Thursday, 15 May 2008

is everything spiritual?

So we just enjoyed a bit of RB on a Wednesday night, complete with Rabbinic thoughts, quarks, comical banter, wow-science and fashionable black and white attire. I would highly recommend the dvd, it's entertaining, it's inspiring, and it goes some way to healing the science-faith divide, the dualistic view of the world that so impoverishes the science and the faith communities.

However, the DVD left me confused on some central points, and I should like to post some genuine questions regarding the jumps Rob makes and the way that he leaves it.

- Essentially, our post-match centred on the cross and sin questions, not simply where was sin in the presentation, but how would it have fitted into the presentation, had we had an extra whiteboard panel at the end, could we and would we have presented a fallen dimension to this world view presented. Rob presents a view of the world sufficient to live by, a certain way of viewing the world and that seemed to be redemptive in itself and I couldn't really gather what is so special about Christianity as the spiritual message would affirm all religions, or at least Judaism. As I understand his argument the essential problem is that of philosophical materialism, the 'two-dimensional' view of the world. Is then sin's essence the denying of the all-is-spiritual-ness of reality? Genuine question. Which then follows to the cross, what does the cross offer and can we construct it as atonement for this sin?

- Is everything spiritual? I didn't feel I got an answer. Meh.. I was entertained by the show (entertainment being our supra-ideology of all such discourse :-P), I felt left wanting, in terms of a defense of the main assertion. What then is physical? Is nothing is physical, we are all made out of strings, which are mysterious, therefore spiritual.. Is everything divine? Is everything spirit? Rob is accused of being pantheist, which is blogospheric hyperbole, yet, he leaves himself open to these accusations by not quite coming into land as it were..

- Then, lastly, I wonder who is the target audience.. Christians? Given that the audience is American, perhaps there is a certain presumed literacy of sin etc, and that the primary aim is to address certain internal misconstructions, chiefly the christianised dualistic view of spiritual stuff.. Meh.. If this were simply a presentation on the cosmological apologetic or a science-and-faith-compliment-each-other presentation, I would not feel such a need to insert sin or redemption into the program, however, given that he offers such redemptive conclusions, diy-the-kingdom, recognise-the-spiritual-nature-of-things-and-then, I feel like he is offering a more final world-view, in which sin is denied by omission. And now I feel like I am Bell-bashing like every other blog out there, honestly I'm not, I find his vision for Christianity compelling and vital, but I am hesitant to jump in with abandon before I can reconcile this broad vision for kingdom thinking with one that offers deep life confidence in experienced grace grounded in history, one which recognises the exclusive claims of Jesus, and one that I would suffer and die for.

Thoughts anyone else?

1 comment:

James said...

Perhaps it was targetting a Christian-literate audience? It almost seems like he includes so much number crunching and wow-factor-ing to close a very open divide. The science-faith separation is probably more acute in America than here. Perhaps his purpose was only to reconcile the two and present a world in which Christianity and science can co-exist. Well, in which spirituality and science can co-exist.

And then what you said.