleaf ’s music reveals a strong fervor for Jesus Christ as a redeemer, savior, and commander. This album most certainly was not a disappointment in lyrical or musical quality; it surpasses their previous work. I give this album an A.

2010

Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

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Perspectives: DOULOS Survey

UMaine Do you think evolution has a place in speaks! the Christian faith or any religion? Yes, I believe evolution has a place in Christianity or religion in general:

No, I think evolution and religion are contradictory belief systems:

I feel evolution explains the “how,” and creation and Christianity explain the “why.” I feel evolution is an incredibly solid theory that scientists have been testing and reinforcing for over 150 years. I believe God put the universe into place and purposefully let it develop to what it is now. – Christian-Catholic

God created the world and humans, while evolution says humans were formed by chance through evolving animals, so they are contradicting beliefs. – Christian

I used to be Christian. Even then I believed in evolution. The first chapter of Romans says that God’s nature can be clearly seen in His creation. If God’s nature doesn’t lie, then science doesn’t lie. – Agnostic Evolution is actually stronger evidence to me that there is a God and that He created life, the universe, and everything in it. This is because evolution is controlled by something that scientists call chance. I call it fate, which I believe is controlled by God. Therefore, if evolution is controlled by fate, and fate is controlled by God, then God controls evolution. I’ve also been studying biology, which shows insane levels of organization in living things that could not have just come about randomly. – Christian How can you deny evolution? Evolution has proof; God doesn’t. God isn’t real. Christianity has no place in modern society. – Nihilist If God is as powerful as we believe, creating the process of evolution would be simplicity itself for Him. Given the evidence, I think God loves diversity – and what better way to have it come about? – Christian I don’t think the Bible should be taken literally. I strongly believe in a higher power and science. I believe in the hermetic law, “As above, so below.” Why couldn’t God be scientific, too? – Pagan I believe God uses microevolution, and I don’t believe in a stagnant creation. However, I do believe God created the earth out of nothing. I am not sure about a literal seven-day Creation. – Christian

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Most religions have a creation story and the process of evolution would contradict these stories. Also, religions have a set structure and it is those creation stories and beliefs that created that particular religious system. Therefore, adding evolution to the mix would alter the structure. – Pagan For my faith, a literal interpretation of the Bible is necessary. I see evolution with my eyes and understand it with my mind, but the faith that the Holy Spirit has grafted to these mortal bones overrides any arrogant argument that my feeble reasoning could formulate. Those who attempt to reconcile their Christian faith with the logical argument of evolution are blinded by self-confidence. They should return to Scripture and blind themselves to the world with the confidence of Christ. – Christian It completely goes against the Bible and the fact that God created us. Adam and Eve weren’t monkeys! – Christian I believe humans, as well as all the other species, were created by God. – Muslim The Bible clearly states in Romans that death is a result of sin and therefore, there could not have been any death until the Fall of Man in the third chapter of Genesis. – Christian

Maybe, I haven’t decided yet where I stand on the issue: I believe that God created the earth and all of the animals, but how the Bible’s language is interpreted is controversial. For example, I’ve heard that the word for “day” in the Bible could be interpreted as years instead of a 24-hour period. I’m still deciding how evolution and fossil evidence can fit with the Bible’s language. – Christian-Catholic Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Spring


Regular Features – Point/Counterpoint Perspectives: Point/Counterpoint

Is evolution compatible with biblical Christianity? YES or NO

Art credit: Tyler Francke ’10, Editor in Chief. Photoshop graphic illustration

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hat’s wrong with this picture? Obviously, the figure on the left is not what Michelangelo had in mind when he painted the Sistene Chapel ceiling in the early 1500’s. You can’t blame him – not many other believers before or after the great master would have thought the biblical Adam was quite so hairy, either. But modern science has begun to challenge preconceptions of what the appearance might have been of the first creature to ponder the things of God. For the majority of human history, there have been very few answers to the origins and mechanisms of life other than the broad but firm assertions of religion. In the 21st century, this is no longer the case. As scientists have continued to unravel the mysteries that once occupied the realm of faith alone, an uneasy tension between the two has arisen, and the resolution or lack thereof will have serious implications. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, has proven to be particularly contentious. “Is evolution compatible with biblical Christianity?” What follows are the attempts by two Christian UMaine students to answer this monumental question. Regardless of your own stance, we hope you can read their arguments with an open mind. David Hunter is a senior electrical engineering student from Unity, Maine. He is the president of Campus Crusade for Christ and Eta Kappa Nu and an active member in the Senior Skull Honors Society and Sigma Phi Epsilon. His hobbies include cycling, kayaking, table tennis, photography, and cooking. His interests include Bible study, biomedicine, politics, theology, and semantics.

2010

Peter Fitzgerald is a junior electrical engineering technology student from Bucksport, Maine. He is the vice president of Life Support, on the leadership team for The Navigators, and a member of Campus Crusade for Christ. His hobbies include soccer, racquetball, mountain biking, snowboarding, and just about every other sport. His interests include apologetics, defending life, music, political activism, and volunteering.

Questions or comments for the authors may be sent on FirstClass to David Hunter or Peter Fitzgerald. Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

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Is Evolution Compatible with Christianity?

David Hunter: Yes.

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he answer is clear: yes. It is impossible to see how one’s stance on this issue could eliminate the possibility of salvation or weaken his or her faith. If evolution required one to believe we are not sinful and in need of a Savior, evolution would be dangerous. Thankfully, it doesn’t. Essential to answering this question is a simple formula: Evolution ≠ atheism. Devoted Christian author C.S. Lewis said evolution “is a purely biological theorem. It takes over organic life on this planet as a going concern and tries to explain certain changes within that field. It makes no cosmic statements, no metaphysical statements, no eschatological statements.” Evolution makes no claims about God’s existence. Furthermore, science is not a foolish pursuit. God reveals himself through creation so that “men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). The study of God’s creation, known as science, is an excellent way to learn about the qualities of our creator. In our continual pursuit of Christ, we are called to pursue truth, as Jesus is truth. God, having revealed truth in two ways, would

In fact, a historical interpretation of Genesis runs into several problems. If only two people were created, God was responsible for a situation that necessitated incest. This is in clear violation of God’s law (Leviticus 20:11, 17) and since God does not change, we know that, although it had not yet been written, the law still applied. It is also helpful to consider how Christians have dealt with Genesis historically. Interestingly, Saint Augustine, a profoundly influential Church father, writing in 408 A.D., saw no theological problems interpreting Genesis symbolically and warned against stubbornly holding to a literal interpretation. Modern theologians like Lewis and Billy Graham have stated there is no theological conflict between Christianity and evolution, emphasizing that the Bible is a book of redemption, not science. Many use Romans 5:12, “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned,” to disprove an evolving creation. But death here is clearly a spiritual death and can only occur in spiritual beings. This is easily found from a more accurate exegesis. In Genesis 2:17, God says to Adam, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die,” but Adam lives hundreds of years after eating from the tree (Genesis 5:5). Some may argue this understanding of God’s method of creation is an example of the “God of the gaps” – the idea that we only use God to explain things that science has not yet explained. Some Christians worry that denying a historical interpretation of Genesis is tantamount to saying God could not have created. While God absolutely could have created the world in six days, seconds, or even instantaneously, the evidence He has revealed to us does not support it. This does not negate the existence nor the power of God but recognizes that God is not like us. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). It was once thought that God physically moved the sun to make it rise and set each day and when we discovered that it was a natural phenomenon, God was seemingly pushed further to the “gaps.” What is actually happening is this: God is becoming less human and more God. There is a lot more that can be written about the relationship between evolution and Christianity, but further analysis only illustrates that, far from being inconsistent with Christianity, evolution enhances Christian theology and our understanding and awe of our Creator.

God, having revealed truth in two ways, would not contradict Himself. For this reason we must make every effort to determine the correct meaning of God’s two revelations.

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Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Background photo: Texture Warehouse | texturewarehouse.com

not contradict Himself. For this reason we must make every effort to determine the correct meaning of God’s two revelations. This means considering both Scripture and science as we seek a deeper relationship with God. Proverbs 19:2 says that it is not good to have zeal without knowledge. Too often, people dismiss evolution as foolishness designed to disprove God without informing themselves of the science or the theology. They should look objectively at both the truth of the Bible and the evidence in creation and evaluate their position. We must remember that Scripture should be interpreted in light of the text. A careful study of Genesis 1 and 2 indicates the text should be interpreted figuratively. In chapter one, God creates plants and trees, then animals, then man. In chapter two, God creates man before plants and animals. Also, the original Hebrew in Genesis is of a poetic nature. The language rhymes and many words have symbolic meaning. For example, Adam is Hebrew for “man” and sounds like, and many theologians believe is related to, the Hebrew word adamah, meansing “ground.” This suggests a better exegesis yields a symbolic interpretation.

