Creativity

Orthodoxy and Christianity

b

“We all have glimpses of the truth, but, to echo Paul, this side of the grave we all ‘see through a glass darkly.’
Craig Detweiler

If you grew up in conservative American Christianity you would expect Paul to say “we see through a glass nearly perfectly,” we being our particular denomination. But the reality is that no matter how much we think we understand, and we do understand some, even illuminated by the Son and Spirit, our eyes are dim.

And yet there is a continual chorus of Christians saying, “Is that Biblical? Is that Orthodox?” These are not bad questions to ask, but somehow they’ve become so prevalent that other questions and topics are subjugated to the litmus test of the strongest personality in the room’s interpretation of “biblical” or “orthodox.” And the church suffers because of it. Just turn on Christian radio for a sample. And if you’re still not convinced, rent ANY deliberately Christian movie.

“The desire to appear orthodox has led to a dearth of creativity in virtually every realm of the contemporary Christian experience, particularly the realms of theology and music. This streak of perfectionism, which runs deep in the American religious mindset, creates atmospheres of fear and trepidation, especially in regard to new ideas. Experimentation is a key ingredient of a contemporary theological construct.”

Maybe some questions we should start asking alongside the orthodox one are

  • Is it fresh?
  • Is it good?
  • Does it lead to more life?
  • Does it ring true to the human experience?

 

Are There More Universes?


“Go outside at night in the country, where the sky is very clear. Then look up. Each one of those tiny points in the sky is a flaming sun. We’re a tiny part of an enormous universe, which may be one of many universes. No one really knows for sure what’s out there. So we use our imagination. Imagination allows us to ask big questions — questions that scare us, and for which we don’t have easy answers.”
Madeleine L’Engle

I just read a blog post titled “Civilization Has Barely Begun” at the Desiring God blog. Randy Alcorn is quoted as saying,

“We should expect the social dynamics from Earth to carry over to the New Earth, except when they’re a product of our fallenness or when God reveals otherwise.”

I really enjoy hearing about the new earth, especially since it appears as if it’s going to be a carry-over from this earth. Just now as I was walking around the neighborhood thinking about the ramifications of civilization having only just begun, as I approached an apartment complex with the still-lit April sky behind and a lone budding tree on the side, a quick happy feeling surged through me. Like I said, pondering the infinite possibilities of a new earth gets me really excited.

This is pure speculation, but what if, after thousands of years on the new earth, the pocket-full-of-surprises Overlord reveals yet another mystery — the individual work that each of us started doing on earth and continued to do in the new earth was preparation for something even greater, which after being revealed to us we all tap our foreheads and say, “Of course! It had to be this way — it’s characteristic of His endlessly-giving and explosive creativity.” Our new job, He joyfully announces to the billions and billions of new earth inhabitants during the monthly whole-earth assembly over a speaker system designed by a team of engineers and sound professionals from 40 countries, is to be sent out to a new universe and help the creatures that He’s freshly made begin life in their worlds.

To each universe are dispatched a multi-cultural team of storytellers, engineers, accountants, politicians, teachers, garbage men, police, weather men, architects, comedians, streetsweepers, doctors, even lawyers, to help launch the beginnings of a fresh planet. Each individual joyfully offers their expertise. And who knows whether or not they’ll be able to travel back and forth from New-Earth to their respective planets and share stories over campfires, laughing and marveling at these strange and wonderful new creatures from other universes. Each night the New-Earth inhabitants dream mind-boggling dreams of new inventions and ideas to share with their friends and students many light-years away but somehow near enough to travel to in the morning.

And it all began (or did it?) on a small planet called Earth in the Milky Way galaxy in a small corner of one of the many universes the Overlord began to create.

Of course this is all speculation, but a guy can dream, right?

“Hints that ours is just one of many universes keep cropping up in all sorts of different theories–and in ways that can seem far stranger than fiction.

The first credible suggestion that alternate universes might exist came in the early 1950s when a young physics graduate student named Hugh Everett was toying with some of the more bizarre implications of quantum mechanics. That theory, accepted by all serious physicists, says that the motions of atoms and subatomic particles can never be predicted with certainty; you can tell only where, say, an electron will probably be a millisecond from now. It could quite possibly end up somewhere else.”
–TIME Magazine article Will We Discover Another Universe?, April 10, 2000

Maybe one of these orphans from Mpumalanga, South Africa will be on your team:

photo courtesy desiringgod.org