Need to Read: 09.07.10

September 7, 2010 — Leave a comment

In a kind of follow to the last actual post, Douglas Wilson has some thoughts on Glenn Beck and the problems of his appeals to God:

Because Beck is a Mormon, all his appeals to “God” will of necessity be appeals to a place-holder god, a thin, generic god, the god on our money. But the god of American civil religion is not a god who speaks. He has no opinions, no laws, no revelation. He has no son, and he sent no mediator. He can be safely appealed to by all parties, or blithely ignored by any party. As long as Beck is trying to convey constitutional content, he cannot support it with contentless theology. Just as King James once said, “No bishop, no king,” so I say, “No Creed, no Constitution.” If Beck wants to love the Constitution, he needs to learn to love the Creed. He needs to become a Christian. And instead of giving up in despair over the frightful muddle all this represents, orthodox believers need pray that he does become a Christian.

Wilson agrees with Moore on his conclusions about Beck, but adds a bit more to the discussion. His conclusion is typical of his colorful style:

The centuries old movement toward a thinner civil religion has moved us from a founding of Calvinistic Scotch to a glass of tepid water. Beck has put some ice cubes in the water, and a slice of lemon, and everybody is freaking out as though it were twenty-year-old Scotch.

If you haven’t heard yet either, Stephen Hawking has backed away from his original openness to God as starting the Big Bang. In possibly one of the most ridiculous arguments of the year so far, Hawking says the following:

As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.

In other words, we are smart enough to know that something can arise from nothing with no intervening outside forces. As usual, Al Molher has helpful analysis:

Professor Stephen Hawking is a remarkable human being. His courage and tenacity are an inspiration to all. His work on the theory of gravity has changed the way the field of physics is taught. But, when he crosses that border from science to theology, his worldview leads him into abject disaster. The Grand Design is yet another attempt to celebrate the universe’s breathtaking design, while denying the existence of a Designer. It will not be the last.

I really enjoyed Hawking’s Brief History of Time and Universe in a Nutshell, and will probably try to read his new book if I get the chance. I’m sure it will be fascinating, it just seems to suffer from a leap in logic that is unwarranted. It would be similar to holding that since we can explain perfectly well the mechanics of a Ford Model T that Henry Ford never existed (that’s a loose analogy, don’t press it too far).

You might also find this analysis of Hawking helpful.

Some shorter thoughts:

And finally, a warning from Michael Patton about professional weaker brethren:

However, we can take this too far. I don’t think we are obligated to bow our liberty to everyone who has a problem with our actions. A “weaker brother” is one who is truly weaker, not just one who has a misguided interpretation of things. He is weaker because he has not been educated in these issues. You must understand, he is not supposed to or expected to stay “weaker.” Eventually, he is suppose to become stronger. Unfortunately, far too often these weaker brethren realize their power and become “professional weaker brethren.”

I’m sure we’ve all run into a few of these from time to time.


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I'm an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let's connect!

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