Spring


Is Evolution Compatible with Christianity?

Peter Fitzgerald: No.

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volution is not compatible with biblical Christianity for two main reasons. First, evolution doesn’t line up with the Bible’s account of Creation and its purpose. Also, evolution isn’t scientific, like it claims to be, so there is no logical reason to believe it. Evolution says we are descended from animals, and therefore we are animals. However, Genesis 2:7 says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” The fact that humans have a soul separates us from the animals. Earlier in Genesis, it says that we were formed in the image of God. It doesn’t say this about any of the animals. In Genesis 1:24, God tells His creation to bring forth living creatures “after their kind.” They are supposed to reproduce and remain the kinds of animals God made them, not evolve into new creatures. At the end of each of the days of Creation, God said that His creation was good. Why would He cause evolution to take place after He said that His creation was good? God created everything how He wanted it, so it doesn’t need to change. Some argue there weren’t six literal days of Creation: The days simply represent periods of time that could have been millions or billions of years. But if they were millions of years, why would God call them days, knowing that we see a day as a 24-hour period? It doesn’t make any sense! God wouldn’t try to confuse us when He could plainly state how long He chose to take. He is powerful enough to create the world in six days, and that is what He says He did, so I believe Him. Furthermore, Genesis 1:23 says, “There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.” It basically says it got dark, then became light again. This happens every 24 hours, so it makes sense that the “day” is a 24-hour period. It would be ludicrous to say it was dark for millions of years in between the “days,” because everything on earth would have died. Evolution isn’t supported by science, so there is no reason to believe it is true. It is supported by people with the title of scientist, but that doesn’t make it science. In order for something to be scientific, it must be tested and observed. Evolution has never been observed or recreated in the lab, so it is not scientific – it is simply a theory. Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, taught his ideas as theories. He hoped people would one day prove

them to be correct. In On the Origin of Species, he wrote, “For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived.” His arguments were obviously weak if they could also be used to support the opposite of what he said. The fossil record doesn’t support evolution either. There should be millions, or at least thousands, of animals that died between stages of evolution; yet Darwin says, “Geological research … does not yield the infinitely many fine graduations between past and present species required on the theory; and this is the most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against it.” Darwin admitted that geological research opposed evolution. Even now, after so many new fossils have been found, very few are suggested as “missing links.” Another barrier to evolution is entropy, the amount

God wouldn’t try to confuse us when He could plainly state how long He took. He is powerful enough to create the world in six days, and that is what He says He did, so I believe Him.

2010

Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

of randomness in a system. It is a quantity that can never decrease – it increases every day through things like wood burning, glass shattering, or a bomb exploding. The molecules and parts of the objects are less ordered than they were before. In order for evolution to take place, the entropy of an organism must decrease. Entropy cannot decrease unless the system is acted on by an external force. According to Sir Fredrick Hoyle, founder of the Cambridge Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, the probability of evolution creating the species we now have is about the same as the probability that a tornado tearing through a junkyard will create a Boeing 747. Boeing, an outside force, can build a 747, but chance cannot. Similarly, God can create a complicated living being, but chance cannot – due to entropy. Unlike animals, people have souls and were created in the image of God. The Bible says Creation took six days, mornings, and nights, not millions of years. Also, God commanded animals to reproduce after their “kind,” not other kinds. Lastly, evolution is not scientific nor is it supported by the fossil record and the law of entropy. Therefore, evolution isn’t compatible with biblical Christianity.

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Perspectives: Point/Counterpoint Rebuttal – David Hunter

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hile Mr. Fitzgerald is correct that evolution does not “line up” with his interpretation of the biblical Creation account, he errs by restricting himself to a historical interpretation. The Church traditionally has correctly interpreted Genesis allegorically, rendering evolution not only acceptable, but providing us with a more complete and vibrant understanding of our Creator. Concerning the days of Creation, the Hebrew word yom is ambiguous but is most likely referring to a 24-hour period. However, this is irrelevant when interpreting the text properly. The importance is what it reveals about God, not history. Again, we see that accepting evolution does not conflict with biblical truth. The unsupported claim that evolution is not scientific falls flat even under superficial examination. Mr. Fitzgerald claims “evolution has never been observed or recreated it the lab.” Not true. This relies on a false distinction between “microevolution” and “macroevolution,” claiming we observe the former but not the latter. The only difference between them is time. Microevolution over time is macroevolution. We observe this daily. The flu virus and HIV mutate to react to new treatments – examples of evolution through natural selection that are continually observed and replicated. Evolution is a theory, however Mr. Fitzgerald fails to understand the scientific definition of “theory.” Theories don’t “grow up” and become laws. Theories are explanations of many observations and repeated experiments. Circuit theory includes Ohm’s law but will never become “circuit law.” The terms don’t work that way. In a 100-level science classroom entropy may equal disorder, but the actual concept is more complex and in no way contradicts evolution. Entropy concerns energy and not physical patterns. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy in an isolated system, not in equilibrium, will tend to increase over time. Entropy is a measure of energy dispersal at a specific temperature, meaning that concentrated energy will tend to diffuse. This diffusion often results in a random arrangement sometimes referred to as “disorder.” Mr. Fitzgerald speaks of random arrangement of molecules. This is a misapplication of the second law since these molecules themselves are favorable energy states and are ordered arrangements of atoms. He got it backwards. Entropy does not conflict with any evolutionary process, especially since mutations occur randomly. Evolution is not religion and should not be argued as though it were. Likewise, scientists are not God and should not be thought of as such. Even if Mr. Fitzgerald’s claims about Darwin were true, that is not evidence that evolution is incorrect, merely proof that science changes. What a concept! Furthermore, the “evidence” used is incorrect. The following is Darwin’s actual quote. Mr. Fitzgerald cleverly omitted the italicized portions: “Although geological research has undoubtedly revealed the former existence of many links, bringing numerous forms of life much closer together, it does not yield the infinitely many fine graduations between past and present species required on the theory; and this is the most obvious and forcible of the many objections which may be urged against it.” Darwin said there were links between species, just not “infinitely many” of them. Pretty mundane, given that that because of the high number of intermediate forms it is often difficult to determine, categorically, when specific changes occur.

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agree with Mr. Hunter: One’s stance on evolution does not affect their standing before God regarding salvation. Belief in evolution does not equal atheism. Science is a worthwhile pursuit, and should be pursued in some way by everyone. The study of science helps us know God better, and the studies of creation and the Bible will lead to the same conclusions. It is also true that many people reject evolution without studying it, but I would say more people reject creationism in the same way. Of course this is no excuse for not looking at both sides. After looking at the Creation account in Genesis and evolution, I do not see any way that they can fit together. Mr. Hunter said that Genesis should be interpreted figuratively since chapters one and two contradict each other. However, they do not contradict – they simply approach Creation from different angles. The first chapter is in chronological order, specifically stating which day each thing was created. The second chapter emphasizes the role of creation to benefit man – the highest creation, who was created in the image of God. It isn’t meant to be in order of events. Verse four starts out talking about how God created the earth, then verse seven says how He created man. The verses that follow outline how God created plants and animals with the purpose of aiding man. It wouldn’t make sense to talk about how the plants and animals were going to help man without first explaining what man is. The first man created was named Adam, meaning “ground.” Mr. Hunter suggested that this must mean the entire story of Creation is symbolic. Saying a symbolic name in a story makes the entire story symbolic is an enormous jump om reasoning. Jesus’ name is symbolic; is His story symbolic too? It was very common for people of Moses’ day (Moses was the scribe for God’s words in Genesis) to write in poetic form. They didn’t have books, and there were very few scrolls. There were only a few copies of Genesis, which the priests had, and the common people could only pass down the stories orally. Poetic verse is much easier to memorize than prose because of its rhyme and meter. Mr. Hunter said God couldn’t have created only two people because that would have required incest, which is against God’s law; and since God doesn’t change, His law can’t change either. God’s law was not in place at this time. This doesn’t mean that He has changed. Just like He didn’t change after Jesus came, when He said we no longer have to sacrifice animals or avoid eating pork. I also want to briefly point out that what the Church fathers believed does not necessarily correspond with what we should believe. They aren’t perfect: Only God’s Word is. I believe that when science and the Bible are studied with an open mind, it will be seen that they are in perfect agreement. Therefore, it is not necessary to plug God into the “gaps.” He fits everywhere, as Mr. Hunter agreed. I think science points to creationism and not to evolution and evolution contradicts the Bible, and creationism does not. Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Background photo: Texture Warehouse | texturewarehouse.com

what do you think? e-mail us a letter to the editor or join the conversation at www.doulosmagazine.org!

