Does Jesus’ life offer practical insight into today’s pressing issues? My colleague Steven Salt posted a recent blog that is relevant for us to consider. Steven’s article was first published on Cleveland.com and here is what he wrote:Continue Reading
Can fostering a climate of gratitude enhance relationships? Tomorrow families will be coming together to observe Thanksgiving, setting aside time to give thanks for one’s blessings. Our Canadian neighbors, too, set aside a day, but in October. Here is an article by Monica Karal, my colleague from Quebec, Canada that I thought appropriate for the occasion. Monica writes:Continue Reading
by Don Ingwerson
For the past four years I have been writing about health – in particular, how it is tied to thought and spirituality. And I’ve come across quite a few articles and studies that confirm a positive correlation between health and prayer.Continue Reading
A guest post by Robin Collins
Does analytical thinking undermine religion? I recently read an article in the Los Angeles Times about social psychologists who are investigating this question. The Times presents the views of Will Gervais, lead author of “Analytical Thinking Promotes Religious Disbelief” published in the April 27th issue of Science. He states that instead of treating science and religion as separate, there is now an academic effort “to understand religion and why our species has the capacity for religion.”
In this study, experimental results suggest that analytical thinking may tend to override the intuitive process thought to be associated with religious belief. A possible conclusion is that even our most fundamental beliefs and values may not be as firmly fixed as we have assumed. I tend to be analytical, so this research got me wondering how I look at faith. A definition of faith found in the English Standard Version of the Bible is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” I think of faith as a different form of sight, one that penetrates beneath the surface of life, but with certainty, not merely guesswork or wishful thinking.
An example of this faith can be found in the following story:
One day a child I knew became seriously ill, and coincidentally his behavior had not been so great either. From previous experience, his mom believed the two conditions to be related. Accustomed to praying when she saw he was troubled – mentally or physically – she made a great effort to help him in this way, but without the needed results. At this point the symptoms were acute. Then came a flash of insight to love him in a fresh way by releasing the belief that his unruliness was making him sick. She immediately called a Christian Science practitioner to prayerfully support this fresh idea. Off the phone, she felt a strong impulse to pray out loud the Lord’s Prayer. She did so fervently and found that each biblical phrase opened a specific aspect of divine goodness. By the last line of the prayer her child sat up and asked for something to eat. He was completely well. Upon hearing what happened, the practitioner paused in profound silence – she also had prayed with the Lord’s Prayer. Both had “gotten the memo,” proceeding independently, reasonably and with deep inspiration. Subsequently, the boy’s behavior improved, and the mother’s outlook on life and relationships was significantly altered.
Can that family’s experience shed light on conclusions about faith from research on human thinking? Were logic and intuition working in parallel or inherently entwined? Was religious conviction undermined, or underpinned, by rational thought?
An early investigator of the relationship between divine inspiration, rationality, and health was Mary Baker Eddy, who, through her own experiments discovered that logic and practical science were included in true faith in Deity. In her book Science and Health, she wrote that she found the Hebrew and Greek meaning of the English translated word “belief” had “…more the significance of faith, understanding, trust, constancy, firmness. Hence the Scriptures often appear…to approve and endorse belief, when they mean to enforce the necessity of understanding.” Eddy’s testing of Christianity as divine Science included the cure of all sorts of diseases and illnesses, deformities, physical and mental impairments, and moral issues.
Is rationality a faith-buster or a faith-booster? I plan to keep an eye on the latest research.
A guest post by Marsha Cunningham, originally posted December 10, 2010
Question: How can anything calling itself Christian be considered science?
Answer: The Bible advises us, “Come, let us reason together” Isaiah 1:18. God, as creator knows His creation thoroughly, understanding and maintaining it precisely. So God, to start with, must be the supreme Scientist and taught His Divine Science to Christ Jesus who overthrew the material sciences in his healing work and ministry.Continue Reading
A guest post written by Sharon Frey, Media Manager, Committee on Publication
Living in a Quantum World. The June cover of Scientific American really caught my eye. It seems that for a while now, physicists have been saying yes, quantum mechanics exists, but it only applies to a category of small things, very small things. However, the author of this article, along with a growing chorus of other physicists, says it looks like quantum mechanics applies to bigger things too.
The author, Vlatko Vedral, writes, “In a quantum world, a particle does not just have to take one path at one time; it can take all of them simultaneously.” All of them, at the same time. Imagine if you or I could take various paths simultaneously. That would really break our concepts of space and time. My understanding is that sometimes physicists refer to this as non-locality, or perhaps, infinity.Continue Reading
A guest post written by Steve Salt, Committee on Publication for Ohio
Solid, factual, and truthful is how we like things. Get to the point. Be genuine. But in the daily grind of evaluation and information processing we are often treated to jello-like truthiness. Things are not always as solid as advertised. That proclivity makes life trying.
A current ad on TV by a major electronics retailer magnifies the difficulty when purchasing “the latest” gadget or entertainment system. The promises are exciting…the reality disappointing. The moment you buy into the hyperbole, your cutting-edge thingamajig is obsolete. And you are left holding the bag…so to speak.Continue Reading
Here is an article with a message worth sharing. It is written by Tobi Cohen, Canwest News Service, on March 25, 2010, titled ‘Renasissance man’ of evolutionary biology wins coveted $1.5M Templeton Prize.
Known among scientists as the Renaissance man of evolutionary biology, Francisco J. Ayala has won this year’s prestigious, and lucrative, Templeton Prize for his life’s work trumpeting the notion that science and religion are compatible.
After being named the winner of the world’s largest academic award at a news conference in Washington, D.C., Thursday, the California-based biologist and philosopher described the ever polarizing approaches to life as merely two windows into the same world.Continue Reading