I was listening to Salman Rushdie on NPR this morning, and the radio host asked him what it would take for him to believe in any sort of God. He stated, “He’ll have to show up.” I’ve said the same myself. It’s interesting to me that the entire weight of the New Testament rests on the fact that He has done just that. For a long, long time I dismissed those claims, but then He showed up in a very personal, undeniable way in my life. At that point, there was no more “god of our many understandings” as Gene Robinson addressed him. There was just that great eternal Presence who quickly convinced me that I wan’t in control of nearly as much as I liked to think I was.
I remember one of a number of jaw dropping moments when we arrived at John 10 in our ladies Bible study. Even though I had read the Old Testament book of Ezekiel before, I had never realized that God had said that he himself would one day come and rectify the situation of a priesthood that was corrupt and abusive. When Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd,” he was making an extraordinary claim. And he was making the claim that God did indeed “show up.”
Tonight I got home and found a Scientific American article in my feed reader about a group of Darwinian theorists from a number of disciplines, including my own of anthropology, who have gotten together in Edinburgh Scotland to discuss the evolutionary orgins of religion. It’s interesting to read these things and remember my own state of mind when I would have agreed with the sentiments expressed and look at the reasons that I no longer can. When someone, like me, whose entire world view is structured around the idea that there is no such thing as God because he has never shown up suddenly begins to run face first into this God who wasn’t there, it calls for a paradigm shift. Paradigm shifts, both scientific and personal, happen when the observations no longer fit the theory and a new one has to be developed. The psychological explanations of the article’s author are fine, but they don’t explain physical phenomenon that occur when God “shows up.”
Still a fascinating subject to me. I’d like to see some of these guys have their own paradigm shifts.by beakennedy