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Rebuttal – Peter Fitzgerald

Spring


Perspectives: Book Reviews A review of John & Stasi Eldredge’s Captivating: Unlocking the mystery of a woman’s soul By Samantha Young ’10 A review of John Eldredge’s Wild at heart: Discovering the secrets of a man’s soul By Jason Deering ’10

Cover artwork courtesy Ransomed Heart Ministries.

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Women Are from God

hen you think of Christian masculinity, what comes to mind? Does the mental image look like Ned Flanders from The Simpsons, with his pervasive devotion to niceness? Or do you recall memories of the seemingly ordained order to be “a good boy”? Do you see it as watered down, where no adventure, risk, or expression is allowed? John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart has inspired many men young and old to look at godly masculinity in a new light. Eldredge poses that the God that created us is not a stodgy deity who throws us like drones into monotonous religious practice; He is more of a warrior and a father than an old man sitting on clouds in the sky. Eldredge writes that as image bearers of God, these traits are within us as well, and we should embrace our masculine tendencies rather than trying to quell them. Using illustrations from his adventures in the outdoors and major motion pictures such as Gladiator, The Lord of the Rings, and Braveheart, Eldredge presents a view that contrasts societal and religious representations of masculinity. Eldredge says every man has a question that they ask: “Do I have what it takes to be a man?” He goes into how men need to be fathered by God, who can make up for the failings of their human fathers, whether they missed key moments in boyhood or were abusive towards their boys. Men often look for the answer to this question in women but this is for naught. Eldredge exhorts men to approach God with these wounds of the heart, weep over them, and let God come in, who will answer the question with a resounding “Yes!” He also submits that all men have a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. He links the lifestyle of a man free in Christ to these points – knocking down walls in battles against sin, taking risks and adventures with God, and loving the women in our lives better and helping with their wounds. He also warns of the dangers of taking these things too far. When I first picked up this book, I connected a lot with the theatrical references Eldredge used, such as the comparison of Christ to William Wallace in Braveheart. When presented with the question of whether Christ is more like Mother Teresa or Wallace, Eldredge retorts: “It depends. If you’re a leper, an outcast, a pariah of society that no one has ever touched because you’re ‘unclean,’ if all you have ever longed for is just one kind word, then Christ is the incarnation of tender mercy. On the other hand, if you’re a Pharisee, one of those self-appointed doctrine police, watch out.”

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Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

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ohn and Stasi Eldredge have never disappointed me when it comes to writing inspiring, deep, and spiritually enriching literature. Captivating is an excellent example of the power and truth that the Eldredges convey in their writing. This book is about encouragement, empowerment, and most of all, the perfect love of God. Captivating is geared toward women of all ages. Through eloquent writing, frequent references to Scripture, and the use of quotations from a variety of sources, the authors capture the majesty of one of God’s finest creations: women. They emphasize the importance of femininity and the wonderful gifts that it brings to a hurting world. This book teaches women how to discover their own beauty and find intimacy in relationships. It discusses the variety of ways that women are wounded and attempts to show that only Jesus Christ can be the healer of those wounds. This book portrays God as a redeemer, lover, and lord who cares deeply about having an intimate relationship with His children. I found this book to be extremely insightful and helpful in my relationship with God, and it helped me understand my role and value as a woman. I enjoyed the logical progression of the chapters and the challenges that John and Stasi present to their readers. This work is profoundly personal and deeply moving, easily relating to women in all walks of life. Captivating is also a great book for men who want to learn more about the hearts of women. I highly recommend it. This book released me from a warped view of masculinity, where I had to be quiet, nice, and restrained. I gained a better sense of what is right and wrong in masculine expression. As for the section on wounds, Eldredge helped me break through the stereotypical “tough guy” walls most men are notorious for constructing and become more intimate with God in doing so, laying the wounds before God – not through passive, monotonous prayer, but with intimate and honest cries out to Him! These chapters, among others that affect me on a personal level, help make this book a mainstay in my library. However, some readers may not like Eldredge’s writing style. It is not eloquent, borrowing illustrations from his experiences, famous authors, songs, and movie references. Understand that he is not calling those who do not enjoy manly movies or the outdoors less than men. If you want to get a better view of godly masculinity, I challenge you to give Wild at Heart a look.

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Perspectives: DOULOS Interview

Beyond Science Dr. Ken Miller discusses the facts of evolution, the

nature of science, and his views on Scripture and theology A DOULOS Magazine interview conducted by Tyler Francke ’10, Editor in Chief

Kenneth R. Miller, Ph.D., a Christian and evolutionist, is a professor of biology at Brown University. A self-described “ardent theist,” Miller has passionately defended the scientific integrity of evolutionary theory while simultaneously asserting that fellow believers need not be afraid of modern science undermining their belief in God. Miller has written two books and numerous articles to improve public understanding and acceptance of evolution. DOULOS Magazine: Dr. Miller, you say that evolution is both a theory and a fact. Could you explain these terms? Ken Miller : Sure. Evolution and evolutionary theory are not the same thing. In English, we often use the word ‘evolution’ in two entirely different ways. Evolution describes a process we can see and observe in nature. It is a fact, for example, that we have a record of the past history on earth called the fossil record. It’s a fact that living things in the past were different than living things today, and it’s also a fact that when we examine fossils over hundreds of millions of years, we see a series of relationships from one time period to another that document ancestor-descendent relationships as we move forward or back in time. So, if what one means is the process of change over time, evolution is as much a fact as anything we know in science. However, by evolution, sometimes we mean the explanation for how that process took place – a theory that ties together what we know about genetics, molecular biology, and developmental biology to explain the factual patterns of evolutionary change. In this sense, evolution is very much a theory, because scientific theories are used to explain facts. Scientific theories are not hunches or guesses, they’re explanations built upon facts and consistent with facts.

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: Going along with that, in the landmark case Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, you testified that intelligent design is not science and should not be in schools. How do you define science, and why does ID not fit that definition? KM : I think science is actually rather easily defined: It is simply the human activity of seeking natural explanations for natural phenomena. When a meteorologist tries to figure out why it’s raining today, the meteorologist looks for a natural explanation Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Photo courtesy Kenneth R. Miller.

: Would you please describe some of the evidence that you believe supports evolutionary theory? KM : [amused] Well, how much do you want? Walk into any museum of natural history anywhere in the world, and you will see so much evidence you could be buried under it: that life has changed over time, that our species is a relatively recent appearance on this planet, and that we and other species today were preceded by species that were clearly ancestral to us but also clearly different. Those are the documented facts of what life was like in the past. There is also genetics. We understand that many of the physical characteristics of living organisms are determined genetically. If it were true that genes were incapable of change, the characteristics of living organisms would be pretty much fixed. But we know, as a fact, that living things contain genetic information that can and does change over time due to a variety of different processes that we can observe in the field and reproduce in the laboratory. They produce the kinds of changes from one generation to another that create genetic diversity in a population.

Thirdly, it’s perfectly clear, and Darwin wrote about this brilliantly in the third chapter of On the Origin of Species. Any living organism, whether it be a dandelion, a humpbacked whale, or a bacterium, can produce far more offspring than could possibly survive on this planet. And what this means is that there is a struggle for existence among all organisms. Take, for example, an oak tree on your front lawn. In a good growing season, an oak tree can drop two or three thousand acorns. Does every one of those acorns grow up to be a full-sized oak tree? Well I would hope not! It doesn’t happen that way, and that means even among acorns, there is a struggle for existence. And in that struggle for existence, given the fact that there is variety and diversity within any population, those individuals whose particular characteristics suit them best to survive are going to contribute more to the gene pool in the next generation. It is from this process of natural selection, operating on genetic diversity, that evolutionary change takes place. And finally, evolution makes fairly specific predictions about what the sequences of DNA in our genome ought to look like with respect to our evolutionary relatives. It’s a fact, for example, that the human genome contains dozens of molecular errors from the remnants of transposable genetic elements and so forth that we share with our close relatives related by common ancestry. What I mean by that is we have almost pointless genetic information – defective genes, psuedogenes, genetic mistakes, and so forth – that we share in the exact same places with our evolutionary relatives, such as the other great apes. The notion that our species and other species were uniquely designed or intelligently created or simply brought into existence spontaneously doesn’t fulfill any of these predictions. And that is why evolution has a very strong support of factual evidence in genetics, molecular biology and paleontology.

