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Monday, July 03, 2006

Catching Up

As most of you have probably noticed, my blogging has been relatively light lately. Even though I've graduated from seminary, I'm still busy studying - this time for ordination. So as I come across interesting articles on the web, I tend to bookmark them under a folder called 'Blog Fodder' (meaning, this might be worth reflecting on at some point). Right now, that folder is getting pretty full.

SO... in an effort to provide some reading material, I think I'll pass along a couple of interesting reads:
  • First, there's this: Roots of human family tree are incredibly shallow. As in, every single human being alive today comes from a common ancestor who lived less than 5000 years ago. Regardless of what you think about evolution vs. creation, doesn't this seem to bolster the biblical claim that their was a real historical Adam from whom we are all descended? Why is it that no "unbiased secular scientists" would ever draw this conclusion? (perhaps the answer is along the lines of "because there is no such thing as 'unbiased secular scientists'...)

  • Second, there's this: Comatose man's brain rewires itself. The gist is straightforward - after 20+ years in a comatose state, Terry Wallis has regained a suprising amount of functionality. Yes, the article is clear that he's not Terri Schiavo. But it's worth noting that for most of this time his quality of life was not much different from hers.

    Dr. James Bernat, a neurologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire puts it like this: "Most neurologists would have been willing to bet money that whatever the cause of it, if it hadn't changed in 19 years, wasn't going to change now."

    Wallis' father said his son is now able to make jokes. "That was something he wasn't able to do early in his recovery," Jerry Wallis said. "He now seems almost exactly like his old self. And he very often tells us how glad he is to be alive."

    My point is that there was a very long period where there was absolutely no hope of progress. And yet, suddenly (miraculously!), Wallis has made a stunning recovery. So recovery is at least possible, even in extremely severe cases. And the man who is recovering is extremely glad to be alive.

    So why is it that no "human rights activists" are trumpeting this case, calling for a caution and patience, for enduring rather than pulling the plug? Why are they insisting that not only do people have the right to die, but that others have the right to make that decision for them? (perhaps the answer is that they are not really about 'human rights' so much as they are about 'their own rights'...)

  • Third and finally. Remember Anne Lamott? She's someone I really want to like - I shared what she wrote about her conversion to Christianity over a year ago in a post entitled Damascus Road. But now there's this - on June 25 in the L.A. Times she wrote about how she helped kill a man, a friend of hers suffering from terminal cancer. Why is there no outcry? Why is it that her actions are more likely to be lauded than condemned?
What's the common thread in each of these? I think they all illustrate a world-view that is fundamentally anti-faith. We consistently act in our own interests, based on what we ourselves see, what we ourselves determine to be right. In biblical lingo, we're like the ancient Israelites in the days of the judges: "each one did what was right in his own eyes."

Christianity, on the other hand is a call to trust someone else's eyes (God's) rather than our own, a call to serve others rather than ourselves. Anything less simply isn't Christianity. Maybe this is why the author of Hebrews says 'Apart from faith it is impossible to please God.'

Not sure where I'm going with all this - it's just interesting blog fodder. And I'd love to hear from someone who disagrees with me here.


At 2:35 PM, July 07, 2006, Anonymous Amy said...

All I can say about Anne Lamott is, "Lord have mercy."


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