Saturday, March 13, 2010

Journey Through a Large Universe

A friend recently asked me some questions about my faith, and in particular, my understanding of the Bible. Through Facebook, we have been engaging in a conversation of ultimate reality ever since. Rather than debating the validity of the Bible, I suggested that we might start back further in the discussion and see if we might find common points of agreement as a foundation for future conversations. What follows is a portion of that conversation and an explanation of part of my journey of faith.
Many times, not always, there is a natural progression of ideas. For me (and I have found that this was the same progression for others such as C. S. Lewis) the progression went something like this. I began to get curious about the universe in which we live. The nature of life on earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars inspired me to think of the vastness of the universe and I began to ask questions about what it was all about. I asked questions about how the universe came to be and why the universe came to be. I studied science that spoke of a beginning to the universe (the Big Bang) and wondered what was before that. This led me to theism, a belief in the existence of a God who was there before the Big Bang. Not everyone will look at these same things and come to this same conclusion but that is where it led me (and C. S. Lewis and others). Then I began to think of the nature of this God that I now was willing to admit might exist. I wrestled with deism. Deism suggests that God created the universe and set it in motion in such a way that he never needed to interact with it again. All of the potential and capabilities of the universe were there from the Big Bang. It is like he created a watch that he simply wound up and set it running. But deism was un-satisfying for me.

If God existed, it seemed rational that he had created the universe so that he might interact with it and so that he might communicate with his creation. I began to wrestle with the question, “If God wanted to communicate with the universe, how would he/she/it do so?” Here is where I began to investigate the religions of the world and their answers to this question. But, before I go any further in the explanation of my journey, perhaps I should pause here and see if we have yet found any common ground for conversation and discussion. Do we share any common assumptions? Tell me a bit about what your journey has been. I would truly like to hear how you have wrestled with such questions of ultimate reality.

I invite all who read this blog to join the conversation. What does your journey look like? What is the story in which you find yourself?

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