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Perspectives: DOULOS Interview

Photo courtesy Kenneth R. Miller.

in terms of moisture content in the air, warm fronts, cold fronts, movements of the jet front, and so forth. When a chemist tries to figure out why mixing two solutions together produces a red color, the chemist looks for a natural explanation in terms of the laws of chemistry and physics, chemical bonding, resonance structures, light absorbance, and so forth. When a biologist tries to figure out why a cell is dividing into two cells, the biologist looks for a natural explanation in terms of macromolecules, their interactions with the proteins that control cell structure, timing mechanisms, and so on. That’s how science works. Now, the research program for intelligent design – if you want to call it that since they don’t really do research – is to find complicated structures or intricate processes within cells and then throw up their hands and say, ‘We cannot think of a natural explanation for this, therefore it must have been specially created or designed.’ It is, in effect, a negation of everything science stands for. One of my colleagues, Kevin Padian, was asked on the stands of the Kitzmiller trial why he objected to intelligent design in schools and he said, ‘It makes kids stupid.’ What he meant by that is the whole idea of intelligent design is: ‘Look at this! There’s no explanation for it. Look at that! We can’t figure out where this came from.’ It basically teaches students to be satisfied with not explaining things that we find in the natural world, and that’s why it’s sometimes referred to as a ‘science-stopper.’ : How do you respond to the common claim that a true transitional form has never been found? KM: I don’t want to get too brutal, but that is simply not true. About 20 years ago, I was in a debate with a Young Earth creationist who made the same claim. I had three minutes to respond, and I told the audience that I had slides – this was before PowerPoint – of 22 different transitional forms and I would try to get as many in before the moderator rang the bell and I had to shut up. I don’t remember if I did go through all of them, but after I got through 10 or 15, the audience realized the claim that there are not transitional forms is bogus. We have well-documented evidence of major evolutionary transitions: the origin of mammals from reptiles, the origin of swimming mammals, the transition from lobed-finned fish to early tetrapods [amphibians]. And all these guys meet any reasonable definition of intermediate form. My paleontologist friends tell me that when they find yet another intermediate form representing the transition from reptiles to mammals, they actually argue about whether it should be called a ‘reptile-like mammal’ or a ‘mammallike reptile.’ Some of these arguments can get pretty vicious, but what this shows is that, absolutely, positively, we have intermediate forms. A lot of the criticism, saying this or that doesn’t count as a transitional form, is done not because of the evidence, but really in spite of the evidence. : What do you think is the problem many religious people have with evolution, if it’s not because of a lack of evidence? KM : Most people in a country that loves science like ours does

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would say their objections are scientific. But when you answer those objections, one after another, they just search for other objections. They approach it with such passion and look so desperately for examples to counter evolution that it’s obvious there is something that bugs them besides science alone. I think there are two things that bother religious people about evolution. The first one applies to the minority who take Genesis as literal, historical, and scientific fact, which is a non-traditional way to read it. They don’t care what the geologists, astronomers, or biologists say. They believe this planet is 6,000 years old and that every single living thing was created during a six-day Creation period and that those who survived the Great Flood are still alive today. That, I’m sorry, is a contradiction of everything we know in modern science. Most religious people, however, reject evolution because they think it means we are just animals, morality doesn’t exist, and our lives are without meaning, value, and purpose. They’re afraid evolution is a theological doctrine that tells us there is no God – you might call it an anti-theological doctrine. If I thought that’s what evolution really meant, I would find it disturbing too. But evolution isn’t philosophy. Evolution isn’t theology. Evolution is a scientific theory that explains literally tens of thousands of observations and experimental facts about the nature and history of life. The great biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky, a Christian, once wrote, ‘Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.’ Any biologist will tell you that that’s true. That is the essence of evolution. Evolution doesn’t invalidate morals or religious beliefs. Francis Collins, the new head of the National Institutes of Health, is also an evangelical Christian. I’m a practicing Roman Catholic. The reality is that mainstream faiths across the Christian spectrum accommodated themselves to evolution more than a century ago and many of them have been outspoken about the need to value both faith and reason in trying to form a worldview consistent with Christianity. I understand why people find evolution so disturbing, but I would like to respectfully suggest that I think they’re wrong about that and that there are perfectly good ways to understand the evolutionary process within a Christian context. : Dr. Miller, people can and do read Scripture in many different ways. What is your view of the Bible? KM : I’m always amazed at how uninformed many Christians are about what the Bible is. The Bible is not a book, it is a library, which has been added to, taken away from, and gradually assembled over the years. If you visited an early Christian community, say in Greece, Israel, or Rome and asked them for a Bible, they would have no idea what you’re talking about. It didn’t exist. The letters of Paul existed, and many of the other epistles were beginning to be circulated. There were books from the Jewish tradition and other writings. But the Bible itself simply did not exist until about three or four hundred years after the birth of Christ, when it was assembled into its present form. It is naïve to think that this library

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that was consciously assembled by fallible human beings somehow represents words that literally came out of the mouth of God. It doesn’t. What it does represent are the best efforts of the authors to explain their experiences with God and the person they and I believe to be the savior of the world, namely Jesus. When people tell me that the Bible has to be literally true, I’m always fond of quoting one of the Psalms, in which the Psalmist says, ‘O Lord, thou art my rock and my strength.’ I like to ask the literalists, what kind of rock is God? Is He sedimentary, metamorphic, or igneous? The other person usually gets mad at me, because they know that what the Psalmist is doing is comparing God’s constancy and His staying power to that of a rock. In other words, it’s not literal! The Psalms are poetry in which the writers are trying to express their own conceptions of God. The Book of Job is one of the greatest meditations on the nature of good and evil. The Song of Solomon is a love poem, and a pretty sexy one at that. I don’t have to think that these things actually happened in order to understand that the author of Job was divinely inspired and trying to answer the question of why bad things happen to good people. Many Bible scholars think Genesis was written during the Babylonian captivity and shows the differences between the conception of the gods held by their Babylonian captors and the Hebrew conception of God – that creation is all good, that we exist because a loving, kind, merciful God wants us to exist, and that to find the sources of evil in the world, we should just look in the mirror, which is to say that it is humankind’s rejection of God’s plan and God’s law that causes suffering in the world. St. Augustine, in the 4th century, said Christians who interpret Genesis as scientific history lay themselves open to non-believers who say ‘the stars are not like that,’ ‘animals are not like that,’ who will then reject the real message of Scripture, which in Augustine’s view and mine too, is salvation. So how do I read the Bible? It depends on the book. : Do you think the Gospels are historical accounts? KM : Of course I do because, to be a Christian, I need to accept the reality and indeed the divinity of Jesus Christ, which I certainly do. But that does not mean that every book that was placed into that collection has the same sort of firsthand account or testimony. : Do you view evolution as guided by God or a random process that He initiated? KM : Okay, the answer is no and no. To most people, the word ‘random’ means anything could happen. It’s like a roll of the dice – you never know what’s going to come up. Even though some of the things that power evolution are random – like genetic recombination, transposition, the unpredictable appearance of mutations – the driving force that Darwin identified is natural selection and it’s not random at all. It is driven by the environment in which the organism lives, and it’s regulated by the laws of physics and chemistry, which are not random either. Genetic change is constrained by the process of development and the way gene expression works, and that’s also not a random process. Evolution, therefore, is not random. Is it guided by God? Thomas Aquinas, the great theologian of the Middle Ages, said that when you show that something that happens in the natural world has a natural cause, that does not take God out of the

