November 29, 2009

Phil's "Etch A Sketch of Understanding" Proposal

Pianist/comedian Victor Borge used to joke that the first piano ever invented was very boring to listen to, because it only had one large key. It wasn’t a success until somebody finally came along and invented the cracks. 

I wonder if there was a similar problem with the invention of the Etch A Sketch®. Perhaps there was an early version that only had one knob. With one knob, the drawing stylus could only go back and forth along a single straight horizontal line. The novelty would have worn off rather quickly. Not until some genius came up with the idea of a second knob would the vertical dimension be added, and the Etch A Sketch would be on its way to becoming the most popular drawing toy ever invented.

November 19, 2009

Is God Bipolar?

Critics of Christianity often point to, and Christians themselves are often troubled by, the apparent differences between the “Old Testament God” and the “New Testament God”. How did an Old Testament God, who was all about laws, judgment, and “eye for an eye” vengeance, transform Himself into a New Testament God who is all about grace, forgiveness, and “turning the other cheek”? Does this prove that the Bible is inconsistent? Is it just a work of fiction, in which the New Testament writers forgot to check for continuity errors? Did God undergo some kind of transformation between the Old and New Testaments? Does God suffer from bipolar disorder?

November 2, 2009

How Many Lutherans Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

As both a scientist and believer, I’ve always been baffled by the attitude many believers and churches have towards science. For me, discovering something new and unexpected in God’s creation is always an opportunity to find out new and unexpected things about God Himself. Yet many believers and churches tend to be react with cynicism, fear, or downright hostility towards science. Scientists are cast as promoters of some subversive godless agenda, in spite of the large number of professional scientists who actually do believe in a personal, prayer-answering God.

Over the next few blog postings, I’m going to explore some of the issues that lie at the heart of this attitude of skepticism, fear, and hostility, and how to deal with them.

The first issue I’m going to address is: Resistance to Change