30 Apr 2010
I commend to all readers of this article David Bentley Hart's magnificent little book, "The Doors of the Sea", written as the response of an Eastern Orthodox Christian to the event of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
For in a short space it sets out precisely why a Christian cannot subscribe either to what might be called a 'Hindu' or even pagan Platonic vision of The Way Things Are, nor either to a reductive materialism such as the 'darwinians' are proclaiming.
The observable physical world, this earth and all the innumerable stars, is not Maya but...Creation, the beloved and beautiful, blessed and pronounced Very Good when first created; now broken and riven by darkness, but - in the light and by the power of the Incarnate and Risen Lord - finally-to-be-redeemed and transfigured creature of the infinite-personal YHWH of the Bible, of Him who calls the stars by their names even as He also calls by name each human being. To the eye of Charity the world around us is not a veil to be 'seen through', or to be passed through and left behind on the way to the Absolute, but an icon that reveals.
"To see the world as it should be seen, and so to see the true glory of God reflected in it, requires the cultivation of charity, of an eye rendered limpid by love. Maximus the Confessor taught that it is only when one has learned to look upon the world with selfless charity that one sees the true inner essence - the logos - of any created thing, and sees how that thing shines with the light of the one divine Logos that gives it being.
"But what the Christian should see, then, is not simply one reality: neither the elaborate, benign, elegantly cultivated machine of the deists...; nor a sacred or divine commerce between life and death; nor certainly 'nature' in the modern mechanistic acceptation of that word.
"Rather, the Christian should see two realities at once, one world (as it were) within another: one the world as we all know it, in all its beauty and terror, grandeur and dreariness, delight and anguish; and the other the world in its first and ultimate truth, not simply 'nature' but 'creation', an endless sea of glory, radiant with the beauty of God in every part, innocent of all violence. To see in this way is to rejoice and mourn at once, to regard the world as a mirror of infinite beauty, but as glimpsed through the veil of death; it is to see creation in chains, but beautiful as in the beginning of days."
[From the Doors of the Sea, part II, 'Divine Victory', pp. 60-61.]
Half of my ancestors were Scots and some were Irish; perhaps it is the baptised Celt in me that leads me to find Hart's magisterial restatement of the Christian doctrine of Creation - and of the Redemption of Creation - to be so deeply satisfying and one that rings true to those many occasions when *I* can only say that I have *seen* that glory shining in and through created things.
1 May 2010
For an elegant and entertaining dismantling of Darwinism in particular and dogmatically materialist science in general that neither presupposes nor pushes in front of it nor tows behind it an alternative religious or metaphysical message, see David Berlinski's The Devil's Delusion and The Deniable Darwin.
4 May 2010
Such unabashed chutzpah, and so soon after the meme debacle too. Full marks for determination. Unfortunately, this piece is as false and fatuous as the other one. Why prefer Hindu philosophy with its dreamy unreal conjecture, over elegant well-proven modern science? Your ardent detestation of Darwin grows more like an unhealthy obsession.
24 May 2010
It's obvious that this Siggy character has a lack of understanding of materialism, and why it is not self-refuting.
In other words.