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picture because He is the author of all things natural. So when you say the rain has a natural cause by the clashing of cold and warm fronts, that does not remove God, it simply places all of nature in God’s providential plan. Evolution, too, is a natural process. The whole message of evolution is that we can explain our origins in terms of natural processes that operate today in living organisms all around us. If God is real, as I believe He is, that means that those natural processes are part of His providence. Does it mean that He was such an incompetent planner that He had to constantly reach in and supplant His own laws and rules to make things come out the way He wanted? The answer to that is no, for theological reasons. The most satisfying, Christian view is a God who is the master of everything, including nature itself. Does that mean that God is not involved? No, to a person of faith like myself, God is involved in every second, every millisecond of existence, not by constantly pulling strings and subverting our independence, but by supporting our existence and the natural laws that make this world so orderly and enable us to do science in the first place. : Do you think our morality evolved, or was it a gift given at one time by God? KM : The whole field of evolutionary psychology is predicated on the idea that you can understand a lot of human activity by realizing that evolution has shaped our patterns of behavior, which it surely has. If that’s true, then evolution also shaped our moral sense. And not only do I have no problem with that, I find it quite persuasive. If evolution shaped it, does that mean God had nothing to do with it? Think again. Remember, evolution is a natural process and God is the author of nature; therefore, this is a process happening within God’s providential plan. And if you can understand that God used the process of evolution to shape our bodies, which is surely how our bodies came to be, then why would the same God not use the evolutionary process to shape our minds and our morality? So I find it consistent and satisfying to accept that our moral sense was also shaped by the evolutionary process. That does not mean you think rape and murder are bad things because evolution wanted you to – they are bad things intrinsically and what evolution gave you is the mental capability to understand that. Editor’s Note: Interested students should look up Ken Miller’s newest book, Only a Theory, which is available at Fogler Library. Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Comic by Wade Schwanda ’10, Staff cartoonist.

want more? this interview has been abridged – the full version, with more questions and answers, is on www.doulosmagazine.org.

Perspectives: DOULOS Interview

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Perspectives: Film Review

The

TRUTH

about The Invention of Lying Samantha Young ’10 Art Education Artwork Editor

Movie screenshot courtesy Warner Bros. Studios.

Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, and Ricky Gervais (from left to right) star in the 2009 comedy The Invention of Lying.

What a fascinating idea: a world without lying, where there is no deceit, no exaggeration, and no manipulation. This is the premise of the movie, The Invention of Lying. It presents an existence where there is no risk of being deceived, but unfortunately there is also no such thing as imagination. Furthermore, not only are people completely honest all the time, they are straightforward and audacious to the point of being blatantly offensive, not censoring or omitting anything. The plot of the movie, as its title implies, is about one man who, one day, told a lie. This man is Mark Bellison, played by British actor and stand-up comedian, Ricky Gervais. We soon see that Bellison is unpopular and insecure – a “loser.” Even the woman he is in love with, Anna ( Jennifer Garner), says he is “fat, has a snub nose, and is therefore out of her league,” since he would be unable to give her any attractive offspring. Although she says this with an outwardly sweet tone and a winning smile, I wasn’t fooled. I kept asking myself throughout the entirety of the film why Bellison would want to be with her so badly. Does this sound like every other Hollywood romantic comedy or what? Looking past this, I waited with bated breath to find out what Bellison would do as he began to understand how he could use his newfound ability of lying. Things get pretty chaotic when he makes up ideas about the afterlife and the “Man in the Sky.” Although he did not intend these lies to be for anyone but his mother, who was dying in the hospital, some of the nurses and doctors overheard. Soon, the masses are banging on his door to get answers.

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Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Title: The Invention of Lying Date Released: October 2, 2009 Director: Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson Starring: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., Christopher Guest, Rob Lowe, Tina Fey Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 99 minutes Studio: Radar Pictures, Media Rights Capital Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

Bellison finds himself having to come up with stories about the “Man in the Sky,” who he says speaks to him alone and tells him the future and what you have to do to get into the “good place” and avoid the “bad place.” The film then became a vehicle for Gervais, the writer and director, to project his personal ideologies onto the screen, completely attacking and mocking religion, Christianity in particular. At one point, Bellison holds up pizza boxes, which are obviously supposed to represent the tablets given Moses at Mount Sinai, and reads off lists of what people should do to get to the “good place.��� He says the “Man in the Sky” makes both bad and good things happen to people. This movie portrayed a legalistic view of Christianity – just following rules and not having anything to do with the love Jesus demonstrated. I walked into the movie theater to see The Invention of Lying with very high expectations. The film’s storyline seemed original and Gervais is the creator of the British version of The Office, after all. I was amused, and dare I say, mesmerized by the conceptual potential as the film began to unfold, but, not long into it I felt like I was waiting for something inspiring, moving, or heavy. I watched a great, conceptual idea that never was and walked out of the theater disappointed. The Invention of Lying could have been much more effective in its critiques and possibly even uplifting, but instead, it did not live up to its potential, lacking in both comedic and dramatic quality and being misguided in its senseless and unnecessarily negative portrayal of religion.

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Perspectives: Bible Study

Todd Conner ’12 Chemistry When the creatures moved, [the wheels] also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked like an expanse, sparkling like ice, and awesome. Under the expanse their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their

e bl ce : 8 i B an -2 e g l 1:4 h T t a el i a ek z E

Jessica Baughman ’12 Environmental Management, Biology wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings. Then there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

{excerpt} Ezekiel 1:24-28, New International Version

T

he world is full of remarkable things, like a woodpecker that can peck a tree 20 times a second. The reason they do not injure themselves is because of a spongy area behind their beak that acts as a shock absorber. Another example is the monarch butterfly, which can detect its mate’s scent about five miles away. There are also things just as remarkable we cannot see, like the three billion DNA base pairs in a complete genome that can fit inside a cell’s nucleus or the billion neurons in our spinal cord that control body movement. These things we know through scientific inquiry, but are there other things that can’t be observed or fully known by mankind? In the Old Testament, the prophet Ezekiel is shown things that would blow our minds. Imagine seeing the most terrifying storm you’ve ever seen, with some fire thrown into the middle of it – a chaotic masterpiece. Now imagine four creatures moving around freely in this storm. Not only are they untouched by the flames, but they don’t look like any animals alive today. They each have four wings, the legs of a calf, and four faces: an eagle, a lion, a man, and an ox. Sounds bizarre right? Those OT visions can be pretty out there. Like in most of these visions, the described events are symbolic and have deeper meaning below the surface. he different animals represent different attributes of God. The face of the man, which also represents the tribe of Reuben in Israel, represents the fact that man is made in the image of God. The lion, the symbol of the tribe of Judah, shows

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the majesty and power of God. The ox, the symbol of the tribe of Ephraim, represents the sacrifice made to God for the atonement of sins. The eagle, the symbol of the tribe of Dan, shows the sovereignty and divinity of God. In verse 15, the prophet sees wheels next to these immaculate creatures. As the wheels move around, so do the creatures. The wheels sparkle like a finely cut diamond and glisten like a prism as the light from the flames go through the wheels. These wheels represent the glory of God. Since the creatures follow the wheels wherever they go, they are actually going wherever God goes and are His accompaniment. When the creatures aren’t following the glory of God, they lower their wings in respect and adoration of their creator. Ezekiel then goes on to further describe the glory of God, depicting it as bright, beautiful, sparkling, and so overwhelming that Ezekiel falls down when he sees it. Ezekiel sees a man-like figure with a torso, head and arms as red as hot metal. His lower body is engulfed in flames, yet nothing is being consumed. Both Hebrews 12:29 and Deuteronomy 4:24 describe God as a “consuming fire.” We see all that is around us, but do we really know about everything out there? Ezekiel was privileged to see the creatures and the likeness of God’s glory. These creatures are so strange they are almost impossible to imagine. What must something like this look like? How tremendous it must have been to see something Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

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Perspectives: Bible Study

Art credit: Samantha Young ’10, Artwork Editor. Pencil on paper.

We can see amazing things in the world, but how much more amazed would we be if we could see the things of God as the prophets did?

like this, to be able to enter a realm which cannot normally be seen. Ezekiel had the opportunity to see creatures that divinely display the qualities of God and His glory. These creatures were not just a vision given to Ezekiel. They also appear to John in Revelation, where they are seen praising God day and night as they protect His throne. They are singing “Holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come.” These creatures seem to exist only to sing praise to God and glorify His name. They existed in the time of Ezekiel and in the future; this must mean that they also exist in the present, that even now they are before God’s throne, praising him. There is so much out there that we as human beings cannot comprehend or even begin to understand until we stand before God. There are many things that exist outside of our knowledge and vision – they exist only for the glory of God. Our existence in this world is minute compared to God’s vastness. Understanding this can give profound perspective on our lives and what a small role we have to play. Our existence is for a moment, and our significance is

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almost immeasurable. We have the opportunity to do great things, but in the end, our lives are only a breath, regardless of how much we can or can’t accomplish. In light of our insignificance before God’s glory, the importance of our calling to praise His name becomes clear. As Christians, we serve God and fight an enemy – Satan. One of Satan’s tools is to keep us focused on what’s right in front of us, instead of on what God has planned for us or His glory. Famed author C.S. Lewis, taking the perspective of a demon mentor, wrote in The Screwtape Letters, “[Humans] find it all but impossible to believe in the unfamiliar while the familiar is before their eyes.” Satan wants us focused on the immediate, visible reality, so we spend all our time worrying about money, grades, careers, and relationships, easily forgetting the glory of God for all eternity. To us, Jesus gave the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” In loving God, we give Him the glory He deserves, just like the angelic creatures did in Ezekiel’s vision.

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Perspectives: Testimony DOULOS Testimonies: Real Stories. Real People.

George Miaoulis, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing at the University of Maine lines. I must help and when I do, I believe I’ll be all right. What is it, then, that stops me from this ministry? Why don’t I live my life as though I have lost everything? The simple and perhaps profound answer is fear. Fear of not being seen, noticed, acknowledged, and rewarded in my professional world. Yes, I believe the true rewards will come both here and here after, but I’m stuck. I am stuck to the house and the cars and the lifestyle. Stuck to the ego and the prestige of success. Stuck with the fear of not having enough. Oh Father, hear me call out. Help me to love them, and in so doing learn to love myself and to release myself from fear. It is amazing that all of this began on a business trip to Rhode Island. I was going 85 mph on the Maine Turnpike when a state trooper drove up behind me with his blue lights flashing. My first thought was, “I’m going to get a ticket.” As I pulled off to the right, he passed me probably going over 15 more than what I had been doing. Saved in that moment, I wondered where he was going so fast. I saw his parked car 10 minutes later. He was the state trooper standing a bit back from the homeless man – the one postured for action. Little did I know that the flashing blue lights in my rearview mirror were God calling. Perhaps He was saying, “There goes George speeding through life. Maybe George can help another man, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll both be all right.”

“Why don’t I live as though I have lost everything? The simple and perhaps profound answer is fear.”

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Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Photo credit: Stock.xchng | HAAP Media Ltd.

“I’ll be all right.” His words still haunt me six months after I heard them. They were the only words I heard him speak. He was sitting, looking down at the pavement, a man about 50 years old – my age. His T-shirt did not cover this stomach. He was a large man, over six feet tall, with a short, bristly beard. His eyes were down, looking lost and sad, as though his soul had left his body. He spoke again – “I’ll be all right” – and once more I heard him say, “I’ll be all right.” I had been on my way to the men’s room at a rest stop in Kennebunk. This confused and apparently homeless man was sitting on a bench to the left of the entrance to the Burger King/restroom building. Sitting down, looking lost, he seemed dwarfed by the two uniformed state troopers standing near, one back a bit but looking ready for action. The closer of the troopers was explaining in a kind, but firm voice, “Sir, I think it will be better for you if we take you to...” at which point I heard him plead again, “I’ll be all right.” I continued up the steps, into the building and to the men’s room. Walking down the three steps toward my car, I saw the man and the troopers were gone. I walked back to my car with his words ringing in my ears. I began asking myself, who is this man? Does he have a family? Is he mentally ill? Why was I spared his fate? Where were the troopers taking him? Did he have someone who cared about him? How sad I felt, to see this man lost, confused, and empty, with the two troopers standing over him, and people – 20, 30, 40, probably more – walking past. Was I the only one who heard his words, “I’ll be all right”? Was I the only one to see and feel this indignity? Should I have tried to help? How could I have helped? I didn’t know. I have known for some years my calling is to help middleaged men in crisis. Homeless men, I think. What souls seem more lost than those of men without a home? I have never felt this calling more strongly than that day. I believe God was speaking to and for me. I must do more than stand on the side-

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Creative Works: Introductory Essay

Creative Works “Art is the gift of God, and must be used unto His glory.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), American poet

Why art matters

Art credit: Samantha Young ’10, Artwork Editor. Charcoal on paper.

Compared to feature articles and deep, intellectual expositions, poems and stories can seem subjective, irrational, and irrelevant. If this were truly the case, then all literature would be stripped of value. In our culture, this is not what we see. Art has great economic value, but it also retains its integral place in society because of its ability to convey deep meaning. The scientific journal and philosophical treaty are efficient ways of transmitting ideas to an audience, but under many circumstances, art can be just as – or even more – effective as a means of communication. Poetry affects an audience differently than other methods of communication by appealing to and interacting with human emotions. A short story is a visceral experience, letting the reader feel the author’s message more personally than a dry piece of non-fiction. Literature will always be important because it helps humans communicate ideas and feelings to others in creative and memorable ways. Writing that is artistically appealing helps individuals and groups understand each other. The following selections are intended to glorify God by revealing His love in ways readers may have never encountered before. I hope you enjoy the fruit of these authors’ labors. In the unique context of this publication, these writers have something important to say. I ask only that you explore the following pages with an open mind and heart, willing to accept inspiration and interpret without prejudice. Michael O’Leary ’12, Biological Engineering Creative Works Editor

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Creative Works

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Creative Works: Poetry

Wounded liberty A fisherman’s dream I’m sitting back and staring at the sky, Waiting for the sun to rise, When what do I see, coming over that hill, But the first morning rays of light, Lightly dancing on an old, gray sky. Now warmed by the light’s new rays I stand, with open arms raised high, Waiting, anticipating, relishing the light. A porch bell tolls in the distance, Giving a rhythm to those dancing lights. Funny, I’ve been waiting all my life. Waiting for this. Waiting patiently. Waiting through storms and sunny days. Now the morning birds are stirring, Their voices giving tune to that porch bell’s tolling. I can see it now, peaking over those hills. On tiptoes I’m wavering, straining, just For a sight of that brilliant light’s source. A whistle wails, heralding a train, I hear a chorus of voices growing ever louder. Now with that dancing light and tolling bell, Birds singing and that chorus of joy, A familiar voice soothes, “No, not yet, but soon; You’ll soon be joining that chorus too.” Last thing I see is a big smile on His face.

The sacred cry of a child touches every heart When young life makes its presence known. But what if this cry cannot be heard? Is there already life inside the womb? A tree falls in the forest with no witness And though no one sees, it is fallen still. They are silent, but we cannot be silent. They are helpless, so we must help them. With words and signs and prayers to God, We can make their voices heard. We have the right to life, a divine blessing; Countless innocents never get that chance. The many uncertain women are victims, too. What if pressure pushes from all sides? They say that it’s their choice, But what is it they are choosing? To keep or kill the fruit of the womb – A choice no one should have to make. It’s not a matter of women’s rights; We are talking about a human life. When did life become a choice? A culture that chooses death is suicidal. Liberty is wounded when life has no value. When will this madness end?

Life Support

Sean McKee ’13, New Media Design Editor

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Creative Works

Editor’s Note: The above poem is a collaborative effort by the officers of Life Support, a pro-life student organization at the University of Maine: Michael Arell ’12, Maria “Rocio” Fernandez ’11, Peter Fitzgerald ’12, Calvin Mako ’12, Michael O’Leary ’12, and Emily Pike ’12. The poem was written two lines at a time with the writers alternating in no set order. Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Photo credit: Elizabeth Sturm ’09, Staff Photographer.

Waking, I see that all the fish have gone; I see the sun’s setting on a dull red sky. Gnarled and withered, my hands pack up my gear, Through dulled ears, the sounds of sweet praises still linger, And I remember that big, smiling face looking down on me.

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Creative Works: Poetry

My cries Before my cries, My mouth was silenced by conformity My eyes were blinded by darkness My feet were bound by failure My hands were paralyzed by fear My soul was bruised and bleeding From battles lost. During my cries, My tears poured out endlessly My room shook with their weight My heart cried out ceaselessly My soul yearned for someone who cared My trust in myself faded Uncertainty became certain. After my cries, My mouth is free to sing Your praise My eyes see You and Your love for me My feet are swift to run to You My hands stretch toward You My soul knows strength and forgiveness Because You cried.

Jason Deering ’10 Exercise Science, Psychology

The One who loves me best When my heart is overwhelmed And my soul can find no rest, When life is full of trials And just living seems a test, When hope is far from view And I walk in weariness, ’Tis then that I go running To the One who loves me best.   When joy renews my heart And whene’er my life is blest, When love seems all around And my soul returns to rest, And I walk in sweet communion With the Lord of Life and Breath, ’Tis because I’m running To the One who loves me best.   Day by day I’m finding In Him is peace and rest. For He is joy and grace untold, And life in all its zest. So it matters not the reason, From joy to weariness, Ever I’ll be running To the One who loves me best.   Who is this One who loves me? He who, for me and all the rest, Shed His blood that we might live, And loved us at our worst. Unto us He’s calling, “Come, I’ll give you rest,” To anyone who’ll run to The One who loves us best.

Katie Bartlett ’10, English Assistant Creative Works Editor

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Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Creative Works

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Creative Works: Short Fiction

the

Sean McKee ’13 New Media Design Editor

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Creative Works

Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Art credit: Samantha Young ’10, Artwork Editor. Charcoal on paper.

Things aren’t always as they seem...

Spring


Creative Works: Short Fiction

A

glimmer in the middle of a field reflects off an elegant dress. The girl in the dress is running through tall grass, the moonlight illuminating her pure, beautiful face, revealing it to be stricken with fear and distorted like some hunted creature. When she’s nearly through the field, her pace quickens as she approaches the woods. She reaches the forest edge and through the trees she runs, her gorgeous gown tearing as she goes. Suddenly, her foot snags on a protruding root, she trips and falls to the forest underbrush. She strives to get back on her feet, but the grasping fingers of branches and vines hold her fast. Her dress stained and darkened, she fights the vines clawing at her, trying to stand once more, to flee from the source of her terror and the object of her rage. The vines just become all the more ensnaring, branches like gnarled fingers tug at her, piercing her dress, fighting to hold her down. The thing she fears is coming closer, and none of her efforts have managed to loosen the grip of the vines! Her ears fill with the sounds of trees snapping and brush being pushed aside as if they were nothing at all. All the restraints that bind her are forgotten at the presence of whatever is coming. Brilliant light erupts behind her, stilling her heart in confusion. It is not time for the sun to rise, and that light is coming from the wrong direction – from the west, where the sun sets. The light, already brilliant, continues to grow brighter. Fear and rage slowly dig their claws back in, distorting her countenance as realization dawns on her of where that light is coming from: her Pursuer! Frantically she struggles, thrashing and lashing out, trying to direct her anger into a means of escape from the binding entanglements as the Creature draws ever closer, but to no avail. They just envelope her more! Suddenly, the light becomes so bright that she almost surrenders herself to the entangling vines as she hides her eyes from the piercing light. What is the intention of this Creature that is drawing ever closer? This Creature, who invokes both terror and rage in her? Is It going to harm her? Is It going to help her? Will It just sit back and watch, amused, as the terror and rage emanate from one so weak and so helpless that she can’t even loosen the grip of the forest’s entanglements? Just who is It and what will It do? The Creature steadily comes closer. Cringing, she tries to hide deeper within the entanglements, hoping It will pass her by. As if in response, the vines begin to swallow her up, obscuring nearly everything from her sight. Despair overcomes her as realization dawns: No matter what she does, she’ll never leave this forest the way she entered. Either she will succumb to certain death at the hands of these entanglements that blocking are all hope of escape, or she will fall to whatever torture the Creature has planned for her. The stale air penetrates her lungs, an ever present reminder that time is running out.

The Creature is waiting just outside her prison, surely waiting to crush her, fling her, beat her to a pulp. Or maybe, just maybe, there is the slightest chance that this Creature isn’t what she thinks It is. Maybe It’s not a creature of evil, of terror, but instead one of mercy. Whatever the end, surely it would be better than enduring the suffocation of these vines, slowly closing her off, killing her little by little. The unknown would be better than that, wouldn’t it? In a panic with the sudden urge to be free, she kicks, screams, and struggles with all her might, fueled by an indescribable desperation and desire to be free. The entanglements are moving away from the Creature – are they afraid of It? Light filters through small openings appearing in the vines. Still, their grip on her won’t let go. With a cry of utter despair and desperation, and the hope of an off chance she pleads for the aid of the Creature just barely visible through the cracks in the vines and branches. Instantly fear latches itself back into her, like the gnawing of a multitude of tiny, incessant teeth as the Creature steadily comes closer, reaching toward her. Second thoughts plague her mind, but it’s too late to turn back now; Its hands, each with dark holes at Its wrists, keep coming closer and closer until they’re nearly touching the vines.

The Creature is waiting just outside her prison, waiting to crush her, fling her, beat her to a pulp. Or maybe, just maybe, there is a chance that this Creature isn’t what she thinks It is.

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Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

In a second, the vines covering her view wilt away, recoiling at the Creature’s touch. The light dims, but the entanglements continue to recede as It kneels down and touches her cheek. “Will you follow me?” the Creature asks tenderly, staring into her eyes. “Will you let me prepare a place for you in my Father’s house?” Hearing His voice, so soft, so gentle, all she can do is weep, weep at how much trouble she’s caused Him, weep at how undeserving she is of His mercy, His kindness. The Creature embraces her in His arms letting her cry on His shoulder. His voice straining He asks, “Will you follow me?” “Yes, yes, I will follow you,” the girl manages through heavy sobs and heaving lungs. “Come then,” He says, rising to His feet, pulling her up. “The road is long and narrow to my Father’s house.” She rises, blinks, and realizes her tattered and torn dress is gone. Instead it has been replaced with one made of silk and satin, more beautiful and elegant than before. Excitement and joy fill her as she begins to twirl, rejoicing in the grace of this Creature, her Saviour. The Creature extends His hand as if to say, “Shall we?” with a smile on His face that mirrors her excitement. She takes His hand and together they walk deeper into the forest. That which once trapped her now yields to the presence of the Creature walking beside her. As they disappear into the woods, it is plain that the path they walk is theirs alone to share.

Creative Works

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Creative Works: Poetry

tird of mdiocrty i no this wll seme wierd probs evn meningless but do u evr jus feel tird? deprssd? hoples? sad? wen u luk @ this wurld & u c nuthng but ppl who dont car enuf 2 do nething bout the prblms al arond us who rly just luv thereselves <3 who r livin 4 nuthn who r cumpletly satsfied w/ the statis kwo the just ok notbad gud enuf ?

i dcided i wuld so thats what im gonna do i wll giv it all up my slfishness my gred my lazynes my prid my hole self gon bcuz I no it wuld be hard but bettr thenthis culcher of convenyence matteriuls & lo lo lo lo lo xpektashuns

mayb im crayzy but i think thers mor & im sik of bing emptee w/o purpos trapt n fakt im tird sooo sik & tird of mdiocrty!!1

justthink imajin how much gud wuld be dun if evry1 gav up theyrselves & did jus a lil bit more extra better then what they always do.

& 2day i wuz thinkin

:o)

what if ther wuz mor 2 lif but 2 hav it i would hav to giv up evrythin? wuld i do it?

Tyler Francke â&#x20AC;&#x2122;10, Journalism Editor in Chief

wth rite?

hmm..........

Creative Works

Photo credit: Stock.xchng | HAAP Media Ltd.

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Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Spring


Expositions: Modern Science

A biology student explains his reasons for rejecting an unguided evolutionary process John Knight ’08 Biology Head Copy Editor

“All science, however well established, benefits from being periodically questioned. So why is there such a taboo on questioning evolution? Why is this, and only this, particular area of science a no-go area, fenced off from being questioned?” John Lennox, University of Oxford Professor of Mathematics

A

s a biology student, i spent a large part of my four years in college trying to understand the origin of life and the processes that drove it. Despite my studies, I still find it to be a mystery, and I’m sure many others would agree. What I have figured out, is that one day I will know the truth, and I anticipate that day with contented wonder as I learn more about the world around me. At the University of Maine, my professors came into class at the start of each semester expecting students to accept evolution. Once students reach college, questioning evolutionary theory is considered foolish – and some professors are happy to point that out. If you want to question evolution, head to the other side of campus and join the philosophers – this is science after all. But therein lies an error in scientific thinking. Most wise scientists would agree that theories, as logical and believable as they can be, should be held with only a moderate grip. There have been many scientists that have claimed to know the truth, but their ideas were cast aside when more accurate explanations arose. To quote 20th century geologist Samuel Warren Carey, “Like me, you may be surprised to find that the rate of recognition of false axioms (and adoption of bold new ones) has accelerated through the millennia, the centuries, and the decades, right down to our own lifetime. Only the naïve would believe that at last our dogma is pure.” 1 Believing you are the bearer of polished truth is not conducive to further understanding. It may be inherent or just our culture, but the push to be arrogant rather than reflective seems to have leaked into our science labs and lecture halls to seal gaps that would otherwise permit an open mind. The same can be said of many in the religious community who have deep-rooted convictions about how we came to be and how life continues. For them, any occurrence that isn’t easily understood can be conveniently explained by a supernatural cause. But this thinking ignores reasonable scientific explanations that arise to account for phenomena previously attributed to miracles. Many people believe if one “miracle” can be explained by

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Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

science, all of them can if given enough time. It’s a comforting thought when confronted with unexplainable things. Regardless of whether believers understand something scientifically or not, they must realize that if a higher intelligence created reality, it would know everything about how the universe works and could explain scientifically how even an unusual event happened. It’s easy to accept evolution if you did not grow up attending church, but students who did often struggle. They are taught in Sunday school that everything was created by God, and then university classes teach that life formed by random chance. Who should Christians believe? Why didn’t church leaders talk about evolution except to criticize the theory without knowing a lot about it? Why are professors of evolution so annoyed with Christians? It seems both sides are pretty upset. I think we are usually afraid of what we don’t understand. As a person who yearns to find balance and truth, I tried to figure out the mystery of life through both science and spirituality. I’m still trying to figure it all out, but I would like to present the most significant concepts that have led me to where I stand today on this issue. I say today in humility, as all scientists should, since I don’t claim to have complete understanding of every detail of the workings of the universe. I have observed that professors who teach evolution suggest the evolution of living things is indeed guided, though they do not intend to. They teach that mutations are random, but if random mutations are one of the things that drive evolution, there should be many more harmful mutations than beneficial mutations. When a species is confronted with environmental pressures, an organism with a beneficial mutation will likely survive and pass on the mutated gene. If a mutation enables survival, and mutations are random and cannot be chosen, each mutation has a low probability of being advantageous in coping with the specific stress. Think of it like Megabucks. Each time you play is like each new environmental stress a species encounters. The number of

| Cover Story

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Expositions: Modern Science players who don’t win are like the unproductive mutations in each species. The person with the randomly drawn winning numbers would be like the mutation that was suitable to help the organism survive. Many more lose the lottery than win. If evolution is the explanation, we should be seeing more unproductive mutations than we do. Some may say these unproductively mutated animals are not seen because they are eliminated by the survival of the fittest. It’s true that many would be eliminated, but there should be some mutations that are neither useful nor detrimental, and these unproductive mutations should at least be seen in young organisms in great quantity. Furthermore, a mutation should have no reason to seem productive to the individual. We see mutations occasionally, but to get the right mutation for the right stressor at the right time, we should see many more mutations – and not just when they’re needed.

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Cover Story |

Engaging Culture from a Biblical Perspective

Comic by Wade Schwanda ’10, Staff cartoonist.

formation to form new structures, that would explain how speciation could happen so quickly. After observing and learning for years about the complexity of our planet, animal behavior, organ systems, and the interaction of organisms with their environments, I find it hard to believe that complexity is best explained by random chance. In an unguided system, everything in the universe should break down into a more chaotic state, so how do we explain the increasing complexity of life over time? The last concept I’ll mention is one based on core evolutionary philosophy. A sad fact is that one could shoot an evolutionist’s wife, and he should make no accusations about it. To him, the bullet in her head is most probably explained by chance and undirected process with no moral law saying killing is wrong. Guns exist, bullets exist, his wife once existed. Three measly variables! It was bound to happen by accident, with no motive or directed process from an intelligent being. Three – nothing compared to the hundreds of properly sequenced proteins it takes to make the simplest cell. And if there is no true altruism in the world, the only reason for him to be sad is that she is no longer there to make him happy or pass on his genes. This is no threat to any evolutionist or his wife, just his philosophy. I want to make clear my love for evolutionists – not because they believe in evolution, but because they are people. The fact that they believe life came about by chance is such a small part of their whole being. I believe they are extremely valuable, just as God does – valuable enough to die for them. These concepts and many more have led me “As you can see class, we started out as molecules ... and then, some to believe that God and science can and must stuff happened ... and then, life began!” exist in harmony, but I also don’t claim to have all the answers to this deep mystery. I know my This leads me logically to believe that winning “mutations” understanding of the universe will change as I grow in knowlwere guided so that the organism can survive. The organism edge and wisdom. can’t decide what it needs to cope with a new stress. No matter I am content in my anticipation of knowing the truth about how much I wish I had one, I cannot make myself produce a how everything came to be. I believe everyone has the chance to third hand. Direction from an intelligent being using a process be sure of where they will be after their biological bodies give we may not understand should not be a preposterous idea. If we out. You may not believe in souls or might believe that the soul have figured out how to manipulate our genetic code, perhaps dies with the body. I encourage you to think about what you this being could too for our benefit. Evolutionists believe that believe and why you believe it. mutations are random and that millions of other unproducAfter researching different religions with as much studying tive mutations just didn’t “win,” but in their lectures they hint and questioning as I gave evolution, my belief in Jesus, who has otherwise, saying environmental pressures caused the animal to proven Himself more real and more powerful than anything mutate in an advantageous way. else I’ve encountered, has given me complete assurance of my I am very interested in the Cambrian explosion – the term eternal destination. I believe He wants to be in relationship with “explosion” should catch your attention. Even with diverse eneveryone but has given them the choice to accept or reject His vironments, the slow process of evolution by natural selection invitation. I encourage you to explore who Jesus was and what cannot account for the number of species that came into exisHe really said. Ask local pastors questions or talk to students in tence in such a short period of time. About 500 million years the Christian groups on campus. If nothing else, ask God. He’d ago, the explosion happened and lasted about 70 million years. love to hear from you. So, the idea that speciation happened over billions of years cannot be used to explain how such a massive variety of life came into existence from little more than bacteria, plankton, 1. Carey, S. Warren. Theories of the Earth and Universe: A History of Dogma In The Earth Sciences. Stanford, California: Standford University Press, 1988. and algae. If there were a genetic code implanted that gave in-

Spring


DOULOS Magazine:

Engaging Cultural and Academic Issues from a Biblical Perspective

quote of the issue “We are living now, not in the delicious intoxication induced by the early success of science, but in a rather grisly morning after, when it has become apparent that what triumphant science has done hitherto is to improve the means for achieving unimportant or actually deteriorated ends.” – Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), English writer and humanist, Brave New World

prayer requests “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

Special thanks this issue to: The Cecil B. Day Foundation The University of Maine Student Senate The Apologetics Institute Calvary Baptist Church in Brewer Boston Theological Seminary University Printing Services The Collaborative Media Lab Dr. Ken Miller Chuck Colson Ransomed Heart Ministries Our subscribers and private donors

Please pray for those who have lost loved ones in the destructive earthquakes that struck Haiti in January and Chile in February. They will continue to need our prayers and help in the coming months just as much as in the weeks following the disasters. Please pray for our graduating staff: Tyler Francke, Editor in Chief; Krista Marsh, Perspectives Editor; Samantha Young, Artwork Editor; and Katie Bartlett, Asst. Creative Works Editor. Please pray also for all students graduating from the University of Maine this year that we would find work, find our place, find love, find God, and find peace. Regarding the contents of this issue, please pray that God would And the countless others who encouraged humble us and our readers as we search for truth, that He would guide us, counseled us, and prayed for us. us and our readers into truth, and that we would be open to the truth, whatever it is and wherever it may be found. Please pray for our president, Barack Obama, and his administration as they attempt to lead our country through a myriad of challenges. Please pray also for our state legislature, the voters of Maine as they prepare to elect a new governor in November, and our university administrators and professors. Please remember University of Maine student, Jordyn Bakley, whose life was taken in January in a tragic accident. Please pray for her family and friends as they struggle to cope during this difficult time. Please also pray for the loved ones of other UMaine students and staff who have been lost over this academic year. Editor’s Note: The above list was compiled by the DOULOS Magazine editorial staff. If you have something that you would like the editorial staff and readers of this publication to pray for, please send your request to umaine.doulos@gmail.com

a final message... DOULOS Magazine is dedicated to spreading the good news of Christ’s coming and encouraging spiritual growth in its readers. However, we would like to fully acknowledge that the work is God’s and not ours. If you felt a tug, whisper, or any kind of conviction as you were reading, we believe it was the Lord speaking to you. He may be calling you back to Him or into a deeper relationship. This is one call you don’t want to ignore! Respond to Him – ask what He wants to show you. If you’re not ready for that, but you do have some questions or just want to talk about God, feel free to contact a DOULOS editor or writer, a campus minister, or any of the Catholic/Christian groups on campus. All content herein – copyright © Spring 2010 www.doulosmagazine.org

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DOULOS Magazine, Issue 4